Hello dear friends,
When I moved to Texas from Tennessee a couple of things stood out to me (besides the heat and lack of tall trees)...
Folks seem to prefer wooden fences to hide their backyard and rarely do you see a front porch. Well, that's just not neighborly in my opinion. Back home, the only reason you put a fence up is to keep your animals in or Barney Fife from knowing about your moonshine still. Even then we used chain link fence and would keep the still in an out-building and just tell everyone that it was a fruit cellar. wink wink
Front porches were for socializing, keeping tabs on your neighbors and for naps on summer days. It's where as a kid I'd build pretend Barbie houses for my dolls out of seat cushions, read a book or sit to wait for my prince charming. It's where I would hug my family when seeing them from being away for an extended time, watch for the ice cream truck and dress my little Pekingese up in doll clothes.
Back yards were great as a kid. In the South, kids migrated from one house to the other to play. If we were in the mood to play on a trampoline we'd go to the Bahors' house. If we were in the mood to swing we'd hang out at mine. If kids rode by on their bikes and saw us it wasn't uncommon for them to ride the bike into the backyard and join in. Back yards were safe and full of adventure. We would climb trees, steal tomatoes from the garden, build forts and tell secrets. (Justin is so funny...Jimmy gave me this necklace from the gumball machine...)
During the summer at least one meal during any given day was eaten either on the front porch or in the backyard on a picnic table. Momma would say it's to keep her house clean but I think she liked being outside just as much as we did.
Seems to me that if we had more front porches and un-fenced backyards kids would be happier and healthier. Folks would care about their neighbors more. But, maybe that's just the Southern girl in me talking.
Best wishes and high hopes to everyone,
Jennie and the back-yard playing, front-porch missing Pekes