When I go to visit my grandchildren, their parents are so cautious that they don't go out the front door. They even have a special lock installed, that even I have to struggle to open. So many fears of children being abducted from their own front yard!
How different that is from sixty years ago when I was a child! I don't remember our doors ever being locked, except at night or when we left the house, and I certainly was not restricted from going outside. We didn't even have a fence in the front or back yard.
Regal Horned Lizard, aka the Arizona Horned Toad Photo: Creative Commons
There were so many interesting things to do outside - hunting horned toads, digging in the dirt, playing make-believe with the neighborhood children. No TV or video games for most of us. Our imaginations allowed us to make up our own games.
And when I was old enough to ride a bike, I could go just about anywhere in the neighborhood. If we got thirsty while playing, there was always a water hose from which to get a drink. Bottled water? That idea would have been absurd!
Photo: Jim Harmer, sponsored by Hose
My mother had a job in an office downtown, and from the time I was about ten years old I was allowed to walk to the bus stop at the corner of my street and ride downtown by myself. When I got there and reported in, I was allowed to visit the local stores, including my favorite - the five and dime.
Or there were two movie theaters downtown where I could go to watch the latest movie hit, like "The Sound of Music" or "Gone With the Wind." Such fond memories of those days and so many other activities that we were allowed to participate in. ￼￼
￼It's sad that those free times are gone for our children and grandchildren. But the world we live in is such a different place now, and I certainly understand the locked doors and surveillance cameras that now are found on so many houses.