Friday, January 28, 2011

A good grasp on the rope and a big jump sent them flying from the roof ...

Mother and Daddy's grandchildren enjoy something we all enjoyed growing up; swings!  Tire swings, swing set swings, and croker sack swings.  I especially liked croker sack swings.  

I'd grab the bag and back up as far as I could then run forward as fast as I could.  With both hands holding the rope above the knot that held the bag, when I had run as far as I could I'd pull with both arms, jump into the air, and throw my legs around the bag.  Back and forth, back and forth; it would go in many directions.  We could twist it round and round, round and round, till it was almost too high to lift ourselves onto.  Then as the rope straightened back up, we'd spin and spin until we were dizzy.

Daddy grew acres and acres of peanuts each year.  When he combined the dry peanuts, they went into croker sacks, a job that fascinated me.  I loved to watch the guys keep up with the peanuts.  They came down a chute that divided into two openings.  A sack was hung over each opening.  When one bag filled, a flap was flipped and the peanuts would then go into the second bag.  While the second bag was filling, someone had to tie off the first bag, kick it off the combine, and hang another bag.  As soon as that was done, it was time to flip the lever and do it all over again.  Someone went through the field later with a truck, picking up the filled bags.  

When a hole was in the bag, too big to repair, the bag made good stuffing for a croker sack swing.

An empty crocker sack would be stuffed with other croker sacks or other material.  The top would be tied and hung from a limb.  It was easy to swing on it.  

One year Donald and Harold had tied a swing to the super tall oak trees by the house.  One would go onto the roof and walk to the edge.  No, not the lower roof over the porch. They were at the higher roof, to the side of the house.  The other would grab the swing and with a mighty heave, throw it up to the brother on the roof.  A good grasp on the rope and a big jump sent them flying from the roof, higher than any swing I had ever seen.

The arrow to the left shows the roof where they stood to jump.  The arrow to the right shows about where the swing was tied.

As a little sister wearing a skirt, I was enthralled but knew I would not be allowed to swing by jumping off the roof.  One day Mother and Daddy surprised me by telling me I could swing from the roof too.  With them standing by on the ground and one of my brothers on the roof, I was allowed to go onto the roof and jump off.  The oak tree was awfully close as the swing went past it, high up into the air.  This was fantastic!  I'm not sure how many times they allowed me to jump.  It wasn't enough for me, I remember that, but they were all very patient, allowing me to take many turns with them.  

That particular day is the very day I had the most fun on a swing, ever.

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