Monday, April 3, 2017

Everley's Birthday Present

A couple of months ago, Everley and I went to Centennial Park to feed the ducks. While we were there, she saw the lawn swings scattered about and announced that she wanted a "bench swing." I told her I would get one for her birthday. She was happy with that, and I was happy to get her something that wouldn't tear up in a week's time.

Of course I had to contemplate over which kind of swing to get. Should I get a wood, metal, or recycled bottle swing? Should I get the cheapest one available or spend a few $$ for a better one? Should I get one locally made or mass made somewhere? I looked at the flea market, at Home Depot, at the local patio furniture place, and online. Eventually I decided to spend the $$ and get a recycled bottle one online. I figured that it would take less maintenance and last longer, and best of all, it could be delivered to their house. However, there was one catch ...

It would have to be assembled. That also included assembling an A-frame for the swing, because Everley's house doesn't have a covered porch with beams for hanging. So I ordered both and both were delivered last Saturday, just in time for the birthday.

I left them at her house rather than wrapping them, but she knew what the boxes contained. Originally the idea was for Sam and Mathieu to assemble them (not sure Mathieu knew that plan) and then Plan B was for Molly to assemble the swing part, since she had recently assembled her own recycled bottle chairs (one of which actually came with swing hardware instead of the chair hardware). Unfortunately, Sunday's party went a little long, so nobody got anything assembled. And then came Monday ...

I'm really not the type of person who purchases things for other people to assemble. Well, most of the time. And since Mathieu was starting a new job today and Maribeth was working, I decided I would go over and assemble it myself. And so I did.

I decided to start first with the A-frame. It all went pretty easily, I was able to put things together and get them screwed together with a little help from my drill (although I had to abandon that because I really don't know the correct method for using that as a screwdriver without nearly stripping the screws), the vise grips, and the electric screwdriver (the current one I have is garbage - it has about the same battery capacity as the horrible dust busters I once owned but scrapped because their battery life was nonexistent). Once the frame was together, I moved it into place. Well, at least into Place 1.

Next was the assembly of the swing. Which looked easier than it seemed. Things did not start off well because the assembly instructions were ripped on the corner, a corner which apparently held very important assembly instructions. I spent a good portion of time attempting to assemble the page with the instructions, only to find that it started with Step 3. I searched in the garbage can for any instructions about Steps 1 and 2, but couldn't find any. I finally turned the page over and there they were - the missing steps.

Eventually through a series of comical moves and adjustments and leaning the swing on everything from the patio to the stairs to the driveway to other deck chairs, and cursing the day the Allen wrench was invented,  the swing was actually assembled. Did I mention that it was windy and the instructions kept trying to blow away? Or that my helper Everley was helping me (thank goodness, because at least she was strong enough to hold up the swing at a crucial minute, although she asked me several times why I was groaning)? Everley decided that the swing frame needed to be in a different place, so I moved it, and then had Maribeth come out to help me hang the swing. In the end, we all had a seat and a swing and decided that everything was good.

Next year I'm giving her crayons and a coloring book ...

The finished product!!
Today's blessings include: Steve's safe travel to Chattanooga; e-chatting with friends; assembling and swinging in Everley's new swing

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