Monday, April 30, 2012

My Grandma's Backyard

I’d like to introduce you to my Grandma’s backyard.  

Grandma is 90 years old.  She’s almost older than the dirt that nourishes her lovely garden.    

I was over at her place a few weekends back, for her 90th birthday, and as I watched my family enjoying each others company, it occurred to me that this place won’t be here forever.  All of these sights that I am so familiar with will one day be a memory.  This realization made me kind of sad, so I decided to capture her yard with my camera.

The garden.
This small patch on the side of the yard is a testament to Grandma’s green thumb.  As kids, we weren’t allowed anywhere near her garden.  It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that she invited me for a tour.  Already in her 80s by then, that tour of her 10’ by 3’ garden lasted a full fifteen minutes.  But I loved every moment of it. Her garden includes a fig tree and some giant cactus plants.  Figs and cactus?  It seemed so exotic to me when I was a kid.

The clothesline.
As a child, I luuuuuv'd this clothesline.   I wanted desperately to be allowed to play on this contraption.  I would’ve settled for helping to hang the clothes, but alas, I was never granted the opportunity.  This was probably a smart move on her part.

The side yard.
Truthfully, I didn’t even know this existed until I was an adult.  Back when I was a kid, I knew this was where the trashcans were kept, and that was enough for me.  In the big Backyard Tour of ’03, she showed me this area, and I fell in love with it.  I think she cuts the trees back every once in a while, so this picture doesn't do the area justice.

The potted plants.
I don’t know how she is able to keep so many plants alive at one time.  This is a mystery I’ll probably never unlock.

Grandpa's garage.
This place scared me as a kid, and it still scares me as an adult.  As children, we were prohibited from even approaching the steps leading to the garage.  Grandpa was a bit of a tough guy, so the threat of him catching me glancing that way was enough to keep me in my place.  To this day, if I need to get something from in there, I don't linger.

The excavation site.
Now that the great-grandkids have come along, Grandma is much more relaxed about the backyard.  I don’t know how the tradition began, but our boys love to dig the same hole in the same location, every visit.  For years it has been their favorite thing to do when we stop by.

The patio.
And finally, there’s the patio.  This place is the ultimate hangout for the entire family.  Thoughtfully equipped with television, bbq, and Budweiser sign, the vibe of this place says “come and take a load off”.  I can’t tell you how many family pictures I have with this patio as background.

And there you have it, cinder blocks and all.  I know, I know.  It's cluttered, mismatched, and somewhat disheveled.  It'll never make the cover of Home and Garden.  But I don't see the negatives.  This is the backyard of a 90 year old matriarch who loves to garden almost as much as she loves her family.  I see a backyard that is warm and inviting and lush.  A backyard filled with family and love and memories.

This is my Grandma’s backyard.


Rebeccah said...

Very sweet. And such a good idea to capture a place that has so many good memories, rather than just the people themselves!

Tny8 said...

Grandmas have the best gardents =) My grandma had a clothesline too and I'm sure she would've been elated to have us help since we were lazy so-and-sos.

Holly from 300 Pounds Down said...

I love your grandma's backyard!! It takes a lot of effort too to keep the plants and flowers from dying . I am terrible at gardening although I'm trying. I think I could learn a thing or two from your grandma!

NumberWhisperer said...

Rebeccah, my grandma doesn't speak english, so taking pictures of her yard is a lot easier than documenting her stories, lol!

Tny8, don't all grandmas think that about their grandkids?

Holly, thanks for coming over to my blog! I just visited yours too...what a compelling story. And what a BEAUTIFUL family too. :)