I try to keep my ranting to a minimum, but if you excuse me for a moment, I would like to bellow a bit.
I hate, *hate*, that segment of the population that yells at the neighborhood kids to "get off my lawn!" In moving out to suburbia we have pushed our neighbors to arm's length and fenced off our own little pie-slices of territory which we rule like tiny countries. We eat our meals alone and learn so very little about our so-called "community". As adults we are very shy about going into our neighbors' tiny domains without permission. But kids range freely. And they should! They need more space to explore than their own yard. They should get the chance to learn about their neighbors by the yard equivalent of climbing around through the ventilation shafts.
I have seen footprints left in our yard by "nosy" kids, and it makes me glad! I can't even complain about the occasional Yoohoo bottle in the back yard. At least they are exploring. Manners will come later.
Recently I have been baffled by adults who want deeply to make changes in public attitudes about native plants and animals, but who harbor rather sneering attitudes towards other peoples' children. How do they expect to pass their memes along to younger generations? They are missing a glorious opportunity.
We had our weekly Sunday Dinner last night, and had our biggest crowd to date: fourteen people, including three generations and a brand new baby! Our group feels more and more like a tribe. *This* is the way community should be!
The weekend brought some stunning warm weather, and all the kids were out. When two of them came by on bicycles, I encouraged them to practice riding up and down the curb into our front lawn, which I know they can't do at their own homes. Go ahead, kids, tear up the grass! You are far more important than a lawn.