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When life gives you lemons, make a tire swing

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. In theory, life gets good when the semester ends because there is a lull in responsibilities at my full time job. It’s just like in theory, the weekends are awesome because you have time to do stuff, but the more I turn into an adult, the more that “stuff” is “frantically doing laundry, changing the bird feeder, steam cleaning the carpet, changing the oil, paying the bills, mowing the lawn, and feeling behind on every other responsibility.”

I finished the semester, and then immediately had surgery, and when I came out of that fog (have I come out of that fog? Too bad, it’s time to get back to life!) realized that I had mountains of responsibilities that had built up, and have been trying to catch up.

One of those things is my soccer mom van. A few months ago, the passenger side sliding door broke. “Hey kids, guess what? Twenty years ago, all vans had only one sliding door, let’s pretend we’re time travelers!” I’ll be taking it in to the dealer next week because even though being time travelers is fun, all the trash has migrated to that side of the back seat where I can’t get to it, and it’s threatening to swallow us whole.

The van also didn’t pass inspection earlier in the month because of crappy tires and even crappier brakes. I had 30 days to get that taken care of, so on day 28, I took it in to Walmart to get the tires done. I asked for a breakdown of the costs, and noticed that there was a $3 recycling fee for the old tires.

“So wait, I’m paying you to take away an entire childhood worth of fun?” I didn’t ask that out loud, because the lady looked kind of grumpy and it’s not really her job to decide what I think is fun, but I did in my head. I opted to take one of the old tires. I wish I had opted to take both, because now I really want to make a planter out of tires. Can you imagine, strawberries spilling over the side? Next time. Anyway, I saved a buck fifty.

I could have gone super frugal and used dental floss or whatever to hang the tire swing, but I did that with an earlier swing we got, and the ropes frayed after just one season, so I bought a strap from Amazon that is guaranteed to last at least a few years. So I didn’t really save a dollar fifty in the end, as the net cost was about $11.50.

Eleven dollars and fifty cents for hours and hours of amazing fun! I drilled holes in the bottom of the tire so it wouldn’t hold water, made Sonya hold the ladder while I climbed to the best branch I could find, and put it together. The kids love it. Pretty soon we’re going to have an entire amusement park in our front yard. Hey, the more I can get kids to grind chips into the dirt outside, the less I have to vacuum up crushed chips from the living room carpet.

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