When the kids were little we had a Sesame Street book about the four seasons. A few of the pages showed a family’s backyard and how it changed with each season. It also showed the family doing seasonal activities in their backyard. This family happened to have a little pond (to scale about ten feet in diameter!) in which they swam, fished, and ice skated. Not realistic, but so cute.
Of course we read that book about a million times and each time I thought—I want our backyard to be like that someday. Something spoke to me in that little book. Something about making home the place to be. Something about giving family and friends a reason to hang out there. Something in those pictures resonated with me in a way that I didn’t try to analyze but grasped onto. I planted them in my heart and began to be on the lookout for ways to make our backyard a fun place.
This afternoon as Gene (aka Pops), The Grand and myself picked raspberries, and then as we pushed The Grand on the swing I realized we had indeed created that backyard. No trampolines or bouncy houses. But we have woven into the fabric of our backyard fun and interesting things.
We have a magical porch swing (at least to The Grand and I it is. We have flowers to look at and pick. We have the swing and soon Pops will put up the hammock. When the big kids are here for staycation Gene will put up the volleyball net.
The raspberry bushes are a major attraction for The Grand and all the kids. We have a little lake that we kayak on and float around on and just talk. There is the huge evergreen that Kerry played under for all of her childhood and I’m sure The Grand will love it as well. And when you don’t plant a garden (like me) there is plenty of dirt to dig in.
And last but not least is our neighbor, Mark. Mark is like the special attraction in our backyard. When we go outside, The Grand asks, “Mark? Mark?”, looking into his yard for his friend to come and give him a high five.
It’s funny how our dreams come true in ways we don’t expect and when we’re not looking.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.