Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Little Backyard Nostalgia

Last night, I wrote a blog column and mentioned that I would write about yesterday's activities today. Those activities included a trip to the store, grilled burgers, corn on the cob, and Bean Bag Toss. However, before I go any further, there is something I need to explain...

I'm 45. Lisa is almost 51. We were brought up pretty much the same way. As kids and teens, we were not allowed to sit in the house stagnant for any length of time

Unless of course we were sick or injured or it was storming.

It didn't matter what season it was. We spent a considerable amount of time outside playing. During the winter months, we'd go sledding or skiing or ice skating. During the warm weather months we played baseball and soccer in the yard. We spent a lot of time at the lake swimming. We'd go up north and hike. We'd set up games in the backyard like badminton, volleyball, croquet, bean bag toss, etc. We rode our bikes around the block until the streetlights came on.

When we visited our grandparents, we'd build forts in the woods and help out in the vegetable gardens. Or, we'd spend the day swimming and water skiing and knee boarding. 

None of our parents allowed us to sit inside glued to the TV or video games. In fact, our TV, Intellivision, and Atari time was greatly limited. 

I'll even go a step further. When our parents planned special family days or weekend getaways or week long vacations, none of those plans included TV time, movies, or other indoor activities. 

Because of our upbringing, Lisa and I both enjoy spending as much time as we can outdoors. As adults, our work life puts a big dent in that. However, we make the best of it. Especially on the weekends or Lisa's vacation time. 

Over the Memorial Day 3-day weekend, Lisa and I went across the street to join our neighbor friends who have become family for a backyard fire, outdoor games, cocktails, and snacks. We had a great time. 

During the evening's festivities, we played Light Up Bean Bag toss. It was my first time playing, but not June's or Lisa's first time. 

After a lot of the guests left and the games were put away, we bantered back and forth about having a competition of outdoor games the following day and on weekends. 

Yesterday, Lisa ran a couple of errands. While she was gone, June informed me that she couldn't find her backyard games. Lisa and I were empty handed too because we've never purchased any.

Moments later, Lisa arrived home. She asked if we were going to have our outdoor game tournament. I told her no and why.

"That's not acceptable. I need to kidnap June so we can go and purchase some outdoor games."

My face lit up.

"That would be really awesome and it would make her day."

Lisa called June and got the ball rolling. I told Lisa to invite her over for dinner. Grilled burgers. Corn on the cob. Salad. 

It. Was. A. Go. 

I stayed home and prepped dinner while Lisa and June shopped for outdoor games. They picked up glow Bean Bag Toss and Ladder Ball.

Game. On.

June arrived dressed in full armor. Bandanna. Sword. We feasted on a scrumptious dinner. A few adult beverages may have been involved. Then, we headed to the backyard to play Bean Bag Toss.

We bet on a trip to the ice cream stand next weekend.

I could not be outdone by June's armor. In complete desperation, I grabbed our table runner and wrapped that around my head as a makeshift bandanna. Then, I put a couple of tie backs on my glasses.

I was totally rockin' it Egyptian style.

For the next couple of hours, we played Bean Bag Toss. We felt like kids again. Playing in the backyard. Joking around. Lots of laughs.  

Eventually, our SoulSista joined us.

June had her phone because she wanted to take a few pictures. Lisa took a photo with my camera of June trying to figure out how to take a selfie of her and I armored.

This coming weekend, we have plans on breaking out the Ladder Toss. 

We. Can't. Wait.

After June left and we took the kids out, Lisa and I were bouncing around with nostalgic excitement. We talked about getting a badminton set or setting up the yard for horseshoes. 

I loved seeing the look of excitement on Lisa's face. I loved sharing that same excitement. 

I have gained quite a bit of knowledge over our 3-day weekend...

Outdoor games and those who enjoy playing them still exist.

Embrace the fine art of spontaneity. 

Not all parents are raising and supporting "indoor generation" kids and teens and young adults nor are they supporting parents who do. 

Those parents are really cool and we've thoroughly enjoyed meeting them and having conversations with them. They actually made eye contact and had real conversations with us. And their kids played outdoor games with us and laughed and had fun.

Those kids/teens had respect for their elders whether it be their parents, their friend's parents, or those like Lisa and myself. 

Keeping things simple and "down to Earth" rocks. 

There are people who respect us as Dog Moms and listen to our trials and tribulations.

And, they'll happily make Lisa a Peanut Butter Cup S'mores while I'm competing in a game of Glow Bean Bag Toss.

The list goes on...

But one thing is for certain...

There will be a lot more outdoor games during the warm weather months ahead.

The grill will be fired up for a quick dinner.

We're building a backyard fire pit. 

Our neighbor friends who have become family are welcomed.

We'll be accepting more invites for the same.

I've already cleared space for extra bags of marshmallows, boxes of graham crackers, and Hershey bars and peanut butter cups in our snack and baking cupboards.

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