Fresh Memories Etched in My Mind – A You Capture Edition

Main Entry: fresh

Pronunciation: \ˈfresh\
Function: adjective

(1) : experienced, made, or received newly or anew


I grew up in the late 70’s – early 80’s in an expansive backyard that was the result of being the middle house of a three-home cul-de-sac in West Phoenix. When my mom was looking for homes to buy so she and my dad could re-locate our family of six to Phoenix from Chicago, the yard is what convinced her to buy this house on Yucca St.

I was almost 9-years-old and had just started the 4th grade when we moved. I remember when we drove up to Yucca St. in our green Pontiac station wagon. Us kids ran around that house and through that yard like we had just stumbled into paradise. Oh the space. Our wild spirits unleashed.

My memories of that yard are deeply woven into my soul. Everything that could happen in a large desert backyard with four siblings running loose happened. Chasing lizards, playing softball, kicking soccer balls, swimming, splashing, sliding, fighting, swinging, hiding, celebrating birthdays, graduations and softball’s season end, eating ice-cream and popsicles, yelling, whispering, crying, laughing, tanning, learning, growing, living.

Each August when we visit and the warm monsoon winds blow, the memories flood my being. And I think – I always want this yard to be a part of my life.

Since becoming a mother, I have often wondered what it’s been like for my parents to see that yard gradually quiet down. The toys put away, the pool water still, the curving 1970’s plastic slide into the pool dry. My parents use that yard, sure. It is a part of who they are. They bought one of those porch bench swings that sits under a tree in the far corner of our yard. My mom and dad are soul mates for certain and sitting side-by-side watching the summer lightning crackle against a dark desert sky is a favorite pastime.

Since becoming grandparents, my mom and dad have seen their yard come to life again. If only for a couple of weeks each year. We make the trek to the desert every spring and late summer and just like me and my siblings, my kids are in love with the yard.

When I pulled our mini-van into that familiar cul-de-sac last week for Spring Break, my kids were literally bursting with excitement. The tired crankiness was instantly replaced with renewed energy and laughter.

And before long.

…the yard was alive again.

Fresh memories being made.


Yucca St. Backyard

Claire on a journey to find the perfect place to plant her magical seeds.

Surveying the Soil


Tommy Sweeping

Tommy sweeping the pool deck

The "Cousins"

My girls and Patrick and Nora (their “cousins”)
Two kids of my oldest friend Kath.
Kath and I grew up together in this yard.
And now our kids get to create some memories of their own.

Spring Break Bouncer Fun

Nice stance

I’m not sure anything makes my dad happier than to see
his first granddaughter swing a bat.
My dad was my softball coach for years.
I threw countless pitches in this yard with my dad as my catcher.

Nice swing

Like mama, like daughter

Bringing back the mud puddle

Phoebe and Tommy in the mud puddle they created.
My younger brother, Bill, used to make mud puddles here too.
Grandpa and Phoebe
Grandpa and Phoebe.

My Mom

My mom watching her yard bouncing with life.



Click on over to Beth’s Place for more You Capture posts.

All photos were taken with my iPhone using the Hipstamatic application
that I downloaded on the drive out to Arizona and am now obsessed with.
I love how the images portray that nostalgic 1970’s vibe.


Conversations with my Kid” is back tomorrow after its own Spring Break.
Come link up and play along!

16 Responses to “Fresh Memories Etched in My Mind – A You Capture Edition”

  1. MamaBear says:

    This is an absolutely precious post Lee! THIS is why I blog – to record these kind of memories for my blog books. My kids play in the same yards with the children of my husband's childhood friends. It's a special special thing that we don't take for granted.

    Have a great week!

  2. Jen says:

    You guys look like you had fun!

  3. ohabbyreally says:

    What a lovely post!

    I love the kids playing in the mud!

  4. Mominin says:

    Great post! Looks like a great time!

  5. Julie says:

    HEY I grew up in AZ too! and now I'm back. I love it here! How fun to read that, and I loved how you talked about the backyard quieting down…that was moving. It sounds like my childhood. My parents moved after I got married, so I don't get to visit my old backyard anymore. I wish I could. How fun to see your children enjoy the same space you did. I'm going to follow you now as a fellow Az blogger :).

  6. Julie says:

    okay, so maybe you don't live in Az…I just read it again..but your memories do. good enough for me. 🙂

  7. Amy says:

    I love the story. I love those faces. Reading the post and seeing those photos brought a great big smile to my face.

    Photos of the yard also make me smile. I have fond memories of that yard too!

  8. Ash says:

    Pure joy. Love it!

    And hey, also grew up the center house on a three-house cul-de-sac. Where the fairies reside, don't you know.

    (I'm totally laughing at you not doing conversations with kids last week. The only week I did. Think I'll add a little more to last weeks post and link it – cheating?)

  9. Karen says:

    Now I feel sad that I've never been to that back yard! 🙂
    Love the photo effect – total nostalgic vibe.
    Love the mud puddle – great minds think alike, even when separated by decades!
    Love the joy on Claire's face playing softball.
    Love grandpa cupping that little precious Phoebe face.
    Keep us posted on those magic seeds.

  10. Erin says:

    I love the pictures, but your words? OH MY.

  11. Corinne says:

    Those pictures have me smiling 🙂 Thank you!

  12. Heather of the EO says:

    Oh Lee, these pics are truly amazing. So much nostalgia and fresh new all in one post. Love it.

  13. kath says:

    Oh, my dearest friend. What a post. What a beautiful tribute to a place that holds such warm and happy childhood memories. I, too, have loved that yard. Softball practices, swimming after games, playing "Poseidon Adventure" on that rickety old metal swing set. It reminds me of the MAGIC of my childhood.

    And seeing our kids playing together, just like we did, it makes me cry…beautiful, happy, fortunate tears. I love how our friendship was nourished in that yard. And I love how it nourishes the relationship of our kids, the "cousins." It's life come full circle and a magnificent thing to behold.

    I miss you. My kids miss their cousins. A whole, whole lot.

    Beautifully written (as always).

    Love you 🙂


  14. Elizabeth says:

    What a wonderful post and I, too, adored the photos. I rarely envy the iphone, but I do when I see these Hipstamatic shots — they're awesome!

  15. Laura says:

    Your pictures were beautiful, of course, but your words in this post were lovely.

    What a nice reminiscence of rebirth, here in Spring.

    Come on over for some mom inspiration and encouragement.

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