In the yard

Drew and Kevin make the most of a beautiful July evening. O'Fallon, Illinois, 2004

Drew and Kevin make the most of a beautiful August evening in O’Fallon, Illinois, 2004

“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’ ‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ‘We’re raising boys.'” — Harmon Killebrew

This is a perfect time of year for this quote.  The All-Star break is coming up, and many lawns in warmer regions are getting a bit of heat fatigue.  A lot of parents may be out in the yard playing fungo or catch with their kids who are aspiring athletes.  Now that the spring enthusiasm for having a nice-looking lawn has died down somewhat, maybe we can worry a bit less about tearing up the grass.

But no matter what time of year it is, I think Killebrew’s quote is worth taking to heart for all of us, even if we have no children living at home.  It’s great to garden and work outside, but if it becomes more important than letting people and pets enjoy our yard, it’s time to adjust priorities.

This year, I hope to convince Jeff that it’s just as important to spend time outside sipping tea and relaxing, as it is to mow the grass and edge the lawn and trim the shrubbery.  He simply doesn’t love sitting in a swing and reading as much as I do, but I’d like to have his company out there sometimes.  So I’m going to try to convince him to bring his Kiplinger magazine outside and sit with me some cool evenings before the weather turns cold again.

Killebrew probably grew up seeing the yard as a playing field, a place to have fun. That attitude apparently served him well.  I’m afraid Jeff sees our lawn mostly as something to take care of.  For me, it’s mostly something to sit and enjoy (although I admit that enjoyment is made possible by Jeff’s diligent custodial attitude).  Somewhere between Jeff’s conscientious care-taking and my lazy recreational temperament, there must be a happy medium.

How do you see your lawn and/or garden– as a chore, or a place to enjoy?  Do you spend as much time relaxing outdoors as you do working?  This week or sometime soon, if you are blessed with a cool evening, I hope you will make time to enjoy your home from the outside.

One year ago today:

You wouldn’t be ashamed

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    I love this: “recreational temperament” phrase! I hope you have an enjoyably “recreational” day!

    • Susan, I seem to be stuck with that “recreational temperament” and the Mary Poppins “find the fun” mentality. So I almost always work some fun into every day, no matter how busy. Hope you do too!

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