Friday, June 20, 2008

I have the prettiest place in the country.

My parents subscribe to a magazine with a standing feature called "Prettiest Place in the Country." It showcases farmsteads that are beautifully landscaped, often with gorgeous water features, elaborate flower beds, stately gazebos and lush lawns.

My backyard would never qualify for the magazine feature. Nonetheless, I think I'm the one with the prettiest place, and for reasons that wouldn't meet anyone else's standards. Here's why:

  • There are holes throughout the yard. That's where Addy dug up worms to add to her collection. The collection, by the way, is an ice cream bucket that sits as a permanent yard ornament over by the rhubarb patch.
  • Dirt paths are worn into the grass under each swing and the trapeze bar — a sign the swingset is well utilized. And we've only lived here four months.
  • The clothesline dips low in the middle, so low that clothes hang on the ground as they dry unless I prop it up with a metal bar. I thought about fixing it, but then Dori wouldn't be able to reach. For some reason hanging clothes on the line is the girls' idea of a good time and — don't tell them — it's mine, too.
  • A plastic sword lies in wait near the big pine. I'm a pacifist when it comes to children's toys (and only children's toys). While I don't allow my own kids to own these fake weapons, this one came from the boys one house over and is a sign that our yard is the neighborhood place to be. I like it that way.
  • Four odd flip flops grace the grass near the slide, telling me the girls found something interesting outside to distract them.
  • The pear tree has a gnarly stub toward the bottom where a branch broke off. Apparently some little boys in the neighborhood came over while we weren't home and climbed the dwarf tree, snapping off the branch. The old man next door scared them away, then his wife called us later to report their shenanigans. I'm just glad the kids found something interesting in the tree. And I hope it was fun.

My backyard may never appear in a magazine, but it's beautiful to me.

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