from party yard back to play yard once again

Having lived in my home for more than 20 years I’ve learned you need to clean the closets and add a fresh coat of paint every once and awhile. Since the June weather was somewhat cool, my husband and I decided it was time to “freshen up” the backyard and trim a few trees. This type of project is not one we take lightly as we have over an acre to deal with, but we thought trimming the trees and adding a few new plants would be relatively easy and inexpensive. We are funny….

Over the years our backyard has hosted weddings, birthday parties, church barbecues and an occasional school fundraiser. We’ve also held team parties, graduation swimfests and many, many weekend cookouts and pool parties. The yard has been a sandbox and ball field then converted to a putting green and sports court. Now that the youngest has moved out and a grandkid comes to visit, we have put the fence back around the pool and decided a sandbox would be nice.

Because our house was flooded last spring due to an unusually hard rain, we also knew we needed to tackle the drainage system in the backyard. And that, my friend, is when the project grew. Turns out some of our favorite trees have done well. Branches grew high into the sky while the root system has wound their way around the yard and created plenty of havoc in our drain pipes. So up comes the grass, bushes and concrete as we follow the roots in our effort to prepared for the next big rainfall.

On top of all this digging, my husband decides it would be a great idea to go through the attic. Maybe the kids will wants some of this stuff, he said. HA!


Old trophies, ET sheets on a twin mattress, camping gear from the 70s, even a beautiful wooden bassinet made especially for one of my boys (okay, I’ll admit it… I don’t remember which one) is not on my kids’ radar. And the piles grow. The kids go off to college and you pack their stuff away. They come back with more stuff and move (hopefully) into their first apartment. Do they take any of this stuff with them? Of course not. Pottery Barn is on their radar. Patagonia is on their radar. And William Sonoma is on their radar. I don’t know what it will be when your kids are grown, but I am pretty positive they will not like any of the stuff you have now.

Which leads me to my “stuff.” As I sort through an assortment of candle holders, bamboo paper plates, iced tea containers, tons of salt and pepper shakers, and several seasonal decorations, I wonder…. “What happened to those party days I used to have?” I find myself thinking I need another sandbox (okay, half a sandbox as my young grandson loves to dig AND play putt-putt golf) and realize the party days are behind me. Watching grandkids and grandpuppies are in my future now.

My sister assures me that once I let go and allow/make my kids throw the holiday parties, I will really enjoy it. So how do baby boomers counter-act this new lifestyle in the meantime? Well, we renovate our homes, our yards and our lives. As I look at my torn up acreage, the piles of “stuff” lined up in my garage, and the beginnings of a new sandbox for the grandkids, I think to myself…I’m just going to rent a house in Lake Tahoe for 10 days  (south shore with a boat dock and near the casinos) , invite our good friend (another empty-nester with lots of stuff) and maybe, just maybe, the ‘kids” can come…. but only for the weekend. They still have yearbooks, stuffed animals, iguana habitats, books and trophies to go through.

I’ll post pics of the new backyard. My brother-in-law deserves a lot of credit for his creative ideas.


One Response to “from party yard back to play yard once again”

  1. Carol Rock Says:

    Never. I repeat, N-E-V-E-R say your party throwing days are over. Your house will not forgive you. Walk thru your backyard and look around – remember who did what – and where- and when – and got away with it? Do you really want to close that book when there are new chapters to be written?

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