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Outdoor Play

by Meghann on April 5, 2011

This is what a delicious lunch looks like.


Do you know how I know that? Because I ate it and it was, in fact, delicious. πŸ™‚


The Baked Sweet Potato topped with a Peanut Flour Sauce (PB Flour + Water), PLain Yogurt, Flax Seed, and Raisins was the star. The PB sauce was just thin enough the coat the entire sweet potato and allow the flavors to really sink in. I was soaking up the rest of the sauce with the skin when I got to the bottom, it was an amazing combination of flavors.


I needed something as equally delicious on the side and stumbled upon an almost gone bag of Tostitios in the pantry. Tostitos topped with salsa is always a winner in my head.


Outside Play

Over the weekend my Mom had forwarded an article the struck a nerve with me.

The article (found here) recaps a neighborhood homeowners association’s proposal to ban kids from playing outside in their own yards.


Officials at the Persimmon Place subdivision in Edgewater are pushing a measure to ban kids from outdoor playing in the community, unless they have an adult with them at all times.

The proposal would also ban children from skateboarding, playing games like tag, or using loud toys.

Parents in the community say they play to fight against the plan.

“I think it’s absurd, I mean how can you tell kids you can’t play?”, said resident Magee Pareja.

If the proposal passes, homeowners caught breaking the rules will have to pay a $100 fine.

Granted, I have no knowledge of the neighborhood’s history with the problems children in the area have caused in the past, but banning ‘games like tag, or using loud toys’ sounds like it’s going a bit far.

When I was a kid, from the time I got home from the school to the time the street lamps came on, you would find me outside playing with the neighborhood kids. We played the game ‘500’ in the middle of the street, we held street hockey tournaments in the caul-de-saq, we rode our bikes to Cumberland Farms to stock up on candy bars, and every Friday and Saturday night we spent hours chasing each other around our backyards playing good old fashion games of flashlight tag.

Were we loud and annoying? Probably. Did we block street traffic and get honked at a time or two? You betcha. Did we stay out of trouble? Give or take a bush or two – Yes we did.

We were healthy and active kids and we loved being outside. I hope my kids are the same way someday. With the rise in popularity of video games, the internet, etc isn’t it every parents’ dream to get their kid outside to play? I really wish the article would have gone in more depth on why they would prevent that because the way it’s worded now is just plain sad and definitely not a homeowners association I would want to be a part of.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on that matter.

1 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm

wow with the obesity crisis, these sorts of rules are simply insane! That sweet potato looks delicious, sour cream or greek yogurt is so necessary πŸ™‚

2 mitzi @ my nikon eats food April 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm

what a unique way to eat a sweet potato! unique, and looks pretty awesome tasting!

3 Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope April 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I agree. That is exactly how i spent majority of my childhood, as well…outdoors, playing and using my freakin’ imagination!! And when I said, “Mom, I’m boooreeddd,” she would say, “Use your imagination!!” lmao. thanks, mom!! In all seriousness, though, that is ridiculous!!
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4 Katy @ A Healthy Shot April 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm

That’s absurd! I spent my childhood playing outside from sun-up to sun-down, and I plan for my future kids to do the same. I would definitely not live in a development that had that rule!

5 Holly @ The Runny Egg April 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm

That all sounds so strange — I wonder what the problem was that led to this?

I remember playing outside all the time — going to the park with my sisters alone, going to friends’ houses and playing outside. We never got into too much trouble but I guarantee we were super loud and annoying!
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6 Kacy April 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I definitely agree with you. It’s hard enough to get kids to step away from the TV and video games nowadays so if they’re willing to get outside and get some activity then no one should stop them!
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7 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I lived in the middle of a corn field so any time I wanted to play with “neighbourhood” kids I had to get a ride to their house. I hated that.

8 Vikki April 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm

The only neighborhood kid that I had to play with was my younger brother and if I didn’t play with him, I didn’t play at all. I also lived in the middle of a field, but in my case it was tobacco. (I’m from SC.) Fortunately, my brother was close in age to me. (We’re 19 months apart.)

