GRANDPA leaned the extension ladder against the trunk of the ash tree. The bright July sunshine filtered down through the leaves, with only a few irregular patches of light finding their way to the ground. One such patch flickered on the yellow child’s swing that was now the focus of his attention.
It had only been a week ago that he, filled with excitement, had climbed that ladder and attached that swing to a strong branch. His years had fallen away that afternoon as he carefully prepared the swing for the two eager granddaughters who were due to arrive from Ohio. The grass had been mowed, the small sticks picked up and even the ever-present cicada shells had been removed. The swing had been washed, the ropes checked, knots secured, and now the happy plaything wiggled in the wind like a puppy eager for its master’s return.
The days that followed had been altogether grand. There had been many things to do and places to see. There was rhubarb to pick and raspberries to eat. There were Mom’s old toys and books in the basement, and a trail down by the creek. But every single day, at least once a day, the girls charged into the back yard to take turns being pushed in the swing by Grandpa.
There would be a small push and the chorus of “one.” Then a larger push and a louder “two.” An even larger push to “three,” and then the great big push to the shout of “Hawkeye!” Then it was sister’s tur