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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y is for Yard

We always had dirt and weeds growing in the yard when I was a kid.  Any grass sprouted up by accident.  Once we moved to town when I was about fifteen, we had a regular house with grass in the yard, but the grass would be knee-high before anyone bothered to mow it.

I probably mentioned that Rosenberg Mamaw had a big garden, as well as the peach tree; fig trees, paper-shell pecan trees, a black walnut tree and a mulberry tree, but we always bought 50-pound bags of potatoes and onions and bushels of peaches at the fruit stands.  Everything was in big quantities and very cheap at those stands.

This is the closest thing I could find on the net to resemble my grandmother's house

When I think about her pretty yard all kinds of things come to mind from my childhood.  We would climb the mulberry tree when we got the chance and sit up there and eat the berries.  They were wonderful, long, purple, and sweet.  We never got away with this though because we always came down with purple hands and stains around our lips and on our clothes.

This is what berry juice does to your hands

The paper shell pecans, on the opposite side of the house from the garden, were enormous and wonderful shade trees.  The lower branches dipped down and touched the ground in places.  It was all molten leaves under there because it was too shady for grass to grow.  We would also find many pecans that fell off the trees.  We gathered these pecans, as well as picking some.  Daddy would take us down to the park by the Brazos River, so we could sell them by the coffee can full to cars that would stop.  There were more pecan trees down there at the river.  It was always tempting to eat them as we went because they were very easy to crack.

Pecan Tree

Several pink crepe myrtle trees grew in a line along the fence on that same side of the house.  The trees were loaded with lacy blossoms that looked pretty during spring and summer.

Rosenberg Mamaw loved figs.  She had about four or five fig trees on the highway side of the house.  She would use them to cook with and to eat.  She probably also canned them.

 Fig tree from Wikipedia

Sometimes I would get a crazy hair and mix up concoctions for my siblings to eat or drink.  I put figs in chocolate milk one time.  My sister, Thea, said after that she couldn’t stand figs anymore.

In the front corner next to the fence was a black walnut tree.  Those nuts were very hard to crack, so we generally left them alone.  Mamaw was happy about that because she used them in her baking.

Now that I’m grown, I try to keep a nice yard filled with flowers in the summer time.  Trying to grow grass is a constant battle with the heat.  Living in the desert takes its toll on everything that needs a lot of water; so many people leave their yards in a natural desert landscape except for right around their houses.  Actually, the desert landscape is very pretty in areas.  I took this pic behind my house.

Taken on the trail behind my house


  1. Wow, selling coffee cans full of pecans. What an interesting life you're leading. Loved this post!
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

    1. Debi,

      Thanks for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Yes, we would do anything, just about, to make a few extra dollars.


  2. My mom had a crepe myrtle in our yard when I was a teenager. Every picture we took involved the words, "Stand in front of the crepe myrtle!" We've always had a yard with grass...I think I take that for granted. But, yes, mowing it is a royal pain.

    1. Stephanie,

      I love crepe myrtle trees. We have them here in the desert too, but they are very small and don''t bloom as long as they do in the south where they flourish. The flowers are so beautiful. I'm sure that's why your mom wanted you to stand in front of it for photos.

      Yes, grass can be a pain to mow, but it's nice to have grass.


  3. It really is true that the grass in someone else's garden always looks greener .... the sound of pecan trees and crepe myrtle are so exotic to me :) and the dessert looks amazing ...

    1. Fil,

      I think that's a true statement about the grass being greener. Everything flourishs in the south, so that's why the plants sound exotic. They have enough humidity there so plants thrive.

      The desert is prettier than you think. I just wish it ddn't have its extemes. I also hate getting shocked all the time because it's so dry, but maybe I drag my feet and don't realize it.



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