9 Freya April 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm

That sounds SO good! Woah.
I think that’s a stupid proposal – but I can kindaaa see where they coming from. I don’t agree with it, cos I think – like you say – with the obesity crisis etc, kids need to play. But I suppose insurance costs are rising (at least here) & safety is a huge concern. It’s a shame really that they have to even think about bringing a rule like that in πŸ™
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10 Sarah for Real April 5, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I saw that article too (all the way up here in WA). I grew up on 10 acres so I played outside, but always on our own property.

From the standpoint of neighborhood planning and community building, I think this housing association is heading for disaster. Or maybe they just want to be a 55+ community.

11 Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me April 5, 2011 at 2:01 pm

This is very interesting. I played a lot outside as a child too. But I also lived in an area that had previously didn’t allow children. Therefore, there were hardly any kids and it was a very very quiet neighborhood. We had to always be conscious of disrupting our neighbors.

It’s great for kids to get outside and play fun games. So much better than watching tv and playing video games. Maybe these kids are especially bad? Vandalizing property? I have no idea, haha. But it seems like such a drastic decision for just some normal playing.
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12 Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles April 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Now you have me craving a sweet potato as I sit at work!

13 Krissy @ Shiawase Life April 5, 2011 at 2:09 pm

cul-de-sac is one of my favorite words…yeah, I am weird! πŸ™‚

14 Lucy @ The Sweet Touch April 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm

So sad! I remember playing outside alllll day when I was little. Our moms had to yell, “Dinner!!” and eventually we would come in. Children spend enough time inside as it is, without being banned from even going outside.

I find it weird that I never see kids playing outside. When it snows, the lawns stay perfect and glittery – no one is outside making forts or snowmen. When it’s nice out, no one gets out the sprinkler or plays in the sandbox.

Will be interesting to see the outcome of this…
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15 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun April 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm

And we wonder why kids are spending more time indoors watching TV and playing video games?

That. Is. Ridiculous!
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16 Amanda April 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Oh gosh I was the same way! I can’t imagine not playing capture the flag across neighborhoods all spring and summer! I hope this isn’t some type of trend across the US and they can find a compromise in this neighborhood. As long as they stay out of the street you’d think it would be okay! Oh man to go back to the days of racing my bike to get home before the street lights came on! So fun!

17 Hope April 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Yum! That sweet potato looks yummy! I have never tried a sweet potato with peanut butter. I definitely have to try it!
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18 Ali @ Ali Runs April 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I definitely don’t agree with that. I did not live in a neighborhood (I lived in the boonies), but all of my friends did and we ALWAYS went over there on the weekends and played Manhunt and Kick the Can (both awesome games). I couldn’t imagine that being banned, but definitely think it would have resulted in more tv watching or video game playing. I hope the parents of that neighborhood can fight that battle and win!
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19 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm

That is an interesting flavour combo! I was the same way as you as a kid – I don’t know what my parents would have done if I HADN’T spend to much time outside! I would so LOVE to be a kid again – I think it’s a little ridiculous that they’re considering banning kids from playing outside without parents, but then again like you said, I am not familiar with the neighbourhood.
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20 Jessica @ Domesticated-Bliss April 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I can’t believe that! I was outside 24/7 when I was a kid too and I can’t imagine growing up and not being allowed to play outside πŸ™ I really hope that community stands up against this suggestion from their association. So many American children are overweight and this is a step in the wrong direction!
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21 Michelle April 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Hmmm kinda torn on the kid issue. I think kids should definitely be outside at much as possible. There are too many kids these days with obesity problem (it’s SOOOO sad) or an addiction to video games. That said I see where they are coming from on the parental supervision side of things — there are kids in my neighborhood that play recklessly and without parents watching– and some of them are UNDER the age of 5. Which to me, is ridiculous. My son will be 5 in July and there is just NO WAY I would let him play outside by himself. He still thinks he is invincable! However, they’re really pushing the games/toys thing a little too far! Wonder how long that HOA Board will be in power.
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22 ashley April 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm

what is pb flour? is it like pb2?

