CommunityNewsPeopleRon Baker

Looking Out My Backdoor

My writing office overlooks our backyard. On the second floor, I can see for miles and miles (except for a few trees that get in my way!). Oh, and then there are the closeup views I have of the back alley, fences and weeds.

When Creedence Clearwater Revival coined the slogan “Looking out my back door” (song released in 1970), I was young enough to be living with my parents. The back door looked out on a nicely kept lawn and garden. Somehow corn stalks crowded the fence and various vegetables lined the garden area. The details were memorable. All was well.

A few years later the “backdoor” looked out on prairie expanse and a low rental yard. I have great memories of that housing unit on 8th Street here in Kindersley. Newly married, we were not flush with money. The backyard was barely a sight to behold. Love was in the air, along with a lot of dust in the harvest season.

Move forward a few years to our house in Regina – the backdoor opening onto a yard with a garden and lawn. What attracted your attention would be the prominent rail tracks just over the fence line and a two story backyard playhouse built in front of a sand pile. Our family of two children was growing and we had two of great attractions for children just out our backdoor.

Settling down a few years later in Prince Albert we had another intriguing backdoor sight. The yard was grassed, a few garden rows were present. Hovering over the yard were large trees and a rickety fence purported to be the boundary to the backyard. Just a short distance past the yard was a park where our children played. A backdoor view was quite lovely!

A return to Kindersley more than 15 years ago placed us on a Crescent where the backdoor looked out on grass, an alleyway, another home and across the way – the hospital. By now our children were grown and away from home. The backdoor was where my wife stood as she surveyed the yard and encouraged my gardening skills. By this time her physical strength was waning, her heart enlarging and her life close to an end. The backdoor was a window into the world but also a boundary not easily crossed.

With my first wife’s death, the backdoor still opened onto new adventures. I remarried and my new wife repainted and remodelled the house. Soon we moved to another house, and then another – with renovation in mind. The backdoors continued to reveal new adventures and sights.

So, as I sit atop the current house (OK, I’m inside on the second floor) the backdoor sight is a work in progress. The yard is rototilled, a lone shed provides a place for garden tools and the back alley fencing is not yet in place. I look further and see trees and their leaves bordering the alley. With a careful eye I can peek out and see harvest fields.

As I look over the years, these are not the sights from a front door – where much of what we call life happens. These backdoor sights carry a bit more calm and a sense of long term firmness.

Need a break from a hectic, frantic life? Look out your backdoor!

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