the above picture shows bella and alex reading in the neighbor's jungle gym, probably on a weekend we were house or dog sitting. this custom-made but simple play structure was in place when we moved in and still stands today, fifteen years later (and soon to be four families) later.
a few houses down the way a family built an extravagant play structure for their two girls that included swings and slides and climbing walls and i don't believe it has seen a fraction of attention this home-made, two weekend playset has provided. i promise you i've studied the architecture of this modest structure many times over the last decade from my kitchen window wondering what makes it so magical and why so many kids enjoy its simple trappings. i'm at a loss as to why but it has given me pause in other areas of my life when extravagant answers have been suggested or requested to a need because that simple playset has taught me to question the american notion of size and expense being the answer to each and every need.
( 2008 )