It is good to be reminded of the value of life’s simplest pleasures. Like the pleasure of feeling your suspended body sway smoothly through space on a swing. Swinging is an act of effortless grace: rising and falling on a fixed arc that flows first with, then against the pull of gravity.
A seasonal video from Alex ‘playgroundology’ Smith was the catalyst for this celebration of swing.
That’s Alex himself reading the poem (‘The Swing’ by Robert Louis Stevenson) and his daughter there in swingseat. Who can fail to engage with a smile like that? It put me in mind of a chilly visit last Sunday afternoon to a play park swingset with my 3-year-old nephew. Oblivious to the cold, he whooped with joy as his father and I pushed him back and forth (occasionally stealing his woolly hat, then replacing it mid-swing).
The latest post from Robin Sutcliffe – kindred spirit, elder statesperson in the UK play sector, sometime collaborator and occasional client – chimed with Alex’s playful animation. His stories of the responses of children and parents to the experience of swinging are powerful and moving.
Swinging is enjoying a moment, it seems. A post last summer from another collaborator and kindred spirit, Paige ‘playscapes’ Johnson, described ‘the event of a thread’: a temporary installation in New York by visual artist Ann Hamilton featuring swings that must be five or six stories high.
One of my pleasures, is making bread...not with a bread machine, mixing and kneading by hand.
I've gotton so I don't use my mixer anymore to start mixing everything, I just use a couple fingers. Sometimes I just use water, sometimes I use milk....even eggs. It depends on my mood and just what I want to make.
then we let it rise until it's doubled in size....punch it down and let rise again.
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After that I form the dough to bake. Sometimes I brush it with egg, sometimes milk.
This is another one of my favorite things. Waking up to fresh perked STRONG coffee in the morning. My daughter makes a pot and then wakes me up......she is well trained.
Now, I'm fussy. It has to be perked fresh. I've tried the auto drip that is so easy to buy, and it just doesn't have that morning kick that I need. I take mine black. No sugar and no cream. Funny story with that one. When I was young and selling Avon, I was more of a tea drinker. I went to an Avon meeting/luncheon and was much to shy to ask for tea, as they were passing out the coffee. You guessed it, too shy to ask for cream or sugar too. And to this day I drink black coffee. Sometimes I'll splurge with a cappuccino, but most of the time it's black coffee.
Unfortunately, I'm fussy on my brands to. It has to be french roast, Maxwellhouse is a favorite. Central Market or 8 o'Clock are acceptable, and what ever brand makes that Fog Lifter flavor, for really rough mornings. Sorry folks no Folgers for me.
....it's a forgotten treat, getting in your car and going for ice cream. We'd mostly go to Marble Farms, because they made their ice cream on the premise....it was delicious. It also took about 1/2 hour to get too. My mom would always want a place that served spumoni or tortoni....it was hard to find those places, they were few and far between. I do remember, as a child never being allowed to get a banana split, which is understandable, I would never be able to eat the whole thing at that age. It wasn't until I was married that I actually got around to ordering one. (heeheehee)The other was pistachio icecream, because my mom didn't like it. To me that made no sense since we both loved all iceream with nuts mixed in. And yes, today, pistachio is one of my favorites(Ben & Jerry's)along with French Roast.
So tell me your 'going for ice cream memories.
Do we have any tree climbers out there? I used to love sitting in a tree all quiet and watching the world go by. It was like having your own special world, as a kid. Now, my sister could get all the wat to the top of our old maple tree, BUT, my mom had a rule....if you climb up yourself you have to get down yourself too.
Many of these memories are Grandma- centric. We'd go for walks in Hamiltons woods, her neighbors.
In the spring we'd pick Trilliums and Jack In The Pulpits. They weren't endangered then.
In the summers we would just walk, climb on the GIANT rock on the edge if the woods, or visit the fort that we made. As cousins we met in the woods and built a fort. It lasted quite a few years too.
After hanging out in the woods for awhile, we'd troop back to Grams. They had an old fashoned pump in their yard with an old metal cup(remember those)We'd each pump our own drink.
Then into the kitchen for fizzies and home made cookies.
Nothing is better then going out for a root beer float. Or even a coke float with yummy chocolate ice cream. Now what kind of root beer should we use? A & W, or maybe an old fashioned Birch Beer. Writing this right now, guess what? I'm going to make a root beer float, it's my favorite. Ice cream and a drink, what could be better?
I remember making this when I was a waitress. Oh.....what to do with the ice cream....float it on top and let it spill while you carry it? Or rest it on the side, put the whole thing on a 7"liner(plate)and hope for the best with the customer. It may have been wrong, but I chose the latter. They also got more soda that way.
NOW FOR SOMETHING MORE ASDULT....SPIKED ROOT BEER FLOATS
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I remember staying with my grandma. Back in those days wild berries grew along the country road she lived on. We'd take a dish and pick the wild raspberries.
Of course she had a raspberry/blackberry patch too. I learned early on, even on the hot days to wear long pants and long sleeves. Wade into the center of the patch(so you wouldn't have to move for a bit)and pick everything you can before moving....and remember to balance your box or bowl. You don't want to have to stoop down with all those prickers.
These days I live in a mobile park. If I look around in the summer I can usually pick about a pint, and not that painfully either. They grow in sporadic patches all over.
This is a simple pleasure that my folks used to do when they were younger. Do you remember those GIANT searchlights that businesses used to use, to promote, well, their business? Well, when they were younger, when they saw one, they would try to chase it down and find the business....not always an easy task.
This is pretty much what the lights used to look like.
Remember them? Back when you actually rode on big, huge tufts of hay, not hay bales.
lots and lots of loose hay. Only trouble is, I am allergic. So, allergy pills come first, and when I was a teenager, and my hair was waist long, I had to braid my hair. Less hey to pick out later.
We go on the hay ride(the church youth group)with instructions, to NOT let any hey fall off the wagon into the orchard......yeah, right. I think we were lucky to have the equivalent of one bale left agt the end.
The ones they have now, where everyone sits on bales of hay aren't nearly as much fun....less messy...? Of course, but not as fun.
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