Magical Backyard by Email

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pink Flowering Tree April 1965

Grampa and Grandma loved color in the garden. From the first buds on the trees and bushes to the marigolds dried on their stems, they loved them all. Each beautiful flower and vegetable was cause for celebration.

Grandma and Grandpa helped to ground our family to the earth with their work in the garden. They lived outdoors from the beginning of spring to the end of fall. In turn they taught their children and then their grandchildren how to bury seeds, tie plants, thin carrots and best of all, how to eat a tomato fresh from the garden and sprinkled with salt. There isn't any better taste. Each September my sister and I would proudly carry bouquets of freshly cut flowers from this garden to our new teachers. 

Connected to the earth. Grounded. Tomatoes with salt. It was hard work. But I miss it. 


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Budding Trees April 1965

This beautiful flowering cherry tree looks much smaller here than it did when my memories of it began. This is 1965 and my strongest memories of the magical backyard begin around 1973. It lived for a long time before it finally had to be removed.

Champ is doing his doggie thing, sniffing the new spring smells. The bare dirt of the gardens awaits the strong hands of my grandparents. It might be interesting to my cousins to see how far back the gardens originally went. Planting these beds was not a  undertaking and we all took part. 


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fire in the Yard April 1967

At first I thought that was a bit of leftover snow in the yard. But it is a fire. I never remember Grampa and Grandma having a bonfire in the backyard. How fun! Wish I had been there. 

It makes sense. 1967 brought a lot of snow. I am sure there were a lot of downed branches and twigs to get rid of before planting time. 


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Grass Peeking Through the Snow March 1967

Grass is beginning to peek through the snow. Soon it will be time to prepare the earth for planting. 

Grampa talked about the first day of  Spring for weeks before it arrived. Perhaps the winter months drove him a little crazy too. 

Grampa's photos never needed editing, but I am a bit addicted to Topaz Adjust . Here is the same photo with a Bold filter:


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Shadows on the Lawn March 1967

Behind the fence is where the garden will be located. To the right will be the vegetables, with the taller flowers behind. To the left will be the shorter flowers. I wonder if the shirt was one of Grampa's work shirts or if it belonged to my Uncle. He has been out there playing. The evidence is in the basketball in the center and the football off to the left in the back. 

The path is well worn from bring food and water to Champ.

Some of Grampa's slides have the time of day in addition to the date. From the shadows of the trees, it appears to be mid to late afternoon. 


Friday, March 29, 2013

March 1967

March saw a tremendous amount of snow in Connecticut in 1967. Grampa took many pictures of the pristine beauty that was the magical backyard. 

If you look very carefully at the center of this photo, you can see my Grandparent's dog, Champ. He lived out in the old chicken coop and only came into the house on rare occasions. I remember my Grandma making the trek out there with his food and water. I was a bit afraid of Champ and looking back it seems unkind to leave a dog outside all the time. I am sure my grandparents loved him and I remember clearly the times when he was allowed to be in the house. He was a very obedient dog. 

This is me in 1978 with Champ. We never had a dog at home and it is pretty clear from my tentative attempt to pet Champ, that I had no idea what I was doing. 


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Snowy Wonderland

Grampa labeled the two images below with the date 3/15/1967. How lucky are we that he labeled almost all of his photos and slides? If you only do one thing with your pictures, whether print or digital, label them with the date and if possible a little who, what, where information. The keepers, who will someday be in charge of preserving your history, will thank you. 

Copyright 1967-Present All Rights Reserved

Although Spring has already arrived, my own backyard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire still has lots of snow where the sun doesn't shine. According to this photo record, March 15, 1967 saw a snowstorm in Bristol, Connecticut. This was just days before the record low of -6 degrees Fahrenheit was set at Bradley International Airport on March 19th of the same year. A few days after this record low was set, Connecticut received 11.1" on the 22nd. In fact, March of 1967 ranks as one of the snowiest for the state with a total received of 33.2"

Copyright 1967-Present All Rights Reserved

I imagine Grampa looking down on this scene of the magical backyard and waiting for spring. He always had a calendar hung in his kitchen on wich he made note of the weather and counted down the time to when he could get back out and work in his garden.

Love you Grampa!

Jennifer, aka Jenny aka Ginny