23 Meghann April 5, 2011 at 8:49 pm

It’s exactly like PB2. They used to sell it at Trader Joes but I think they discontinued it.

24 Rae April 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm

I agree 100%. We were basically kicked out of the house between mealtimes!! I think all this does is encourage inactive play like video games which ultimatly leads to sedentary teens…bummer. I am so thankful to live in a neighborhood where the kids are out all the time!!
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25 Jess@atasteofconfidence April 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm

We always went by the street lamp rule, too. I think it is perfectly OK for kids to be loud to a certain point, but I am not sure about the safety issue these days in different areas. My childhood neighborhood is definitely not as safe as it used to be.

26 christine April 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm

While I have been known to complain a time or two about the high-pitched, drawn-out shrieks coming from our pool area, this really isn’t okay. The only limit I can see being acceptable would be maybe saying kids under the age of x should be supervised for safety reasons (ie- stay outside with your four year old so they don’t get ran over). Allowing kids to play outside is really a choice that should be left up to parents.
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27 Twirling Girl April 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Wow… that is such a weird idea! I spent the majority of my childhood playing outside too– in fact, I can’t even imagine what I would have done if I COULDN’T have been in my yard! There weren’t packs of kids in my neighborhood, though, it was pretty much just me and my sister, so maybe I’m just missing something.
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28 Victoria April 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm

That sounds ridiculous. And dumb HOA rules were one of the reasons I kind of hated owning our house.

29 Jeni @ stepping out April 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I didn’t live in a very safe neighborhood growing up so if I came right home afterschool my sister and I had to stay inside. When we went over to my grandparents though we would almost always play outside, usually in their huge backyard though.
I would probably supervise my kids anyway, not necessarily watch their every move, but at least know where they are in general so the rule really wouldn’t change what I would do. I don’t agree with it though…seems kind of silly.
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30 Stacey April 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Wow that is crazy and disturbing… I was the same way growing up, always outside or at the pool running around like crazies… but thats what kids do! I’d move.
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31 Leanne@Coffeeandclaptrap April 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm

I totally agree with you Meghann!

My 11 year old nephew can’t be bothered to go out and play because he wants to be on the internet or on his PS3. It makes my heart break especially as we weren’t like that as kids πŸ™

32 Ellie @ The Mommyist April 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I think the HOA is way out of line. Kids need to be out exploring the world and playing, that’s what kids do. There is no reason that kids should be supervised 24 hours a day. Most of us weren’t and we turned out just fine. Kids get hurt sometimes but it’s so rare that anything terrible happens that we just can’t spend our lives worrying about the what ifs. If they are worried about the noise then they should just get over it. Kids are loud sometimes, they always have been.
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33 Roselyn April 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm

OMG that would only perpetuate the obesity problem in our country!!! The one thing I LOVE about our new neighborhood is that kids play outside everyday. I didn’t see this a lot in our old neighborhood (which was in a different state) and it was so refreshing to see that kids still DO go outside to play. We’ve got neighbors who have a basketball hoop in their driveway and yes, they’re loud, but you know what, they need to be out there getting their “wiggles” out! I only now understand the importance of activity for kids after becoming active myself. I know if I need to go out there and sweat it out for my sanity, then kids definitely need to as well.

Community in Edgewater: get a grip! Let the kids play!!
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34 Sana April 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Glad to see that you are still enjoying the peanut flour!!!

35 Meghann April 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Yes I am. πŸ™‚ I’m hoarding it and making it last as long as possible. πŸ™‚

36 Lish April 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm

My HOA has a rule that over a certain number of kids playing in a yard is considered a party. And guess what you need to have a party? Prior approval, and if you don’t have that, $100 fine. Also, kids can’t play in the road at all, not even in the cul-de-sacs, and any game involving a ball MUST be played in the teeny tiny grassy common area. What’s wonderful about that rule is that the parking lot for the community pool is right next to that grassy area… which means your car is almost guaranteed to get a ball dent or broken window most summer days. Want to ride your bike on the sidewalk? Don’t even think about it! That’s against the town law, even for kids. Want a satellite dish on your house? Nope. Unsightly! Seasonal decorations can’t be put up before certain dates and must be taken down by a certain date or else you get fine. The insane list goes on.

