I love my yard.
I love my house too but this time of year the yard is my most happy place. It’s not that it is an especially large or fancy yard. There is grass and flowers and trees, like you would expect, but it’s more than that. It’s our little piece of land. It’s green and alive.
I think this “yard love” must be something that came from my dad. He was the only one of his siblings to leave Philadelphia and haul his family across the Delaware River to New Jersey because he wanted a house in the suburbs. Mostly, I think, he wanted a yard. Growing up in a tiny row home with no outdoor space except the front stoop and the alley between the house and its neighbor may have fueled this desire.
My parents bought their piece of suburbia in 1956. It was a brand new 3 bedroom rancher, costing four thousand dollars secured with a loan from the VA. The lot was a pretty good size but it was bare except for the new sod so dad planted some trees and put in some shrubs under the front windows. We also had blackberry bushes that grew wild along the back. That summer he bought a lawn mower and a grill and invited all his brothers and sisters to come down for a BBQ.
The next year they put up a fence and a shed and a few years later, an above ground pool. My dad worked as a truck driver in the city. This was sweaty, hot work in the summer so every night he would come home, put on his swim suit and dive in that pool before we even sat down to dinner. I like to imagine him floating around, looking up at the blue sky and thinking “Ahh! This is the life.”
I’m channeling that same sentiment when I sit looking out at our yard. I admire how lush and green the grass is and how big the nectarine tree that my husband bought me a few years ago forMother’s Day is getting. I remember all the birthday parties our kids have had out there and how many holiday BBQs we’ve celebrated. It’s my little paradise. My Dad would have loved it too.
We have a family of rabbits that live under our deck. Although, I guess, they feel they have a family of people that live in the house attached to their deck. Whatever. We share space. This family of rabbits has been around for years. At least I assume it’s the same family, just the next generation.Each spring, we start to see the adults in the back yard enjoying their evening meal.
After dinner, we sit out on the deck and even though our yard is not very big (that’s my yard in the banner photo above), they don’t seem to be bothered by us. I guess we’ve reached an understanding. Girl Child always tries to see how close she can get to them before they run away. I don’t think she realizes that the smart little rabbits are teasing her. They let her get just so close before dashing back under the deck.
We will watch them for the next few weeks as the lady rabbit gets fluffier and fluffier until finally I hear the unmistakable sound of my Hubby in the yard using bad words because the rabbits have deposited a new litter of baby bunnies in the middle of the yard. I can’t understand why they have their babies in the grass when they live under the deck? If anyone out there understands bunny behavior can you help me out? Anyway, every year Hubby has to put cones around the rabbit hole so he knows to mow around that area. If you knew how much my husband loves his lawn you would know what a sacrifice this is!
Eventually, the babies get big enough to leave the nest and begin to enjoy the evening meal with momma and poppa. We sit and watch them and coo over how cute they are (except for Hubby who is still grumbling about the hole in his lawn). I never get tired of watching them and the cats like it too. They watch from inside, of course. I look forward to seeing them because I know when they make their appearance Spring has finally arrived.
What sign of Spring do you look forward to most?
Hallelujah! The windows are open! Let’s just take a moment to breathe in the fresh air. I realize that the air here in the suburbs may me a little fresher than it is for those of you who live in the more urban areas but to be fair I live in New Jersey and the air quality in the “Garden State” is sometimes less than perfect. Still, I love being able to turn off the heat and fully enjoy the indoor/out door lifestyle.
Hubby is a winter guy. He melts in the heat so each year we have a running argument about opening windows. Usually, as soon as I get up, all the sashes go up. He tells me I’m “letting in the heat. I tell him I’m “letting out the stuffiness.” Depending on how high the temperature goes that day, I usually get my way.
Seriously, though, there is something truly rejuvenating about a spring breeze, the sound of birds and the smell of the hyacinths. Ahh! Rejoice! The cold dark claustrophobic winter has finally ended! Breathe deeply, my friends!