When my youngest daughter was preschool age, my girls took gymnastics lessons. My parents bought them a trampoline, which we placed in our yard beside of the house. Most recently, my preschool grandchildren have played on that trampoline. I wondered why the trampoline turned them black. It never turned my children black. My husband said it was because the canvas had dry rotted.
So, today I took down the trampoline. Disassembling the trampoline brought back many interesting memories. The most vivid memory was of the time when an F-1 tornado blasted past our house, picking up the trampoline like an umbrella, and crashing it against the side of the house in the middle of the night. The trampoline damaged part of the siding and the eaves. The next morning, I looked out the window and saw the remainder of the trampoline in the neighbor’s field, strewn into pieces.
For the sake of the children, my husband and I salvaged what we could of the trampoline, picking up what seemed to be 100 springs from the weeded field. Talk about searching for needles in a haystack! After filing an insurance claim, the trampoline was restored and this time, I secured it to the ground, never to be blown away again.
One other memory is of the baby copperhead that came slithering out from under the trampoline as my children jumped on it after a rain storm. I remember all the friends they had on the trampoline, learning to take turns, doing back handsprings, and then sunbathing on it as they became teenagers.
Today, as I began removing the first springs, I noticed how physically and emotionally hard it was for me to remove the rusted pieces of metal. Removing the springs was bittersweet and too cold outside for me to sweat. Those were tears running down my cheeks. Taking down the trampoline was like painting the preschool fingerprints and crayon marks off the walls. However, as I worked my way around to the final springs, cherishing each memory that each one brought back, removing them became both physically and emotionally easier.
And believe me, I understand how those rusty old springs felt. I felt the same way!
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