Photography · Short Stories · Writing

Back Yard Photographer – Grateful For A Patch of Dirt

Weird to take a picture of dirt – I know. As you know, every picture has a story and this is no different.

This particular patch of dirt has gone through quite the evolution. In a way it is reminiscent of the Shel Silverstein book, The Giving Tree. The dirt patch is always ready to do what we ask of it and it gives us so much more.

When my children and I moved into my current house, my youngest was excited about the big play area in the back yard. To a six year old play equipment in their back yard is a big deal. This was a small set with a couple of swings, a climbing area and a little spot for a fort. She was excited every time she went to play in the yard. She didn’t play in the dirt much, but she did love that fort with the swings. This little patch of dirt was the strength beneath the equipment and made for a soft landing if you slipped out of the swing. Trust me – I know.

As my children grew, the need for the play area became less and less. Every once in a while I would see my daughters with their friends sitting on the swings while they discussed the latest crush or the happenings at school. This happened less and less. It became obvious that the play area just wasn’t needed anymore. We tore it down and stored the wooden pieces.

The next great project was to try a vegetable garden. I used some of the wood from the play equipment to mark off the garden by building around the patch of dirt. I thought this was going to be easy – the dirt was already there and all I would need to do is drop in the seeds. I dreamt of the delicious vegetables that we would enjoy from the garden. But, that didn’t happen. The little dirt patch tried. Some of the seeds sprouted, but little critters got to them before we could get any vegetables. I tried this for several years and finally decided no more gardens.

Even when the gardening was done, I didn’t put any grass seed down or try anything to fill in the patch of dirt. I just let it be there. This was not necessarily by design as I hadn’t decided what I wanted to do next. So, the patch of dirt just sat there. I was almost ready to put some sod down to get some grass to grow when I noticed all of the activity in this little patch. Several different types of birds would cool themselves in the dirt. Even rabbits and squirrels found the dirt to be a perfect place to rest. It was about this time that I got my camera and begin taking photos. My new photography hobby began – inspired, in part, by dirt.

But the greatest thing this patch of dirt has brought is a place for me and my grandson to play together. We have spent hours playing in the dirt. We’ve dug a lot of holes, planted many rocks, built roads for pretend cars and made mud pies. We would always be dirty when we were done playing (some times it was more muddy than dirty). This was no big deal because it meant we had had fun (and now we could play with bubbles while he took a bath!).

I now have a granddaughter, who I look forward to spending time with, while playing in the dirt.

So yes, it is just a patch of dirt. But, for me, it is a treasure chest of memories.

Here’s some photos of the fun in the dirt.

Yes, I am grateful for my very special patch of dirt and all the wonderful memories.

Hope you liked this post. Thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog.

All photos are originals by Kim Lawless.

Photography · Writing

Back Yard Photographer – Geranium after the Rain

Love Spring rain! Nature becomes more and more alive with the bright colors and beautiful greens. I need to get back to the walking trails and take in the landscape.

Another wonderful thing about Spring – the mud puddles!! My grandson is about 18 months old, so I’m having lots of fun teaching him how much fun dirt and mud can be. I’m sure this lesson will continue as he needs to learn the fun feeling of squishing mud between your toes and jumping in rain puddles. I’m not sure who will get dirtier – Grandma or Grandson. 🙂

Yes. Spring (rain+dirt+ growing colors+ memories) = Happiness.

Hope you like the photo.

Hope you get the chance to enjoy all the Spring has to offer!

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog!

Photography · Poetry · Writing

New, Old Friend

Original Poem and Photograph by Kim Stites

black and white bench

I saw her every day
while upon my walks.

She sat upon the bench
and never really talked.

I’ve nodded as I walked past
as a greeting, a gesture of hello.

She would glance, but look away
staring at the ground below.

Then one day she startled me
with a simple “Hi”.

I waved as I walked on by.

The next day, she requested that I sit.
Without hesitation, that is what I did.

Since then we chat
nearly every day

I know her children, her grandchildren
and her husband who recently passed away.

We spend our time laughing
As she shares her beautiful memories

I look forward to my walks even more.
As I get to spend time with my new, old friend, whom I adore.

Photography · Short Stories

Back yard Photographer -Sharing Memories

Memories –  reflections of our journey to the person we are today.

My youngest daughter and I walked around my Aunt and Uncle’s farm, taking pictures and enjoying some time together.  She got a little more than she bargained for, as I began to tell stories from my many summer vacations spent at the farm.  She seemed to enjoy my memories as she did ask the occasional question.  It was a good way to spend the day.

Included in this post are several of the pictures and a few of the stories.  I hope you enjoy them.  If nothing else, you got a little break from your day – right?  🙂

This first picture, my cousins and I referred to this building as “the playhouse”.  Whenever my family would visit my Aunt and Uncle, my cousins and I would usually spend time playing house in this building.  We would set up a little kitchen area for cooking mud pies and stick salads.  We also had a living room and a little dining area.  Hours were spent cleaning up and setting up.  It was always a great time.  My daughter commented how small the building is.  I only remember it as being just the right size for spending the afternoon playing and spending time with my cousins.


Every summer, I would get to spend a few weeks on the farm.  Usually I got to help with the chores, which I thought was awesome!  My cousins, I’m sure thought I was a little weird.  Being from the city, I did have chores to do, but those didn’t include feeding cows!  My friends were always jealous when I told them what I did on vacation.  The chores included: feeding the cows, the pigs, the chickens and making sure the barn cats had food as well.  There were times when I got to feed the baby calves with a bottle.  I was surprised with how quickly they drank the milk!  We also helped clean the barn, which meant cleaning up after the cows (I’m sure I don’t need to go into details about that!).  And, I know we might have gotten into a water fight or two.  The below pictures are various angles of the outside of the barn where we would take care of the calves and the cows.


The below are pictures of the various buildings where we would spend time climbing, playing hide and seek or just chasing each other around.  There’s a storage shed, corn crib and hog house (the view is from the inside looking out).  The hogs were fun to watch.  They would dig with their snouts, roll around in the mud and push each other out of the way when it came to feeding time.  Most evenings, after supper we would take the scraps of food out to the hogs.  They would hear us coming and were already pushing each other around when we got there with the food.  It never took them long to finish the scraps. 🙂

The pictures below weren’t taken because of a previous memory.  I just liked how they turned out.

tiresBlue DishDSC_0178

But now, I look at the pictures and I’m reminded of the day I spent taking pictures, being with my family and sharing memories.

Please feel free comment on any of these pictures, or if you have a memory to share.  I would love to hear from you!




black and white rose bud

Sitting in the lawn chair watching the sunset
Seeing the stars come to light
The night sky clear
The moon light bright

Gentle breezes blowing through her hair
She smells the freshness of the night air
So many thoughts racing through her head
To think – This time last year she had wanted to be dead.

Somewhere she had found the strength to fight
To fight the demons that plagued her day and night
Many struggles she had faced
But never alone because of love and grace

Now once again she can be
The woman she thought she would never see.
A woman with energy, strength and a love of life
Sharing herself with her friends and family and the like.

Happy to be here every day.
Wondering how she could have let herself slip away.
Again and again she sees
How wonderful it is – to simply be me.