Just a Swingin’

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal 36 Comments

SwingingFront porch swings are the best. My aunt had one when I was a kid and we sat out there on the porch and talked and told stories. When the neighbors stopped by, we spent some visiting time in the swing. We helped our aunt hull peas and snap green beans while swaying in that swing. I guess I will always remember the creak of those swing chains.

Then, after my aunt died, my mom and dad moved into that house with the front porch swing and lived there while myMom in swing kids were growing up. The grandkids swung their way high as the moon and more. And sometimes when they were babies, Mom swung them to sleep.

 

My daughter had fond memories of that swing and so when Mom gave her some birthday money, she bought a swing Swing full of funlike it for her beautiful front porch. Here she and her husband are swinging their nieces and nephew.

 

deck swingingWe don’t have a front porch and thus no front porch swing, but when we built a deck on the back of the house, we got a free standing swing. Not quite the same but still a great place for some sweet times with the grandkids.  The swing needs a new cover now and I keep saying I’m going to get that done whenever I get a writing break, but so far I haven’t found my “round to it.”

June 2011 028

No writing break right now. I’m still searching for those illusive two words, “the end.” And so I better get back at it. But everybody needs a few minutes now and again to relax in a swing, even if it’s only in your memory.

 

Have you ever had a front porch swing and been just a’swinging? Tell me about it in a comment and you’ll be in a drawing for one of my books. I’m picking the first winner this Sunday. A new winner each week until the end of August.

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Comments 36

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      Swings and grandparents just used to go together back when I was a kid, Linda. Hope you have great memories of your visits to them.

  1. Fran Foor

    It really is something that to this day we all remember. Being a Cherokee Indian she always told us we were part of the loving tribe. I sure try to love every one.

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  2. Margaret Nelson

    We don’t have a porch swing, but we do have hammocks in the back yard! I don’t get out there often enough, but it sure is relaxing.

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      I’ve never had much luck with hammocks, Margaret. I got my husband one of those with a frame and he rarely used it. The grandkids liked it, but I can’t remember even trying it out. Looked too hard to get in and out of. LOL. Then something happened to the cover. A dog chewed it up or the grandkids were too rough and it tore. I can’t remember. Some things are better forgotten, right?

  3. Donna Harmon

    After my grandmother passed away my husband & I bought her house. It was built by my grandfather in 1949. The house sits across the street from the high school football field. As long as I can remember there has been a front porch swing. When I purchased the house from my aunt, uncles & dad, the front porch was part of the bargain, on home football games they could still come sit on the front porch. So, many Thursday & Friday nights we spend the evening visiting with extended family & friends, watching high school football & swinging on the front porch.

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      That’s what front porches are for, Donna. What fun that you kept the tradition going for your family and that you family wanted to make that deal with you when you bought the house. 🙂

  4. Connie Lee

    We had a metal glider on our front porch when I was growing up. That was the place where the aunts and uncles sat on Sunday afternoon after one of mama’s great Sunday dinners. That was also the place that saw a lot of green bean stringing and snapping during the summer. When we would go to mama’s sister’s house for a return Sunday dinner, my cousins and I would get to swing on their old fashioned swing with the chains. I remember once my cousin and I was in a big way of swinging and the swing chain broke and down we came. We were more surprised than hurt, just our feelings. My home I live in now has always had a swing with chains, but we haven’t spent too much time out there, we are too tempted to stay in the cool air conditioning and away from the mosquitoes.

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      Swings made great places to do that bean stringing, Connie. Sounds as if you had some great swing memories when you were young. The chain broke once on the swing at my mother’s house too. As you say, it’s sort of a rude surprise to be swinging and then kerplop. And that air conditioned cool air can bring a person inside on a steamy hot day, but the swing or glider sounds good for spring sunshine. Thanks for sharing your memories.

  5. Marilyn Stanphill

    We didn’t have a porch swing but when we visited my great grandparents in West Virginia when I was young, they had the big front porch with a porch swing at one end. That’s where my love of porch swings began. We visited (from Arizona) four times from the time I was two until I was sixteen. We visited in the summer and the large front porch was shady and cool and there was just nothing better than sitting on that porch swing watching neighbors walk by or having a snack or visiting with relatives or reading a good book. Those are some of my very best memories.