I remember as a kid, every house in the cul-de-sac had one of those move-able hoops at the end of the driveway. Kids from the streets who didn’t have a cul-de-sac to play in would come over and it’s just be a mass of sidewalk chalk art, water gun fights, kickball, pretend nascar racing on our bikes in the circle, etc. With all the crazy rules these days, no wonder kids are overweight and addicted to video games. If I had to keep up w/ all the rules or face my parents maybe getting a $100 fine, I’d probably be a shut-in too!

37 Meghann April 5, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Whoa! Too many rules! It’s really sad that that is what our society has been reduced to: pointless rules.

38 River April 5, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Wow, that seems absolutely crazy! I don’t even know how you could make kids playing outside illegal?
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39 Brooke April 5, 2011 at 4:46 pm

No need to capitalize the words “baked sweet potato” or “peanut flour sauce (PB flour + water)” or “plain yogurt” or “flax seed” OR “raisins”! Just sayin’!

40 Meghann April 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I know it doesn’t have to be capitalized, but I like to take creative license and capitalize it for effect

41 Ashley April 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm

And that is why there is a childhood obesity epidemic..that is so ridiculous!!
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42 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Your food combinations never cease to amaze me! That has to be one of the best toppings for a sweet potato πŸ™‚
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43 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife April 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Maybe crime is high in that area? It is true that there are some crazies out there, but play time should be outside in the sun and in nature–not just inside!! Love sweet potatoes!!! πŸ™‚

44 Alexa @ Simple Eats April 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Completely ridiculous. Children are SUPPOSED to go outside and play. They can’t huddle themselves in their rooms all the time. We all know exercise is important, this is a no-brainer!
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45 Kristen April 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Wow, and we wonder why there is a childhood obesity problem in the US. My growing up was pretty much identical to yours, and I think our parents actually kicked us out of the house so we would go play until the street lights came on (that just flooded back a ton of old memories). Kids need that activity. I am an elementary PE teacher and I see every child in my school everyday for at least 30 minutes, and that STILL isn’t enough. And now they are cutting PE programs across the nation. It’s going to be really sad when our kids don’t live as long as we do.
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46 Emily @ Savory and Savage April 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm

That HOA is crazy IMO. Telling people their kids can’t play? Totally nutty.

Your lunch looked great!
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47 Kim @ Kim Lives Healthy April 5, 2011 at 6:20 pm

We used to play outside all day and night, until bedtime! My sisters & I loved playing in the ditches after a storm (well back then they were called ditches, now they’re called bioretention swales or something more official…) – no concern over lightning striking, drowning, or any of the things I’ll worry about for my own kids haha Yes, keeping keeps indoors will keep them away from TPing your house or getting hit by a car, but it’ll also encourage them to spend more time sitting in front of a TV or computer, getting obese and losing social skills!
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48 Courtney April 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm

My jaw dropped when I read that article- how can they ban kids from playing outside?? My fondest memories of childhood (I’m 18 now) were spent playing in the street with my neighbors. If residents don’t want to hear kids on the street, then they should move to a 55+ community!!
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49 Monica C. April 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm

The only thing crazier than that HOA rule is … topping a sweet potato with peanut flour sauce!!!!!! LOL. Meghann, this has got to be one of your more outrageous combinations!!

