Not long ago I managed to run over a nail with my vehicle. Not just a little nail, but a big, long, huge nail probably intended for some massive construction.
I have no idea when it happened or where I picked it up. I just kept putting air in my tire every time the tire pressure indicator lit up and dinged at me.
Finally, my husband took my car in to have the tire checked, thus, the ginormous nail was discovered.
But, by this time the irreparable damage was done. I had driven too far and too long with the nail in my tire. A brand new tire had to be installed.
Despite his love for cars, it pained my husband greatly to invest in a new tire. After all, my vehicle was fairly new, how could this happen? So, instead of relinquishing the damaged tire for recycling, or burning or whatever happens to them now, he brought it home.
Brought. It. Home.
“Uhm, and what exactly are we going to do with that?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he said. “But, I couldn’t just give it up.”
So, the old tire sat in our garage. And sat. And sat. And sat.
Standing outside a few weeks ago, my husband again looked at the tire and said, “I guess I should get rid of that thing now, huh?”
I glanced at him, glanced at the tire and took a long look at the old, sturdy, cottonwood tree in our front yard.
“No,” I said. “I have an idea.”
When I told my husband what my grand idea for the tire was, he looked at me a bit puzzled. He had heard of this, but never had the fun of one when he was a kid.
And it’s probably against some neighborhood code or something, but hanging from the beautiful tree in our front yard now is a tire swing.
“I like it,” my husband said once the swing was suspended from a strong branch.
“It makes our house more homey!”
Until I hopped up on it myself, I had forgotten how much fun a tire swing can be. We spent the evening together after dinner spinning each other, pushing each other back-and-forth and laughing.
It was fun. It was memorable. It was our family together, unplugged, all thanks to a damaged tire, an old tree and the desire to give our kids something simple.
As I perched atop the tire-swing, and looked up at the big tree with it’s winding branches, I was reminded of the children’s book, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
“Once there was a tree and she loved a little boy. And every day the boy would come and he would gather her leaves. He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches. And the boy loved the tree very much. And the tree was happy. But time went by. And the boy grew older. And the tree was often alone.”
I don’t know how long our old tree has been alone, standing strong in front of where our home now is, but I hope she is happy to have our children swinging from her branches.