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      Love your front porch swing memories, Marilyn. A nice shady porch with a swing sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I can almost hear the family talking as the swing moves back and forth. Isn’t it great how we store those kind of good memories away and can bring them up to remember happy childhood times.

  6. Pam K.

    I’ve lived in quite a few houses but only one had a front porch and porch swing. It was the house we lived in from the time my daughter was a few months old to almost 3 years old. She was a rather fussy baby but swinging on the front porch did help calm her. We’ve lived many places since then but sometimes I do miss having a porch and swing.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      At least you had that swing in those few years you needed it to help keep your little baby girl from fussing, Pam. I always thought the creaking of the chains helped lull the kids to sleep too along with the swinging motion. All these great memories are making me miss having a porch and a swing too.

  7. Mary Calhoun

    My grandmother Riley’s front porch was where everyone gathered on Sunday. Not much to look at because the house was so old, but it ran the entire length of the house. Many climbing vines found a life weaving in and around the polls that held the tin roof over it. With them came the lizards – my brother used them to torched me! But my safe spot was the swing with my feet curled up in its seat. She didn’t have air conditioning so that wonderful old porch was our refuge from the sweltering South Alabama heat.

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      Oh, those brothers, Mary. I’d be on that swing with my feet up to. Not a lizard fan either. My aunt’s porch had some vines growing up on one end to shade the sun. No air conditioning there either. I guess that’s one reason why porches were so good. Out in the air where you might get a little breeze. At least the breeze from swinging. Some great memories there. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Teresa Merriman

    When I was growing up my grandparents had a front porch swing and I loved sitting on it with my Papa and visiting with him. We never had a porch swing in our home growing up, but my dad built my mom a free standing swing with an arbor over it. I loved sitting in it with friends and talking, or by myself reading a book. As an adult, I have had a free standing swing on my back porch in the past, but right now I have a rocking chair, 2 red vintage metal chairs, a bench my son built for me and a small table and chair set. I just don’t have room for a swing right now:-)

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      Sounds like it’s still a great porch for visiting, Teresa. And you have some good swing memories. All of you talking about those free standing swings has got me thinking that would be a great addition to my yard. Surely I’d have some time for swinging and reading. Or I could carry my laptop out to the swing and do some swinging and blogging. 🙂

  9. Evelyn Hawkins

    I’ve never had a front porch or a swing but I remember happy memories of my grand parents swing and my cousins and
    I swinging high !

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      Somehow swings do seem to bring back memories of family, Evelyn. “Let’s go sit in the swing” just seems a good thing to say. I let Kate in my Rosey Corner books sit in their front porch swing several times in my stories.

  10. Paula

    I remember going to my grandma’s house in Pennsylvania for two weeks every summer. The next door neighbors had a swing on the side porch. We loved to go play dolls on the swing with the little girl who lived there, who was just our age. I think my grandparents just had chairs on their front porch. But everyone used to sit out there in the evening and talk to each other ! We used to take walks and say howdy to all we passed. They always knew we were Paul’s kids from Illinois!
    Swinging is just so relaxing. Curl up with a good book (from Ann) and read away!

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      Now that was a great suggestion, Paula, about curling up with that book. And whoever wins my book this week and in the weeks to come, can do just that. 🙂 It’s really good thinking about things used to be with folks out on the porches and staying in touch with neighbors. Now I watch the porches and admire some of them as I go along roads and streets, but it’s rare I see somebody sitting out there watching life go by. I suppose kids in swings these days might be having fun swinging and texting their friends. And grown-ups might be checking the weather or Facebook. Or reading somebody’s blog. 🙂

  11. Fran Foor

    My great grammar lived in Georgia and my grandma and I would visit every summer when I was little. When I had my sons we would visit her. As a child I loved her great stories of the old days as we would swing back and forth. She was a Cherokee Indian and her stories were wonderful. My sons liked her stories but she dipped snuff and would spit over the rail on the porch. She would really get it going and the higher it went the farther she could spit. They would sit for hours with her and laugh and laugh. She lived to be 100 and they are in their 50’s still talk about GG in Georgia. I love the memories. Thanks for letting me talk about it now . Great good old days.

