the simple minded suburbanite


A Perfectly Good Playset

Two-to-three thousand freakin’ dollars for a freakin’ playset?  Are you freakin’ kidding me?  I refuse! 

Listen, we’ve been fortunate to have had our first swing/slide combo given to us by a neighbor wanting the hulking thing out of their yard.  But, when that one gave way three years later, I was faced by replacing it.  I knew what most people where paying but, I have a way of finding a deal.  Yet, is seemed that even “the good deals” were more than I wanted to pay…lowest…about 800 bucks.

As fate, or angels, or the powers of “The Secret” would have it, yet another neighbors kids had outgrown their playset and just wanted the monsterous thing out of their yard.  Yes!

And, today, after watching my husband toil hours deconstructing, hauling, cleaning, staining, and reconstructing, my boys got to take it for a ride.  It couldn’t have been a more perfect autumn day.  The golden leaves have dropped from our maple and the boys and about six of their friends piled them at the foot of the slide.  I could feel the tickle in my own tummy as they took turns plunging into the pile.  Next, they moved the pile in front of the swings and leapt into the sweet musk of freshly fallen foliage.  They played all day on our second hand swing set and never once gave a thought about it being, well, second-hand.

I admit, I had.  As my husband and our friends hauled it to the back yard past our neighbors manicured yard.  As we struggled with the planks and replaced the bolts.  As I wondered if we’d ever get the damn thing up.

But not today.  Today, I felt nothing but pleasure in my boys’ delight and love for my husband who toiled away precious free time.  And it just seems right. 

I recall the concept of The Green Triangle by Ernest Callenbach which basically states that if you do something good in one of three areas: environment, health, economy, you impact the other two areas.  Our playset is a good example.  Economically, the freebie set is pretty clearly beneficial.  Environmentally, we saved it from landfill.  And healthfully, my husband got great exercise putting it together and my kids will while away hours outside playing on it.  Not to mention the emotional elation and personal satisfaction we have for devoting so much love and care in constructing it for the boys.

All in all, it’s a perfectly good playset.

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2 Comments so far
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It’s more than perfectly good, it goes much deeper than just plunking down the AMEX and just doing what everyone else does. This is all about finding a way to get what you need with what you have.

What did your neighbors with their perfectly manicured lawns think? Did you get any funny looks for taking someone else’s second hand playset? I find a lot of times the people around me actually get off on spending the big bucks and subtly complaining/bragging about it? My neighbors always notice when the delivery truck that screams “Brand New Stuff!” shows up in front of someone’s house.

Comment by Gina

I couldn’t agree more about the neighbors who “slip in” the cost of their new living room set or private school tuition, like they’re complaining. What they’re really doing is more like flashing their tits, screamin’, “Look what I got! Don’t you wish you had some?”

Comment by simpleminded suburbanite




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