“Play on swing set?!” (part 1)

Why is it that so many of my posts must come in multiple parts? I haven’t yet begun to write but the task seems daunting, much like the project itself. That’s right, Molly and I realized this year that we had two young kids as well as a 30 by 10 foot piece of yard that was more dirt than anything else. We put one and one together and knew that the only solution was to construct a swing set. We shopped around at Menards, Home Depot, online, and finally came across a Toys R’ Us model that seemed to have everything we were looking for at the best price. It turned out that this happened to be the most popular swing set ever, after calling around to 6 area stores as well as the 1-800 number I wasn’t able to locate one. After waiting a week I tried calling around again with no luck until I reached to Downer’s Grove (Butterfield) store. The nice lady on the phone told me that there were no tickets left for it on display and that the computer said they were sold out, but if I wanted to hold for a minute she would go in back and check the stock. Amazingly they did have one, and she put it on hold for me until I could get there to pick it up!

I thought getting it in the car would be a tight squeeze, but since I had the box dimensions and had measured the car I knew it theoretically should fit. It was tight, but the the assistance of the amazed TRU stock guy “Wow, I didn’t think that was gonna fit in there”, I managed to get it home. This is where the project really began. I had read online that it was common for sets to be missing parts so that evening I set to the task of sorting and taking inventory.


It ended up taking about an hour and a half to organize the wood and about another hour that evening for the hardware. It turned out that we had everything we were supposed to except for 1 #8 3 inch wood screw. I decided it would be easier to pick that up at Home Depot than wait for the company to ship it to me. (I actually discovered at a later time that the company had miscounted the number of #8 2 inch wood screws that would be necessary so I was able to pick those up at the same time.)

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