In fact, I wonder what *you* think are your Top 5 or Top 10 most outrageous food combos? πŸ™‚

50 Meghann April 5, 2011 at 9:02 pm

That would be a hard thing to decide. πŸ™‚

51 Amy* April 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm

The joy of being a kid is running around outside getting stinky! Kids spend so much time inside being bossed around by their parents and teachers. (I’m a teacher, so I can say that.) I really believe they need freedom and independence and time outside with other kids. (Have you ever read the Free Range Kids blog? It’s a good read!)*

52 Meredith April 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm

i think this is terrible! the problem nowadays is that kids do not play outside ENOUGH! they are inside playing video games and watching tv instead of being physically active and developing socialization skills. we should be applauding those children and their parents who send them outside to play.
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53 emily April 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm

this set of rules is ridiculous and sad. as a high school teacher, kids start feeling tremendous pressure to succeed at a very early age. i have students constantly talking about going to the gym and to yoga class after school. i suspect that this is not only because they feel pressure to be fit/attractive, but it also helps them combat stress.

not allowing young kids to play outside is not going to help the childhood obesity problem. it also will not allow these little ones to run around, have a chance to be kids and play fun games, or release stress/extra energy they have as a result of being asked to grow up way too quickly.

54 Julie @ Lettuce Choose Healthy April 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm

not letting kids play.. thats not solving any problems.

what kind of salsa do you eat?
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55 Meghann April 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm

It’s Pace. It was BOGO at Publix

56 Hilary April 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Peanut flour sauce? Interesting! Where does one get peanut flour?
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57 Meghann April 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm

from Trader Joes πŸ™‚

58 Mac April 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I plan on doing everything I can to have my kids be like my sibblings and I when we were young… outdoor ALL DAY LONG! So much more fun then staring at a tv screen or playing on your iphone… come on kids!
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59 Meghann April 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm

That’s my plan too

60 BroccoliHut April 5, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Yummy sweet potato combo! I like mine with cottage cheese, Craisins, & walnuts:)

61 Cristina L April 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm

How crazy is that? I teach 7th and 8th graders and I can outrun 95% of them…that is sad!!!! I know this because I ran with the girls soccer team and I finished a run with the top 4 girls on the team.

62 Sarah April 5, 2011 at 10:21 pm

wow i cannot believe that is actually being considered! My growing up was a lot like yours! I LOVED outside and my neighborhood was FULL of kids.
Not being able to play outside is ridiculous.
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63 Kristin April 5, 2011 at 10:47 pm

That neighborhood probably hears bah humbug all year round.

64 Audrey April 5, 2011 at 10:56 pm

I found this other article on the measure. IT’s kinda short, but it gives one of the reasons for measure. Personally, I think that as long as the children are able to safely play outside, they should be allowed to . However, if these children are making life difficult for the rest of the community, then the HOA does have some rights on this too.

65 Meghann April 6, 2011 at 7:28 am

I understand the HOA has some rights to do that, but it’s really just kids being kids. If anything they should restrict time, like not playing outside past 9:00pm or something. My parents actually left living in a HOA when I was 14 because of rules like these. They moved to a larger property, with no HOA and no one cared if there were 6 cars parked in the driveway at night. (our house looks like a parking lot when everyone is home) It may be unsightly, but to my parents it’s a good thing because it means all their babies are home and that’s all that matters to them.

66 Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food April 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm

This is ridiculous! Some of my best childhood memories are ones that happened when I was playing outside! I cannot even imagine how it would have felt it I wasn’t allowed!! It’s such a contradictory proposal since an emphasis is being placed on combatting childhood obesity!
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67 Lee April 6, 2011 at 7:59 am

Almost every fond memory that I have from being a kid involves being outside. I think that it’s awful not to let kids outside alone. Playing on the internet all day isn’t going to produce any fond memories.
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68 Megan April 6, 2011 at 8:41 am

It’s definitely weird to think that something must have happened from unsupervised children leading to the need of that bill. I’m just curious WHAT it was.
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69 Jena April 6, 2011 at 10:21 am

I’m w/ one of the other commenters, something had to have happened for these measures to be taken. That doesn’t mean I think it’s right. I think it’s absurd. We lived in subdivision way out in the country, but there were quite a few kids there; We also played roller hockey in the street. We roller blade up our neighbhors drive way because it was sloped then roll down across the street and down our drive way. (that probably wasn’t the safest thing). We also would take my friends golf cart, tie a rope to the back, and skateboard/rollerblade down the road behind the golfcart. LOL. That probably wasn’t smart either. We had alots of woods so we built forts, or made trails. WOW, I never realized how much I missed being a kid.
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