Continued from here. I know, I know — that was a long time ago.
It was winter. I was home from college. I don’t remember if it was for Christmas break or just for the weekend. I think it was my sophomore year: I’d spent the summer before living back at home, but already it wasn’t like being at home anymore.
I was in the backyard.
A goodly blanket of snow — several inches, drifting to a couple of feet — covered everything. The dogs had made a trench around the perimeter, of course, so they could pee and poop in relative comfort. But I couldn’t see the smaller bushes at all — or where any of the vegetable beds should be.
The swing set was gone.
I hadn’t known it was going, that my dad had taken it down.
Doing so made sense, of course. No one had played on it in years. At that point, my sister, the youngest person in my family, was sixteen. No one was going to use it. Due to years of heavy use, it was starting to fall apart. It soon would be — if it wasn’t already — unsafe.
And still, I missed it. The yard looked empty without it. Though I certainly remembered other changes to the yard — some large changes, even — this single fixture had dominated my experiences, memories, and images of my backyard for fourteen years — most of my life at the time.
Now it was just… gone.