When Joe and I began house hunting one item on our wish list was a big backyard. I grew up with a huge yard where all the neighborhood kids came to play and Joe grew up with no yard at all. We wanted room to play and entertain and sit together. We wanted to see children we had yet to even have, twirling and shouting and laughing together. We wanted space to call our own after living in the crowded city, where outdoor space was virtually nil. I distinctly remember the moment we walked out onto the deck of this house, that I thought was a wee bit too small, and looked out at the backyard. Joe just glanced over at me and with that look we knew we had found it. This was the yard for us. We'd make the house work. I initially thought I'd do all kinds of gardening and landscaping but quickly realized I really just don't enjoy it. I planted sunflowers one year, all along the fence and was so diligent about going out to water my little sprouts. Until the tragic morning I came out to find every last seedling nibbled down to the ground. And then I thought I'd do a wildflower garden. Unfortunately Joe didn't get the concept and mowed the whole patch down before any of the flowers had a chance to bloom. So my landscaping is now relegated to pots on my deck; far away from nibbling wildlife and Joe's heavy hand with the lawnmower. But even without all the fancy flowers and well planned landscapes our yard is a joy. I love sitting out on my deck, tea in hand, before any of the kids are awake. I have spied hawks, herons (which I stupidly thought was a peacock the first time I saw one flying overhead), swans, deer, foxes, turkeys, rabbits and of course we can't forget the coyotes. I remember waking our first Christmas Eve here to find the yard blanketed in snow and it was enchanting. Like a scene from the Nutcracker. Goofing around in the snow with Cosmo it felt like we were all alone in the world. Playsets, bicycles, playhouses and slides now decorate our yard and the delight we get just from watching our little ones playing is more than I ever dreamed it would be. Family and friends are frequent visitors and I love that we need so much seating. The screenhouse is the perfect spot both on a hot summer afternoon and a cool fall evening to sit with Joe and feel like we've gone on vacation. The expanse and woods on all sides gives the illusion that we're out in the middle of the wilderness.
Sometimes when I'm trying to rearrange our belongings to make them fit in our cozy little home I wish we went for a big grand house with closets and bedrooms and storage galore. And then I gaze out over my big backyard and realize I've got all the space we need.