O is for… #atozchallenge


Please stop reading this.

Off. Like the insect repellent. But not. Though, where we go, Off might be required. Because where we go is off the hook! (slang for awesome, if you’re not up to date on 8 year old slang)

When life gets crazy, as it often does when you’re stuck in the house with the same people for days on end, it’s time to get out,  unplug, unwind, and go off the grid.

It’s drug free. It’s all natural. Organic.
There’s no wi-fi. It’s not scent free, either.

It’s outside.

When the boys have nothing better to do than bug, irk, annoy, irritate and sit on each other, out they go. Out there, the possibilities are endless.

  • Climb trees
  • Splash in the creek (they found $20 splashing back there once)
  • Dig in the dirt
  • Hunt lions
  • Explore the rainforest
  • Slay dragons

Outside is where the sports happen, too. A game of catch. A 2 player baseball game. Soccer. Frisbee golf. If it’s summertime there will be trampolining. This is just the backyard.

If we’re ambitious, you’ll find us on our bikes. Lucky Bang gets to ride in the “chariot” (the bike trailer). Unfortunately, Crash outgrew his last bike, so he now needs a new one. Before he outgrew it we’d normally ride about four miles. He amazingly did 8 one day.

Attitudes change when we’re outside. Like a 9th inning, game winning homerun, happiness reigns. Smiles rule. Excitment overflows. It might be the fresh air. That highly oxygenated outside air is so much richer than that stale, motionless indoor brand. Maybe it’s the sunshine. A common side effect of elevated vitamin D levels causes euphoria, silliness, laughter and cartwheels.

There’s another reason people outside are significantly happier than the indoor species. Dirt. It’s not just dirty, it’s healthy. Don’t be afraid of the word bacteria. Like humans, there are good ones and bad ones. The good ones help a neighbor or digest food. The bad ones don’t use a turn signal or cause diarrhea.

Recent research shows that Mycobacterium vaccae, a bacteria found in soil, has been found to trigger the release of seratonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety. ~HealingLandscapes.org

Like I said, stop reading this. Go outside, get dirty, breathe in that fresh air, soak in the vitamin D and get happy!

We’ll meetcha in the yard!


17 thoughts on “O is for… #atozchallenge

    • Lucky for us it doesn’t get that hot here in Canada. If we get a heat wave it might reach the mid the upper 90’s. But it feels even hotter when you’re used to upper 80’s. We stay slathered in SPF 60 all summer. But right now is the ideal temps! 😀


  1. Yeah, having a balance between inside and outside is vital. Personally I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to thinking like camping or hiking — the bugs, for example. But I love seeing blue sky and trees and getting the chance to walk on grass. I couldn’t ever live in a big city!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My son gets cabin fever if he’s cooped up for too long inside. He loves to run around outside. In an apartment complex, it’s a little tough, but luckily ours is gated and enclosed so he can run around and see the fountains to his hearts content. Looking forward to owning a house with a backyard!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a nice big backyard for running. It’s shared between our duplex and 4 others, but all the kids use it and have a great time playing. Kids in general love being outside. It’s good for them! Glad yours can run safely 🙂


  3. I absolutely loved this, Eric. I’m a fan of O (the g-rated and PG-13 versions).
    Some days I work from home, and when I can’t take the corporate junk any longer, I throw the ear piece for my phone and listen to the teleconference while I weed flower beds. It helps keep my mouth shut and releases the serotonin of which you speak. I’m a firm believer in dirt and the great outdoors. Thank you for this today. 🙂


    • Which is why I allow the boys to play in the dirt too. I wish I would have taken a picture of Bang this afternoon. He played in a very muddy mud puddle with his snow shovel. Everything he had on went straight to the wash. Thanks for stopping by! Glsd you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

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  5. We had to raise our boys in a sadly sterile suburb (there’s something for S!), but we made a point of taking them to places to get dirty (and letting them dig holes all over the back yard). Totally agree that OUT is the place to be 😀 Fantasizing about being out and on the trail for weeks at a time once retirement kicks in and the nest empties.

    Rebecca at The Ninja Librarian


    • Ahh.. on the trail for weeks with no kids would be beautiful! Not to wish away our years, but come on retirement! Good for you for letting your kids get dirty, even if it did require making a trip to slightly less sterile place 🙂


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