When I was in college a few friends and I went for a walk. It was a beautiful day and we were talking about the future. As college kids do. We were in a neighborhood that had lovely homes. Most of them had to have been one hundred plus years old. Most of the houses were well kept. One common theme for all of these houses was the big front porch. I remember porch swings. And a table with chairs around them. I remember big wicker chairs with comfy cushions. I said to my friends that I could imagine myself living here. What house was their reply? Oh, not a specific house, just a porch was mine. I went on to say you have everything you need---minus the bathroom. Places to sit, relax and visit. A place to eat or enjoy a morning cup of coffee. A big comfy chair for reading. What more could you need?
Now twenty-three years later I still feel the same. I'm not being ridiculous. I know that we live in a state with severe winters. I have not lost my mind. Not completely anyway. I think back to all of the houses I have lived in and all of the porches that I have had. It is where life is happening. You enjoy fresh air. You meet and greet neighbors. Years ago front porches were where you found out all of the news of the town. People would pass by and share good news as well as bad. It's where you get an accurate weather report. Front porches are where you watch your children grow. Games are played on front porches. Problems are talked about and solved on front porches.
Last night there was a terrific sight on my front porch. My husband and my daughter sat watching the severe thunderstorm roll in. There was lightning. And lots of thunder. Even hail. My family is the kind that runs out to see the storm. We're not the family that closes the windows and stays out of the storm. I thought about joining Scott and Gracie on the porch, but Sweet Pea was shivering and shaking from all of the commotion outside. I stayed in to comfort her. I'm glad I did. I got to witness something beautiful between two of my favorite people. I couldn't hear what they were saying, but I have an idea. Maybe we should get the camera? Remember that storm back in...? I'll bet there was counting going on between lightning bolts and thunder. Sweet conversation and laughter between a dad and his daughter. This will be a fond memory for them and for me, too.
I haven't always had a sizable front porch. And the fact is that you don't even need a front porch to have the front porch experience. It can be your driveway, your sun room, your deck. It's that place that feels like home and simply keeps you connected with the rest of the world.
©2011 Ann M. De Broux