Life on the Other Side of the Screen Door

by Leigh Walkup

“Ok, ENOUGH, go outside and play!”

Did you ever hear those words when you were little?

I think I spent my entire childhood outside. No one told us what to do once we got outdoors; there was no need to. We were innovative enough to entertain ourselves. I can’t even begin to think of the countless hours that were spent playing kickball, jumping on hay bales, climbing trees, riding my bike, catching crawdads in the creek, looking for tree frogs, swinging on the homemade swing my dad made, etc. Honestly, give me a stick, and I could be entertained for hours. A stick, seriously…A STICK!

My childhood was busy. I wasn’t busy in front of a TV, computers were not even a thought, a phone call was made sitting down because…….wait for it… plugged into the wall. Gasp! If I needed entertainment, it consisted of racing my sister up and down the driveway to see which one was the fastest. That would be her! It consisted of making snowmen, working alongside my dad as he fed cattle, or picking tomatoes with my mother.

It consisted of making homemade french fries with my grandmother or rocking on our southern front porch with my grandfather. It consisted of catching fireflies and playing with my BB gun. It consisted of riding my horses for hours and hours and, get this……….learning how to be quiet.

Learning how to love the things around me. It consisted of me not having to find things to entertain me because I learned how to do that for myself. It wasn’t an iPad, a cell phone, a computer, or a TV. It was me. It was life on the other side of that screen door that taught me so much. It taught me about what really matters and what doesn’t. It taught me to be forever thankful for those experiences. ??

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