Friday, January 8, 2016

The Gift of Time

My porch swing before restoration
        Nothing says, “I love you,” better than the gift of time. All the baubles and bangles in the world won’t replace hours spent with friends and loved ones.

That’s why my 2015 Christmas gifts from my daughters and their husbands were so special. There was nothing I needed that I couldn’t buy for myself. I have plenty of clothes and accessories, do-dads to dust and electronic gadgets to play with. So I asked them to do projects for me that either I couldn’t do alone or didn’t want to tackle. One involved organization, the other, manual labor.

Everyone was at my house for Thanksgiving, and my oldest daughter, Heather, and her husband, John, spent the night with me. Next morning, we headed for my storage shed and began pulling out stuff. I had asked the pair to help me organize the shed so I could get to what was in it. I actually started the process earlier that week, and had quite a pile to throw away by the time Heather and John pitched in. Most of it went down by my road, where I knew somebody would spy it and take it home. And somebody did. 

My shed was so disorganized that I didn’t really know what all I had in it. Once I went to my local hardware store to buy a hacksaw, only to have the owner tell me he had sold me one a few months before!

I had accumulated a lot of tools, including some that had belonged to my late husband, and I had no idea what some of his were or what their purpose was. John, an engineer whose hobby is working on old cars, was able to tell me what was worth keeping and what to toss. There were several usable items I just didn’t need, and he took them off my hands.

My youngest daughter, Amanda, and her husband, Daniel, chose to refinish my front porch swing. This is the swing I spent many hours in at my Paw-Paw’s house in East Lake. Then mom had it on her front porch. It has been on mine for 13-plus years, in bad need of
 new paint. It was green when Paw-Paw had it, then mom painted it brown, as she did everything else she painted. 

It took several sessions to complete the job. The weather was damp and each layer of paint and polyurethane had to dry thoroughly before the next one could be applied. They chose to do the job at my house, thinking they couldn’t get the swing in Amanda’s car to haul it to theirs. They realized later they could, but that’s okay. I enjoyed the repeated visits. They used the same red paint a friend used on my doors, and I’ll paint a table on each porch the same color. My house was rather bland from the outside, but these doses of red really make the place pop. I plan to add some colorful cushions once all my porch furniture has been refinished.

       So, next gift-giving occasion, if you can’t think of anything to give that special someone who seems to have everything, try the gift of time. Both giver and receiver will be blessed.
My swing after restoration


  1. Excellent post Elaine. I like the space. It makes reading entries much easier.

  2. What perfect gifts! And a great idea on the part of your children.