After recently prepping and painting the Henley hacienda's front porch railing, Nancy, my wife, announced that it was time for the porch swing to be repainted as well.

While my spouse prefers that it be painted some shade of dark brown, I do not believe that color is written in stone. One thing is certain, however, is that at some point in the near future the porch swing will no longer be the lime green that it has been since it was last painted over a half of a decade ago in 2013.

Although I have not gone up and down every street here in America's Hometown to confirm my theory, I feel safe in saying there are not many other residences that feature a lime green porch swing. Here in the "hood" lime green is not a dominant color when it comes to exterior items upon which one can sit and swing while watching fireflies blink on a lazy summer's evening.

Having a porch swing that stands out like a sore thumb does have at least one advantage, it has served well as a landmark for anyone who was ever attempting to find our house. Telling someone to look for the house with a lime green porch swing has always seemed more efficient when giving directions than asking a guest to the Henley homestead to be on the lookout for a white house with a black railing and gray steps.

Credit (blame?) for the porch swing's color goes to Nancy and my youngest daughter, Anna, which is a fact that I remembered eight years after the fact.

What I failed to recall was what set of circumstances had combined to give Anna the freedom to select such a gosh-awful color to paint something on the most viewed side of our house. Had we lost a bet of some type? No. Was it intended to be an academic motivational tool? Nope.

Nancy refreshed my memory regarding what had transpired.

"I thought if she was willing to paint the swing it was only fair that she be allowed to select the color," she said.

While I may not have remembered the circumstances surrounding Anna's painting of the porch swing, I vividly recall the day the swing was painted as the day I realized my relationship with my youngest daughter had changed.

As Anna and one of her buddies, Jasmine, were applying paint the activity caught the attention of a passing young man who quickly made it apparent that he was "interested" in one or both of the teenage females. The individual quickly became a pest that the girls wanted to get rid of. At that point Anna made a phone call for assistance, only it wasn't to me, but to Nick, who was either a male friend or a boyfriend at that point in their relationship, I'm not sure which. Anna's choice to call for help that day made me realize I was no longer my "little girl's" primary protector any more.

Hannibal is a town that is full of landmarks. It will soon be losing a neighborhood's insignificant landmark when Nancy decides to repaint our house's porch swing, and I can hardly wait.

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