Outdoor friend; indoor friend
It’s about that time of year when I always have to say a tearful good-bye to a good friend. A friend that I always spend a lot of time with during the warmer months of the year; a friend I know very well and a friend I really cherish when the grass is green and the warm sun is high in the sky.
Of course, I am talking about my friend – the backyard.
When dropping temperatures and time changes come together, it sort of signals the annual parting of ways for me and that patch of land which lies just beyond our kitchen window. Cold weather means the grass doesn’t grow much and the little girls don’t play outside as much in the evenings. Of course, due to the time change, my home-from-work commute typically places me in the driveway about the time the sun drops beyond the western horizon, so I don’t even get a good look at the backyard these days, let alone visit it.
Oh sure, I can still see it on cold weekend mornings, but it’s not the same then. At those times, it’s kind of like the Christmas tree on December 27. It’s still there, and it’s still pretty, but let’s face it, the magic – at least for another year – is gone.
Ah, but that’s what memories are for, right? When (if) winter comes to Oklahoma, the blue chill settles over the yard, the ice and snow covers the landscape and the weed trimmer and I become strangers, that’s when I will reach into the memory banks and remember summer in the backyard.
I will remember sweating through our Labor Day picnic; I will remember eating dust and dandelions while I mowed in the ever-present wind; I will remember filling and refilling my daughter’s inflatable pool and yes, I will remember losing my temper a time or two with that weed trimmer.
Such memories will carry me through while the greenery and warmth of my backyard hibernates until Spring.
But until then?
Until then, there’s another friend I have. I call it "College Basketball Season."