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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Summer (the season) (07/09/09)

TITLE: The Swing
By Kim Franklin


The swing, uninhabited, gently swayed in the breeze. The porch was empty except for the old yellow cat that had taken up residence and a swarm of wasps that were busily building a new home in the upper corner of the old screen door. I stood there remembering the life that this porch had seen over the years and the culmination that it now faced. Summer had arrived early and it was already proving to be exceptionally hot. My brow was already beginning to form beads of sweat under the Alabama sun but I barely noticed.

The smell of honeysuckles filled the air along with sweet remembrance of a childhood filled with laughter at this old house. It was my Mamaw’s house; historic and legendary in my eyes. Nothing fancy, just a small gray house badly in need of a fresh coat of paint and shutter repair that had stood in this very spot for over sixty years. The house had four rooms and a bathroom with a later addition of an apartment in the back but I’ve never seen another structure that defined “home” like this one. I could almost smell the fried chicken cooking and Mamaw’s stale perfume mixed in with that honeysuckle.

Standing in the front yard, beyond the house is a huge rolling hill that heads down to the main road. The best theme park in the world couldn’t top that hill. It was tuck and roll from top to bottom with an explosion of laughter and giggling from start to finish. Sometimes, even the adults would join in and race to the bottom. Standing atop that hill, allmost as far as the eye can see, the neighbors are family members. This was Papaw’s land and his children built the foundation of their homes on it. Papaw was many years older than Mamaw and had passed before my time. So the story goes, he eyed her at the country store one day and vowed to wait until she was old enough to marry. Sixteen years her senior , he stayed true to his word and he was her only true love.

Walking up the steps of the battleship gray porch, I remember many holidays spent eating good southern, country cooking and watermelon and seeing just how high that swing would go without breaking. (We actually did break it once). This was the simple life.. country living without a lot of complexities and a lot of loving from a great grandmother who truly made this house a home.

Mamaw went to be with the Lord a number of years ago and the house has stood lonely on this hill, unoccupied except for the termites who have ravaged and destroyed the structure. Now, the land has been sold and the house will be burned. How will the generations that come after me know the summers that I once shared at this awe-inspiring place ? As I swing one last time, I vow to make sure that my kids know about Mamaw, the old gray house, the hill and the swing.

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This article has been read 343 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Margaret Gass07/19/09
I liked your descriptions in this piece. You've appealed to all the senses, and the vividness provided by the detail speaks to how much of an impact your Mamaw had on you. I hope that you took pictures when you got of the swing! Good job.
diana kay07/19/09
What a lovely peice of writing. So descriptive and so warmly written.You have paced it well and spread it out with the paragraphs. I am sure that if not this time you will soon be on the winners board and moving to the next level. I look forward to reading more of your work.
Seema Bagai 07/19/09
Beautiful, almost poetic descriptions in this piece. I could visualize the scene clearly. Great work.
Jackie Wilson07/21/09
This was a lovely piece. It stirred my own fond memories of time spent at Grandma's house. The pace, the rhythm, and your warm descriptions made it very enjoyable to read.
Deborah Porter 07/23/09
Hi Kim. I just wanted to leave a quick note to let you know your entry, The Swing, actually did very well in the Summer Challenge. Although you didn't receive an award, you made it into the Highest Rankings for Level 1, placing 10th in that Level.

The competition is always intense in Level 1, so you deserve a pat on the back. :-)

If you'd like to check the highest rankings for yourself, you can find them here:

The highest rankings are posted every Thursday evening on the Message Boards.

Again, well done!

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)