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      The things you can learn in a swing, Fran. Even how to spit over the porch railing. LOL. I’m guessing I would have liked the stories better. Sounds as if you and yours took time to listen. What a gift to your children and to you.

  12. Cheryl

    We didn’t have a porch swing when I was growing up. When I was in my late 20’s and a single Mom I bought a porch swing and put it on a old swing frame. I used that old frame until I moved from Memphis,Tn to Lawrenceburg, Ky in 2004. I didn’t have room in the moving truck for it. The house we rented had a small front porch with swing hooks already there. We lived there for 6 yrs. I sure did enjoy having a front porch even tho it was small. I no longer have the swing but I enjoyed that swing was for over 30 years. I have a lot of memories with that old swing. I sure do miss it. Hopefully one day I will get another one.

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      Sounds like a swing may still be in your future, but whether it is or not, Cheryl, you have some good swing memories. I think we need to make us a swing frame for the front yard under a big old shade tree. That might be the next best thing to a porch.

  13. Elaine King

    I don’t have a front porch swing but I’ve had a swing on our backyard deck for several years. It has been my oasis in my own yard. I feel like I’m on holidays sitting there reading a good book. It has also been a wonderful place to visit with good friends, relaxing on a summer evening!

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      Sounds like a great place to visit, Elaine, and to read. My sister put a gazebo in her yard with a swing. I think swings are just in a Southern girl’s DNA or maybe where you’re from doesn’t matter if you love front porch or back deck swinging.

  14. Melissa

    I have wonderful memories of front porch swings. When I was a little girl, we had one of the old time metal swings on the front porch. Every time a storm rolled in, my sisters and I would go sit on the swing. We didn’t even realize that we were in danger, sitting on a metal swing with lightning all around us. It was just a great time to sit on the swing on the screened in porch and watch the storm. I love swings. 🙂

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      Guess you made it through without a lightning tingle, Melissa. And I’m sure you felt very safe on the porch watching the storm. I can picture that memory. A good one for you.

  15. Kirsten Rinehart

    My mamaw and pap had a front porch swing. It was one of my favorite things about their house that I loved. I would just sit there and swing and sing while swinging

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      I forgot about the singing and swinging, Kirsten. A very good place to sing some songs when you’re a kid. And back in the day, grandparents seemed to have swings.

  16. Mary Herrnstein

    we never had a swing at our house…we had an ole’ metal glider…I remember the naps we used to take there…that’s where our parents and elders sat when they visited…I remember sitting on the ground around them and listening to stories of old…my sister had one at her house though…I loved going to her house in the summer and staying out all night just a swingin’…I babysat her little ones all the time…it was a great place to keep them all together…reading, singing, sleeping….wish I had a porch for one now…I do have a glider…but my old bones don’t let me get too comfortable on it now….and I have a free standing swing….it’s just the right size for me and all my grandbabies…love the days when they come to visit!

    1. Post
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      Ann H Gabhart

      Swings are the best, Mary. I like how your story and memories about swings connect the generations. You listened to the stories of your older family members and friends and now you’re telling your grandbabies stories in your swing. We all need to take more time to do some swinging and story telling. My husband has always wanted a front porch and I try not to envy those houses you see with porches all around. But you know what? I don’t often see anyone out there just sitting and enjoying the porches. Maybe it’s because they don’t have a swing!

  17. Sandi Ansell

    I loved the swing on our front porch. My brother and I would, close our eyes and swing a while and then pretend we had landed in a foreign country. We’d make up a language and marvel at the sites we’d see. I remember once, my brothers wouldn’t let me “on” and I grabbed the front of the swing and tipped them off the back of the porch. I got sent to bed without supper, but it was worth it when I’d remember the look of shock on their faces as they tumbled backwards. They were much bigger than I was and for once, I, literally, got the upper hand! I loved to sit on the swing and read. I recently added a back porch to my own home and the very first thing I bought…was a swing.

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      That’s a fun story, Sandi. You showed them! They shouldn’t have tried to keep you from making that journey with them. Sounds like when you did get in your swing rocket ship you knew how to use your imagination to have lots of fun. And if we had a porch, I’d want a swing right away too.

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