We purchased the set when Ab was very small. It was made of good quality, heavy duty materials. The local company from whom we purchased the monstrosity constructed it on site at our old house.
She was too small for both the slide and the swings when we bought it.
Ab is now twelve years old and almost as tall as her Mom. AA is just nearly three years behind her and only a couple of growth spurts away from seeing eye to eye with his Dad.
Throughout their lives the old faithful play set has sat there in the yard, beckoning. . . "c'mon take a run or two down the smooth green slide"... or ... "how about one last turbo-push on the swings just before dark?"
Underneath the "tree-house" decking was the perfect place for a little picnic or a sandbox. It was always filled with an eclectic collection of weathered toys, digging implements and various leaves, stick and rocks. It wasn't unusual to find a spare lizard, frog or grasshopper under there either.
The bannistered walls of the tree house had survived numerous coatings of sidewalk chalk; and the pounding of playground balls and make-believe swords.
We have only attempted the monumental task of moving the behemoth a few times: I remember a band of guys from our Sunday School class (including some family) that showed up one evening to move it over so we could have some landscaping done; and then when we moved to our present location R.'s Mom and Dad took it apart while we were at work and moved it piecemeal.
A couple of years ago, after the swings sat idle for quite awhile we removed that portion of the set along with the slide and the tarp roof. The tree house was now something of a "deck" to go beside the above ground pool in the summer.
It's weathered look had become something of an eyesore and it competed in size with the trampoline, so it was time to take it down.
I found a date painted on the side - most likely put there by Ab who has often had an interest in noting items for posterity - it was last June and it recorded the names of those present.
At the base of the edifice, one is always sure to find interesting articles....
... a "hair-thingy" as I call it ... these turn up everywhere... they hold tales of by-gone summers when a busy little girl felt the need to cast off her restraints....
In addition to the colorful items that surround the base of the structure, there are stories literally attached....
...The small rope, a reminder of last summer's goat adventure. This bespeaks the evening that I tried to tie them to the play set.
All these memories flooded my mind yesterday as I dismantled this fixture in our lives... little curmudgeons leaning out of the side of the tree house with smiling, dirty faces ... cries of "Higher!" ... "Higher!" from a catapulting swing and the gentle sing-song squeaks that yielded a comforting "all is well".
I know that new adventures await us, but none will replace the sweet innocence of childhood.