So.......what's it called where YOU ARE FROM? ----the place where we can sit and relax with a good book or current magazine, a nice glass of lemonade or sweet tea with a big lemon in it. On chillier days, even a cup of hot, strong coffee is delightful on the front or back porch!
Sitting on the front porch, its kind of a given---when neighborhood friends and folks stroll by, you can quietly acknowledge them and it kind of lets them know you'd rather be alone, or you can just be real friendly and invite them on up, to 'sit a spell' and chat about the weather, the progress of the blooming flowers, the mowing of summer lawns, and world events in general. You might even offer them a big glass of frosty limeade from the big pitcher you have sitting out there with you. And isn't it always COLDER and just BETTER, if it is poured from one of those old fashioned freezing cold aluminum pitchers?!
Front porches are wonderful places to decorate in the Fall as well, with bales of straw, bright "punkins", apples, fun scarecrows and the like. And most everybody loves the cheer of twinkling lights, holiday wreaths, and big bows during the winter season. When we had a porch swing, we would be out there in it AT ALL TIMES OF THE YEAR, sometimes bundled into a blanket or two to keep warm.
Sitting in a porch swing and awaiting a big summer storm to blow through has always been a favorite past time for my hubby and myself. Very seldom did it ever get so fierce that it would blow in on us, soak us, and make us retreat inside, although a few times we've seen some scary lightning popping and sizzling around, which made us go in for safety reasons.
Some of my fondest childhood memories are being lulled to sleep in my Ma-Maw's porch swing, while seeing the fireflies blinking in the yard and the clumsy moths noisily throwing themselves into the hot porch light. Old stories would be told, the neighborhood cats would stroll by, on the prowl, and sometimes there would be a soft rain shower. Golden light from inside the house would spill out onto the wood porch floor, and songs on the kitchen radio would drift out--The Oak Ridge Boys, Dolly Parton, maybe some Loretta Lynn.
I prefer older homes with the big sweeping "verandahs" (okay!-porches!!) across the front or even better yet- a big wraparound porch. I love the tall, white, majestic columns of many of the old Southern mansions, and also the sweet gingerbread encrusted porches of the smaller Victorian homes and cottages.
And here in our Lowcountry, nothing beats a screened in porch during the spring and summer, when those darn "skeeters" become aggressive! If you have a screened in porch, you can STILL sit out there and enjoy the night sounds on a hot summer evening, and watch the moon rise, discuss the day's events, and relax before bedtime.
I love hanging baskets of blossoms on front porches! And Boston ferns! (below, spotted at the market last week)
(below, colorful chairs at the Food Lion grocery--waiting to be purchased and taken to someone's front porch!
During the warm months when our children were small, many games of checkers were played with our son and our little girl carted her baby dolls and baby bed and play stroller out there. We usually had our dessert out there as well, with a big peice of chocolate pie being my favorite!
Fourth of July on the front porch always meant we'd gather back on that old front porch after the towns fireworks show----for watermelon, ice cream, and sparklers for the little ones. There would be twinkling stars, sweaty children, and the smell of geraniums and sulphur in the inky night air.
So it seems to me that back in 'the good 'ole days'--that nearly all homes, both large and small, had a front porch. Folks would gather there in the morning for coffee and the newspaper, and how many of us have seen our Grandma's busily spapping beans there on hot summer days? And of course in the evenings when folks are just 'plum tuckerd out' they arrive on their front porch, often with a book in hand, to rest and to capture some welcome breezes on a hot summer night. Remember Andy, Opie, and Aunt Bee sitting out on their North Carolina porch on summer evenings?
(above---now THATS A PORCH! or two, or three, or FOUR?!)
But sometime, seems to me in the very early 60s---a thing called a 'PATIO' began popping up on the backs of surburban homes. And folks became interested in using back yard grills to cook up a platter of cheeseburgers and hot dogs, and they put their lawn chairs, and themselves, out on their new and 'modern' patios. Then came the 80s and men began building big platforms, commonly called the 'backyard deck', onto the backs of their homes. Alot of them even had multi levels, and some of them were quite elaborate.
Now, I love grilling out hamburgers just as much as anybody, but it seems to me that when everybody retreated to the privacy of their backyard patios-----an enjoyable and important part of the front porch era has seemed to vanish. I dont have anything against privacy, patios, or the backyard 'deck', but I sure do miss the neighborly feel of sitting on your front porch and having folks you know walk by and holler "howdy y'all!"
How 'bout y'all? What are YOUR porch memories? Did you hand crank ice cream out there? Play croquet on the front lawn? Chase lightning bugs on sweaty summer nights? Hunt for Easter eggs in the spring shrubbery? Pose for your Prom pictures in a tux or corsage?
"See y'all later-I'm off to do some 'Porch Sittin'"!!!