Saturday, June 11, 2011

Age restricted communities

I know they are very popular here in Arizona but I don't understand age restricted communities.

I grew up in the Midwest in a neighborhood where residents ranged in age from infant to 80.  As a kid, I benefited greatly from that variety.

The 'elderly' woman next door, who was probably only 60, babysat us while my mom went to work.  She also had the best front porch on the block.  All the neighborhood kids, and there were a slew of them, gathered on her porch when it was too sunny, or too rainy, to play outside.  We put jigsaw puzzles together, learned to tat and crochet, played cards, and just sat drinking lemonade and talking.  It was a magical place.

Having younger kids around meant I had a way to make some pocket money baby sitting.  Having older kids around meant I had someone to show me how to dress to be 'cool'.  If my mom wasn't home, I could go next door or across the street to have a question answered, or to get a cookie.

Of course, that was the benefit to me as a kid.  But as an adult, my life has been enriched by the young people who lived in my neighborhood.  Two of my favorite people in the world were 6 and 8 when I moved into this neighborhood.  Kimberlee and Colten were frequent visitors to my house.  I would not have known them if this had been a restricted neighborhood. 

I don't mind the noise of kids playing or having to watch out for bicycles in the street.  I like having the neighborhood kids come to the house at Halloween.  I don't even mind buying cookies and gift wrap for school fund raisers.

I believe our lives are better for the variety of the people in them.

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