Hidden walkways and backyard catapults

Saturday afternoon. In the backyard. The kids play while I do a bit of yard work.

I have finished cutting the tiny patch grass in our new yard. I'm on my hands and knees pulling weeds. But hold on...

What's this? There's brick under this grass. I pull up some more.

More brick! Wow! What's is this?

Jane: Dad, do we have any long pieces of wood I can use?

Me: (absently) Sure. There are some old planks stacked over there by the gate. Find one that doesn't have any nails in it.

Jane: Thanks.

She scurries away.

Where was I? Yes! The bricks!

I grab a trowel from my work box. The layer of sod growing on top of the bricks peels away so easily. There's an old walkway under here!

Jane: Dad, do we have any big rocks?

Me: Um... I think there's a cinder block over by the sandbox. Be careful. It's heavy.

How far does this walkway go? I peel back more sod and find the edges. It's at least four feet wide and runs from the side gate to the deck. I pinch weeds and bits of grass from between the cracks.

Jane: Alice? Can you stand over here for a minute?

I sit on my knees and gaze at what I've uncovered. This is really beautiful. If I clean this up, it'll look really smart.

Jane: No, not there. Right there. On the board. (pause) Yes. Right at the end.

Someone put a lot of work into this. I can't believe I didn't see this before. I'm like a landscape archaeologist. 

Jane: Ready, Alice? 

I look up. Jane has created a see-saw using a long plank and cinder block. Alice stands on the low end. Jane is about to jump on the high end from a perch on the deck.

Jane: One... two....

Me: Jane! Don't jump!

The girls stare at me. The sun shines through their curly hair giving them both halos of gold.

Jane: But Daaaaad. It's a catapult.

8 comments:

auntie said...

this made me miss the bricks from my former house. I do hope they don't get covered and forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the zip-line we tried to make at the tree. I seem to remember that a 18 inch long stake did not work so well in our sandy soil to keep the line taught....

Dave Atkinson said...

18 inches? It was a plastic yellow tent peg, maybe six inches at most!

Dave Atkinson said...

Thanks, John, for volunteering to be the first to ride that zip-line...

Sharon Graves said...

Just found you via Movita Beaucoup...love this story, love the blog. Will be back for more! Thinking maybe you could rig up the catapult as some kind of design element next to the brick pathway???

Kim Bee said...

New follower, Movita sent me your way. Glad she did. This made me smile. I also liked the Willow post. So cute.

auntie said...

Hey Dave, you must have picked up on it by now, but movita gave you a blog award. You better get busy and post a whole bunch more stuff because all her gazillion followers will be coming along and she's set the expectation bar pretty high for you.

Oh, and thanks for the link -- oh so long ago to movita's blog -- I still love her too :-)

Dave Atkinson said...

Hey, wowee, new people! Howdy howdy. Nice to see Movita is still engaged in super speed mode.