Monday, May 02, 2016

Saying good bye to our playground and where it’s living now...

Friday, the week I had 2 observation days. When was that? You know... the Friday that I found out Prince had died. That day. What was the date? Hold on let me go and check. April 22nd, 2016, was the date. Anyway that was the date set to dismantle our great big American jungle gym/playground and give it to a new family. Noboru's coworker (who is the same age as Noboru but with just new kids, seems there are many people having babies in their 40's now days? no judgment it's just to give you a visual and to let ya know... the guy and his family aren't like 29, let's put it that way) Anyways back to the story, our kids went to school. Bran and Noah did go outside and take a look and last pictures of their playground before they went to school that morning. It was gray and cloudy that day. No rain just cloudy. 

The extra/spare swing, never used. The instructions and touch up paint.

Premium playground. It is. And says right here for ages, 3-11. Branden is 14, will be 15 at the end of October this year. And Noah will be 11 this July. So yes, sad but most definitely an age appropriate time to let it go. 

Noboru quickly took apart a piece of our fence because he said he didn't want to carry the jungle gym near the side of our house and hit our house on accident. So this was safer. 

His coworker came. And I went outside and greeted him and then I came back inside. They very quickly started taking it apart. Like 2 fast moving ants taking it apart. 

He had rented a truck for 12 hours to carry the playground back to his home.

I meanwhile cleaned the kitchen like crazy. I think it was just nerves. The finality of the jungle gym going away. So, some people stress eat, that's not me. I however stress clean. Hahaha. So clean I did. I started going after the windowsils in the kitchen. Yes I know, this is stove/kitchen cleaner. But, I have a huge amount of this and refill it into this spray bottle and so, I used this that day for the kitchen windowsils. I wiped and wiped.  

Aha, you see tiles here, so you know this is a different windowsil. I went after every windowsil in my kitchen that morning. 

It was this windowsil. I bleached the green counters because I love the smell of bleach plus it disinfects. It just smells so clean to me. 

I cleaned, I scrubbed, I wiped, I bleached. I mopped the kitchen floors. I wiped down the kitchen table. Noburu's coworker even mentioned loudly, "your wife could possibly be busier inside, than we are outside" Hahaha. That was true. We all laughed. Again...it was just my nerves. and knowing I would be saying good-bye to our jungle gym Yes, it was the right thing to do. But still, sort of sad you know. The end of an era.

And then it was just 1 piece left standing and then no pieces standing. While the floors quickly dried with all the windows and patio sliding window open, I turned on the oven and took out the homemade peanut butter cookie dough out of the fridge and finished up the cookie baking. I wanted Noah to take a fresh cookie for his observation day, the following day. I also wanted to bring out a fresh batch of homemade from scratch cookies and some iced tea for Noboru and his coworker. 

I brought them out 2 freshly baked still warm cookies each. They really appreciated it. And it made me feel nice, to be able to do that. 

And now it was completely dismantled and just laying in the backyard. And I started to have like this "slideshow of memory's" fill my mind. Looking back. Remembering. Remembering all the joy this playground had given to my 2 sons and our family throughout the years and now it would be... no more. So yeah, I was flash backing... to all the smiles my boys had on the playground. All the good times.
Noah sliding down the slide.

The most kindest... sweetest... happy smile.

Oh how they'd wake up on weekends and get dressed and spend the entire day outside on our playground. Hi Noah!

Noah going head first. Be careful, I'd say...

Noah went down head first...but super slowly and he had a nice soft landing. 
Two brothers in their backyard just having fun. Water filled in the rice fields down below. And it was just... peace of mind knowing I could see my boys outside in the backyard while I was cooking dinner or setting the table for a BBQ. It was again just peace of mind... knowing they were within eye sight and in our enclosed locked fenced in backyard. 

There goes Bran headfirst on the slide. He started this whole head first trend at our house. 
12 o' clock, noon lunch time but the boys asked to eat their lunch on their beloved jungle gym. There they were...just eating their grilled cheese sandwich. And just shooting the breeze... chit chatting with each other. All the fun times, they had on this! : )
All the happy squeals and giggles. All the laughter.

And yes, even all the cheesy poses! But bottom line...just little kids... being little innocent kids!

Everyone in our housing community called our house..." our last name koen" Basically in English it's like saying..."Berkley park" Or Anderson park. Everyone started calling it that. My kids friends. We never called it that ourselves. But everyone would joke and say..."oh so and so lives near "Our Last Name Park"...And yes, you have to have a pretty big yard to house something this big... because if you know.. how actually big this is...you'll know the space you need for this. This was not some puny teeny tiny little playground, this was a big one. : ) 

I remember this one...the boys would roll their soccer balls down the slide. This was their game they invented. They would do this often when they were that age. : ) 
If you are an "old school" reader of my blog, you'll remember this one. Branden was at school. Noah was outside playing but he got lonely. Keep in mind at this age...I had...but he hadn't yet seen Castaway with Tom Hanks. So this was his own original idea, he came up with, all by himself. Noah put the basketball in the baby swing. To be his "friend" while Branden was at school. I had the screen door open on the patio and I could hear the conversation from the kitchen because our street is so quiet. I was quietly cracking up inside the house hearing what Noah was talking about. 

