When The House of Nuts packed up its belongings, and carried them down the street and around the corner to The New House - literally: arm loads of kitchen essentials, random bits and pieces including the Christmas Tree, were walked from one house to the other - snow lay thick on the ground and winter had barely begun its sojourn in Sohoe.
Visible from the kitchen of the New House, there stood in the backyard a Play Structure. It was a great wooden and yellow plastic sign of hope that winter would not endure forever and that little boys would one day be able to live out their adventures in the wide open spaces more conducive to grown up sanity. And truly it did happen. Snow melted, skies warmed and blued, sun shone, and all was well, for little boys adventured for hours on the swings and slides and climbing bars of The Play Structure. It became the centre of their boyish games, the refuge of their dreamings, the focus of all their fun.
And then Mike came along. Mike* used to live in this house and he promised his little girl that one day he would take The Play Structure... the source of our every happiness... to their New House. When he came to collect his mail all through the winter, he would tell us, "I'll come by sometime to take that down." When he was here to repair the hall tile in the spring, he reminded us that any day now he would find the time to dismantle and move it. In the warming summer weather, he would stop by to see how things are going, and talk in his usual way about getting around to doing something about it. We did our usual smile-and-nod response, but confidently assured each other that he would never find the time, realize that his beautiful new house in the country didn't need it, or that is was more trouble than it was worth, and that Peanuts One through Five were going to be enjoying The Play Structure for a long time to come.
It was not to be. On Friday, July 1, 2011 (Canada Day, official start of Summer, Day Two of Summer Holidays) Mike drove his truck into our backyard and three men began to take our Centre of Boyish Games, Refuge of Dreamings, Focus of Fun - apart, piece by piece. And drove it away, leaving in it's place a great big empty.
He knew he would get around to it one day. But surely this was not that day?
*We call him Mike because.... because... that is his name.