I finally finished rebuilding the swing set and monkey bars in the back yard. We originally put them up about five years ago from a kit we bought at one of the big-box home improvement stores.

The odd thing was that the structurally significant pieces were wood covered in a plastic sheath. The set  held up well over the years, considering it has been exposed to the elements day in and day out and has suffered through long Midwest winters.

Finally the crossbeams had taken too much. They sagged with each swoop as the kids played on the swings, and the whole thing was starting to lurch and heave under their weight.

So this spring I took down the swings — the fort section of the play set still appears to be in good condition. The wood inside the plastic sheaths had rotted into a mulch in some areas, and the hardware holding it together was corroded.

I rebuilt the swing and monkey bar frame out of new wood and found new hardware to link it up.

Summer is in full swing.