Mixsonian Larry

Our Yard

The yard was quite barren when we first moved in with the front mostly grass with  two trees, a single live oak tree that was only about ten feet tall and a Formosa tree which Dad planted.  Across the front of the house were shrubbery.  The backyard was all grass with a twenty-foot clothesline that had a tall T shaped pipe at each end with four wires strung between them. As I got taller and could reach the clothesline, I would help mom hang or take down the laundry, sometimes in hurry to beat an afternoon shower.  I always loved the smell of fresh dried sheets, playing between them as they hung on the line blowing in the wind.

Dad, having grown up in the country on the farm, had quite a green thumb and from the time we first moved in he was always working on the yard, the grass, and the many flower beds he put in around the house.  Dad worked endlessly on the grass, fertilizing, cutting, watering, and pulling weeds in which my brother, sister and I would be called upon to help as a chore to get our 10¢ a week allowance.  I think I got the brunt of the weed pulling since my sister was a girl and my brother was almost two years younger.  Dad would show us what the weeds looked like and how to pull them and he would say, “Make sure you get the roots.”  Sixty some years later my sister was visiting me and as we stepped into the front yard of my house and as I bent down and pulled up a weed my sister said, “Make sure you get the roots.”  Some lessons we never forget.

Poinsettias behind Mom and Dad

Dad for many years planted petunias on the south side of the house. These were not the dwarf ones you get now but full size ones that would grow two or three feet high. In the fall when they were dying off Dad would have David and I pull them all up. I never liked this for it was hot and dirty work and you would often pull up a plant and its roots would be full of ants which we would get all over us. Later Dad planted poinsettias that each year would grow eight feet tall and would turn red around Christmas time if a freeze didn't get them first.  Dad could grow things big like the six foot tall giant elephant ears that he grew under shade from a red oak tree that stood in the back of the neighbor’s yard.  Under the shade of the same tree was the swing set that we had at the house before we moved.  I remember spending many hours playing on the swing set with my brother, sister and other neighborhood kids.  Sliding down the slide, seeing how high we could go in the swings or just climbing on it.

Soon after moving in Dad brought home a large wooden box which he made into a playhouse for us kids.  The chemistry department where Dad worked had got a large piece of new equipment that came in a wood box that was around five feet square which dad then brought home using the chemistry department’s pickup truck.  Dad reassembled the box in the back corner of the yard, cutting holes for a couple of windows and a door and then painting it the same red color as the house.  We kids spent many hours playing in it.  I remember one time when I was six or seven, I was in the playhouse with the girl from next door who was my age and we played “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” but neither of us would show first.

Some more memories:

Updated: 03-11-2024