PLAYING OUT DOORS

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Spring apple blossoms 003
Looking at spring blossoms today with a blustery winter storm going on in Michigan is probably pretty disgusting to the people that are busy surviving the typical Febuary storms. When I go on Facebook or Twitter and see the pictures I wince, and hope that all of my friends and family are safe. I try not to brag about our beautiful weather here in Florida because I still remember what it is like to live in the north in the winter. Visions of all of the clothes that we piled on, the extra scarves and the fur lined boots if we were lucky still fill my memories. I am remembering all of the wet mittens, coats, hats and scarves draped all over the registers, and the smell of them as they dried. When my kids were young we used bread wrappers both in and out of the boots trying to keep them from leaking. It was difficult to get things dried before it was time to go outside again.
And yet we did go outside. And when we didn’t have to go to school we loved playing outdoors. Snowmen decorated our yard and we made forts out of the many snow balls that we rolled into larger spheres. We made them large enough so we could even stand in the fort, and we covered the tops with branches or blankets. Then we would call the fort our club, and have meetings. Sometimes our mothers would give us cookies to have a picnic.
We went sliding, and ice skating. My dad would use a hose and make a pond for us in our back yard early in the winter and we would have all the neighborhood kids over for a great time. There was usually an ice pond at our neighborhood school but we had to walk about 6 blocks to it. Some of my cousins had a long steep hill right behind their house and we would go there on Sundays after church.
It was a long time ago, and it was a simpler time. Thinking about it now makes me realize just how much things have changed. I rarely see children playing outside just for the sheer joy of it as we always did. My mother never called me in until it was almost dark in the summertime. We didn’t own a lot of equipment, we were really lucky if we had a bike. Most of us had wagons tho, which we had plenty of use for.
This has turned into a look backward into time, and for a lot of us that is probably a good thing. We have a lot to be grateful for, the memories of a simpler childhood, playing outdoors, very little organized events of any kind, other than school, Sunday school, and church, but we sure had a lot of fun playing outdoors.
As the Beatles would sing, “Those were the days, my friends, those were the days.”

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