This post is in response to the WordPress one-word daily prompt: Border
I’ve said before many times in this blog that I grew up in a wonderful neighborhood. It was kid haven. The neighbors all knew each other and were friendly to one another. When a neighbor became ill or had to be hospitalized, I remember someone would always take up a collection for flowers. Food would be carried to the family of the sick. The kids in the neighborhood for the most part all got along well and we played outside from morning to well after dark. Our parents had to call us in for dinner and after dinner, we’d head back outside to catch lightning bugs or play a game of flashlight tag or Ghosts in the Graveyard. This was the 60s and 70s and you could not keep us inside. There were no cell phones or Internet or social media back in those days. I have such fond memories of that neighborhood and the people who lived there. We used our imaginations to come up with things to do. We rode bikes, we went swimming, we played in sprinklers in the hose, we roller skated, we climbed trees, we organized neighborhood kickball, softball and tether ball games. I could go on and on.
Since all the neighbors knew each other and were on friendly terms, we took turns playing at different houses. We had the run of the neighborhood and often ran freely through the backyards to get to a buddy’s house. We sat on neighbor’s front porches at night or in backyard lawn chairs under Japanese lanterns. On the 4th of July, we pooled neighborhood fireworks and often had picnics.
In the blink of an eye, it seems I grew up and went off to college. All the neighborhood parents grew older, we kids (now grown) started getting married and going our own separate ways. Our parents passed away and houses went up for sale. It seemed for a long while, there were no kids in that neighborhood, only elderly people. But younger families started moving in and with those younger families came the privacy fences and chain link fences. Borders.
Gone were the days when neighbors collected money for other sick neighbors or moms talked at the clothesline. What is a clothesline you say?
Gone were the days of children running through backyards to get to a neighbor’s house.
It seems everyone has a fence now. Instead of getting to know their neighbors, it seems people only want their privacy. People have their jobs and careers and lead their own busy lives and there’s not much time to socialize with neighbors. I feel sad for the kids who don’t know what it’s like to run free through yards without borders. Those really were the good ole days.