The Backyard

IMG_0243Growing up here in West Virginia, we were fortunate to be within a couple of hour drive of some of the best camping and outdoor activities that one could hope for but, even with all of those options, a kid just didn’t always get to do all of the camping he or she waned to.  Luckily, another thing that rural USA has going for it (or did when I was a child) is the relative safety of one’s very own backyard.  Oh the adventures we had there.

While today’s busy lifestyles and the youth’s attachment to all things Internet, perhaps the novels of a backyard campin adventure has been lost.  Or, maybe not.

Today, my family lives in a relatively busy sub-division with other families representing all walks of life.  We moved here just under a year ago from a much more rural setting where we had few neighbors to be annoyed by any of the crazy outdoor activities we  enjoyed.  So, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from our new neighbors.  Luckily, this is still West Virginia and these are West Virginians with many of them being lifelong residents that had those same childhood joys.

Homes here in our neighborhood have privacy fences around back yards, decks, a few pools, and lots of dogs that enjoy being walked on the streets in front of the well maintained lawns.  But, upon closer examination, I was pleased to see another commonality among many of these homes – the back yard fire pit. They are used often and that makes me smile.

As our readers know, we are big advocates of the benefits of camping with your children, siblings, and friends and while we hope you will adventure away from the backyard, there is something to be said for bringing some of those adventures to your own home.  If you think that your family relationships are improved by dinner around the dining room table together as a family, try ending the evening with some s’mores created over a wood fire, a few ghost stories, and maybe even a pitched tent within the confines of your picket fence.  You may be amazed by the benefits you will realize.

As we move further into spring toward the summer months and you are waiting for that annual vacation, improve a few evenings or weekends with the smell of a little wood smoke and, if your neighbors don’t have their own fire pit? Invite them over.  If they don’t take you up on it, pity them..  They must not have had any fun as a child.

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