What better way to recollect my childhood backyard behind the apartment building that raised me than to sit on my own porch today with my laptop, looking out into the full backyard that I "play" in today.
In my life after college, I've never missed a beat living with a full backyard. I am blessed and grateful for this. I watched my one set of grandchildren, Noah and James, play two days ago on the ground, tumbling, running, jumping, and laughing in the soft, green, sweet-smelling odor of dirt and grass!! Also, nothing can beat lying on your back and looking up into the big, blue sky, feeling and being a real part of the green earth. Lawns can never be underrated!
In May of 1965, the year I graduated from high school, I wrote an essay about My Backyard for English class. I had forgotten about some of these backyard memories I wrote about, and the essay helped me remember. I guess my backyard left an impression on me even into my high school days when the yard was vacated as a playground and traded for teenage tanning and Kodak photos.
I have alluded to my backyard in my post about The Clothes Line. The lines became the basis for huge tents out of blankets and clothespins besides being where the weekly wash hung. My yard also became a sandy beach when I wanted it to become one. The tide that came in was the slow descent of the sun behind a large tree that cast a shadow. The yard also became a ballroom where my partner, the hoola hoop, and I danced and twirled under the bright sun and breezy evenings. Countless tag games took place with neighborhood kids. I remember playing here and around the neighborhood in the summer evening, becoming sweaty and thirsty for water that tasted "Oh, so good!"
There was also a low point in the middle of the yard that became my caldron filled with a mixture of sour lettuce, mud, and green onion tops from the garden behind the white cement bricks that kept the raised garden from the grass. It was sometimes my job to plant the umpteen onion bulbs every year. There were also rose bushes, tulips, daffodils, and many other plants. Next to our yard was the property where Mrs. White lived with her sister. She had sweet smelling lily-of-the-valley plants galore. Bright, fragrant, fuscia four o'clocks grew by the back concrete steps which was a good place to sit and think or cry and wish.
Winter days were filled with heavy snows that led to snowball fights with my brother Richard and his friends. The snow was so high, we could build tunnels, caves, and forts.
As I write about my apartment home so far, I am realizing that I had praiseworthy, outdoor memories of the building on 6th Avenue. This leads me to my next and final part of my childhood home--the ten family apartments and the basement.