Noah said sweetly, "would you like me to push you?" He asked..."yes?" Okay. 

"Here you go", Noah said. I'm in the house thinking...gosh what a sweetheart! Who clearly misses his brother! So much so..."he's made himself a basketball friend!" Hahaha. : ) 
Yay, another day and they could play together. 

Hi BrannyMcB.

Hi Noah with one gardening glove on one hand, hahaha!

Monkey bar fun! The other side had a rock climbing wall too.

And a wickedly cool tire swing.

When you're a little boy, it's almost required to do cheesy comic book super hero... type poses as you slide down! "Up up and away" Bran used to say. Because in his young innocent mind, he was FLYING. Aww. : ) 

Sliding down together. Oh the smiles, these 2 brothers had!

Love you guys! And thank you... jungle gym/playground for being with our family for all these years. The joy you have given to our family. You'll never know. How much we appreciated having you! : )
So yeah... like a slide show of memories filled my mind. And they meanwhile loaded it up and locked and tied everything down with that bright orange rope. I went outside and told them "goodbye." And said in Japanese "I hope it won't be too much trouble putting it back together again" Yes, I have been in Japan long enough to know... that's a good manner thing to say. And he said reassuring me.. "no it shouldn't be any trouble at all" and said "thank you for passing it on" his 2 sons are so eager to be getting this today and they can't wait. Oh good good, I said. : ) I then quickly ran upstairs to take a few pics. 

And then it was going going gone. And don't laugh but...with tear filled eyes, I snapped this picture and said..."thank you for being with my boys when they were little and thank for being with us all these years and I *hope* that new family appreciates you and loves you, the way we did, good bye" 

I took one more picture... this one. And I said..."this is the last time you'll ever be on our street again." "Good bye....thank you!" I could barely see now... with all the tears in my eyes. : ( Yes I am a dork. I know that. I wiped my eyes. And I went downstairs and had a coffee and called it a day cleaning wise. I took an hour break and then I started in on some dinner prep before the boys got off school. When the boys got home... they both just stood in the backyard and stared at the empty space... where their jungle gym used to stand. And I tried to give them the reassuring pep talk and said..."now the jungle gym has new kids to love it and play with it." I had asked Noboru one thing. To take a picture of it... when it gets set up in it's new home. That way I'd have a visual in my head for memory. 
He sent me this when they were mid way building it. Their yard is much smaller than ours, which is totally fine, no worries as long as it fits. And I see the smaller slide is now on their concrete patio on the left hand side of this picture. I did try to crop them out, as best I could. That is the mom's arm and her 2-3 year old son near that stump of a tree farthest right of this pic, their faces aren't shown but you see some limbs. The jungle gym now has 2 new little boys... age 2-3 and age 6 months. So 2 boys. He said the older boy (age 2 or 3) was so excited. Kept asking, when he could play on it. So, I know in my heart and in my mind... this was 100% the right thing to do. Our playground gets a new family and 2 new young kids to love it and play on it... all over again. It's better to get a 2nd home and be loved and played with every day, then to sit here in our backyard being ignored now that our 2 boys are too big for it now. Yes it is bittersweet... but again...it was the right thing to do. And it was time. I'm sharing this picture with you today, because so many of you have been sharing my family's and my life, cheering us on and reading and watching my kids grow up... via this blog and now you can have a visual too...of where our playground ended up. A new loving family has it now. : )

Anything new to add? It's Golden Week for us in Japan, right now. My kids have school today/Monday and then don't go back to school until this Friday. So they're off Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, this week.  Anything else? The 4 of us are going bowling this evening. Noah gets out today at 1pm and Bran gets out today at 1:30pm. So, I'd say... by 2:30pm-3pm we will already be at the bowling alley today. Anything else? We have been doing so much yard work in the backyard. All this past weekend. Any last minute info to add? I have an appointment for a hair color this Friday at my hair salon. At 2pm. Noboru will be home at 2:30pm so he'll be able to pick up the kids from school, while I am finishing up at the salon or on my way home. It's just a hair color. So it shouldn't take too long, in fact, I may even make it home before Noboru and the kids do (Noah gets off this Friday at 3:45pm and Bran 4pm, so I may just be home, before they get home this Friday). : )