clear

A house around the block has been undergoing a big renovation for months. It's mostly happening inside, but I still drive the long way (often) to check it out. I'm the nosy neighbor lady who wants to count trucks, see what the painter will be painting next, imagining all the "new" happening within the walls. Today I really needed a run. It has been one of the most stressful weeks at work, which is you know, awesome. Lots and lots I could say about that, but I am going to do my best to just shut my mouth and cope. This means we are drinking wine tonight, lots and lots of teeth staining red wine. I got home and needed to clear my head. So I plugged in my ear buds, stretched my legs and took off for a jog. I headed by that house and as I ran past I saw the same green dumpster that has been in the driveway throughout the renovation. There were no commercial vans, no pick up trucks, just a white SUV in the driveway and that green dumpster. I glanced over, noticing some broken green wood beams sticking out and I gasped.

The swingset.

I had noticed it before, long forgotten, sagging to the right, pushed all the way to the tree line. In fact, I had always noticed it, the symbol of the family's childhood, abandoned there in the yard, falling apart, fading into the dense woods.

I thought of her instantly, the kind mother of the three now teenage kids who I see walk by with her little white dog in the afternoon. I imagined her standing at the door with her coffee, having gotten the kids off to school, staring at the empty expanse of her children's early life. I tried not to think of her walking past it to get to her car, having to see it sticking out when she returns home from errands. The memories she must have of those kids playing out there, the evidence that those days are just memories set to be carted off to the dump.

I started my run wanting to clear my head of all my work crazy. It didn't take more than 100 yards for me to think about other more important things.


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