While watching reruns of Desperate Housewives this afternoon while LJ napped and while making lists of things we need to do once we move into our new house, I realized something. Back home (at least the part of NJ that I’m from), it’s common to sit in the front lawn while the kids play. We have backyards as well but front lawns are commonly used as well. The lawns aren’t massive but they are a good size and open enough for the kids to run around and you could sit and watch them play while at the same time keeping an eye on the neighborhood. Also, many houses have porches!
I’ve noticed that although there are front lawns here, they’re not put to use. A lot of the lawns I’ve seen here are just covered with bushes, trees, and rocks – making it nearly impossible for kids to romp around and it also encloses your lawn so you really don’t see what the neighbor is doing. While that may have its benefits for privacy but you also lose out on the sense of community within the neighborhood. I miss sitting out on the front lawn just talking and looking around to see what was new in the neighborhood. I miss playing with LJ on the front lawn and having little chats with neighbors as they passed by. I miss watching the man across the street practice his golf swings from his lawn to several lawns away. I miss making up clever little names for neighbors I couldn’t remember their names but spoke to frequently such as Minivan Man, Angry Arab, Helmut – the weird Russian, etc., as I watched them go about their business in the neighborhood.
At the new house, we’re completely enclosed with huge trees and bushes blocking our view to the outside world and I’m a bit bummed. I need a bit of NJ suburbia here or a bit of Wisteria Lane without the conniving drama.