Slice of Life: The Backyard

(this is part of Slice of Life with Two Writing Teachers)

We had some visitors over to our house for a gathering of our families. We were just finishing up dinner of grilled meat and salad on our deck when one of them noted how much he likes our backyard.There were five kids scrambling around the place, with us shouting out our mantra of: “Put down that stick. You’re going to hurt someone” to apparent kids-with-short-term-memory-loss because we had to keep saying it over and over again.

It’s funny, though, how sometimes it takes another person’s view to remember why you like something. When our visitor said that, I looked at our backyard. I do like it. It has a short fence to keep the kids (and the dogs) in (mostly) and it’s a good size for small games of ball.  Whiffle ball is best. There’s a maple tree that continues to grow like its on some Mother Earth steroids, almost to the point that we are getting a bit worried about the tree’s size, and a small vegetable garden that my wife tends, fighting the good fight against the onslaught of weeds. I remove myself from that action, since I can’t stand dealing with weeds. A rope swing on the maple tree is a place for the boys to gather and play. Or squabble, depending on the day or the hour.

I was out there in our backyard yesterday, mowing, and thinking about a neighbor down the street who does not mow at all. He and his wife let the flowers and weeds take over, so that their property is a pretty interesting mix of all sorts of growth. During the height of flowers season, their space is a canvas of color, and a field of bees. I was wondering about why we mow our yards. Who was the first person to do that? Oh well. I do like the look of it when I am done with the cutting. The trimmed grass makes me want to grab a baseball and toss it around.

Yeah, I like the yard. It’s home.

Peace (on the deck),

  1. Backyards are our most famous places aren’t they! Your story brought my own memories of a gooey mulberry tree, a swing that was always tipping over and sliding down brown grass hills on cardboard.

  2. Our surroundings sometimes get taken for granted don’t they as we live our “daily” lives. So glad that you gave a gentle reminder to Just Be.

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