Why #OutdoorFamilies Matter

I haven’t been able to get this tweet out of my head since I read it this morning:


This is why I get off the couch when it’s cold and snowy.

This is why I’m outside in the yard even though the house is a mess.

This is why I pack up the camper over and over all summer long–even though I have a perfectly nice home (that probably needs cleaning).

It’s all about the memories. 

In an article titled “Sharing Memories as Gifts: Treasures to Last a Lifetime” published by Outdoor Families Magazine, Suzanne Solsona gets at this issue of memories when she asks,

Without thinking too much about it: What is your most vivid, cherished memory of childhood? Your teenage years? As an adult?

She argues that those memories are related to what we did–not what we had. I’d go one step further and say that many of my own most vivid memories were about what I did outside. Like the tweet above suggests, when I think of my favorite memories, they aren’t of television or movies (even though I’m a major fan of both). They aren’t about things I did inside at all. Instead, I remember…

  • Reading a book by the campfire with my parents on Foote Pond.
  • Sleeping on the Lake Huron beach as a teenager (admittedly not all that comfortable).
  • Hiking with my son to the top of his namesake mountain–only to realize he’d fallen asleep on the way.
  • Seeing amazement on my sons’ faces when they first saw Mt. Rushmore.
  • Getting swept up in my kids’ glee as they flew down snow-covered hill on their sleds.

These are the things I remember–and the things I hope my sons remember, too. These memories are the reason my family is an #OutdoorFamily.


What are your reasons for getting outdoors? Are you an #outdoorfamily–or aspiring to be? 



The Soundtrack of Your Life: TGBOL 2.3

What follows is my newest chapter in The Great Book of Lists. Thank you to La duchesse d’Erat for this excellent challenge.

This week, we are going to dip into a dimension we haven’t written about yet : music !
But we’re not going to write about any music. We’re going to write about the music themes and songs that are engraved in our dearest memories that can evoke a memory faster than anything else, or make you feel good and giddy. What music is so intertwined with your life and personality that you can play it in your head without actually hearing it? What musical pieces remind you of a particular time in your life like it was yesterday?

The Great Book of Lists 2.3: The Soundtrack of My Life

This has been my favorite list to create so far. I could have added at least another fifty songs, but I tried to really think about the music I’d choose as the soundtrack to a slideshow of my life.

1. Kenny Rogers “The Gambler”
When I was young, a restaurant near my house had jukeboxes at every table. I begged my parents for quarters so I could sing this song at the top of my lungs. (And yes, I can still sing every word of it!)

2. Simon & Garfunkel
I grew up listening to Simon and Garfunkel songs with my parents, and I continue to be a fan. I couldn’t choose just one song, so this is a medley of hits.

3. Survivor “Eye of the Tiger”
My high school mascot was the tiger, so this song was played at EVERY event during those years.

4. Roxette “She’s Got the Look”
This became my rock climbing song. I’d get nervous before climbing, but hearing this put those nerves to rest. I don’t climb as much as I used to these days, but this song gives me that confidence boost when I need it.

5. Harry Connick Jr. “Wink & a Smile”
This is the first song my husband and I danced to at our wedding reception. It’s from the soundtrack of one of my favorite movies, Sleepless in Seattle.

6. Dido “Thank You”
This is “our song,” the one that I always think of when my husband comes to mind.

7. Jason Aldean “Big Green Tractor”
This song reminds me of my sons. They were both tractor fans when they were young and sang this song with little-boy gusto!

8. “The Gummy Bear Song”
Admittedly, this is one of the most annoying songs I’ve ever heard, but my son loves it. I can’t hear it without smiling—and then plugging my ears!


Your turn! What songs would you choose for the soundtrack of your life? Join us in the Great Book of Lists challenge and share your music memories!