Welcome to the Great Big Backyard.
This blog was inspired by a recent relocation and househunting trip where we visited potential homes in several middle class neighborhoods. These neighborhoods were generally inhabited by younger families with median incomes. The newer homes we visited featured amazing indoor spaces with lots of accomodations for our media and lots of closets for our stuff. Amazingly, there were no parks, in many cases no sidewalks or street lights, speed limits through the neighborhood were sometimes 35 mph. Yard space was limited by small lot sizes, neighbors houses were "right on top of each other", and grass and gardens were generally unkempt. Even driving through neighborhoods on evenings and weekends, we saw no families outside.
I remember a time when we played outside with a group of neighborhood kids until the sun went down. We walked outside as a family every night after dinner. We sat outside in lawn chairs on the driveway with our neighbors, who we knew and trusted.
I'm not a medical professional, but I truly believe that a lack of outside play contributes to a nationwide epidemic of fatigue, depression and obesity. We need to make a commitment now to improve our family's health and well-being. The good news is, it's simple. Just get outside, play a little, and reap the benefits of some exercise, fresh air, and sunshine.