Dear old, worn-in porch swing,

Thank you.

Thank you for all the memories that you allowed me to make when I was growing up. I can still remember sitting out in the backyard swinging back and forth considering all of the things I could do with my day. To my left sat the old swing set that lifted on the one side if I swung too high and also the old sandbox made out of a tractor tire. To my right hung the old clothes line that sagged just a little too low from all the forts that my sisters and I made on it. However, my most favorite thing to do while outside with you was sit with my mom and listen to her sing, “Mommy loves you.”

Thank you for being there for me when times seemed too big for me to understand. I sat with you many times not knowing what was going on in the house, or wanting to know, for that matter. Old friend, you taught me how it was okay to walk away from things that made me upset and how it was okay to take time to just be by myself.

You also taught me that it is okay to slow things down once in a while. Life doesn’t have to go as fast as the cars on the nearby highway. It is okay to take a breath every once in a while and take time for me. I can be selfish; I don’t constantly have to have a task to do.

Thank you for teaching me how life really is. Life isn’t some fantasy that I get to make up. There are problems that I will have to go through each and every day. I can learn to face them or let them build into something bigger than they really are or are meant to be. With that, it is better to face things first than letting them grow into a huge mess no matter how hard they may seem to be.

Most importantly, thank you for squeaky chains, as they were the music to my mom’s song. For being the background in all (okay most) of our first day of school pictures or any picture for that matter. For being the one that I could come to when I needed to be alone. For sitting and listening to the rain with me. For letting me read copious amounts of books with you and take the occasional nap. Also, for teaching me things that most people will never know.

Just thank you, old friend. Thank you for being there. You are one of my best memories from the “shack” and I hope one day that I have a daughter of my own who I can share these memories with. I hope she will be able to learn the same lessons that you taught me on a porch swing of her own.


A now semi “grown up” version of me

Rachel Rutt

My name is Rachel Rutt and I am from Minden, Nebraska. Currently, I am living in Omaha pursing my BSN with a minor in public health at Clarkson College. Before that, I went to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for three years and was a member of Kappa Delta. I aspire to be a pediatric nurse once I finish my degree at Clarkson. Also, I love anything that involves books, coffee, wine, or dogs.