Wednesday, September 26, 2018
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A little front porch sittin’

Front porches were a necessary extension of homes in the days before air conditioning. Many people screened in the area and used the space for sleeping during the summer, taking advantage of the cool night air.

Now porches are more of a showcase spot, a transitional space between outside and inside.

There are all kinds of porches. There’s the covered porch, the screened porch, the farmer’s porch, the sun porch. If you want to get fancy, you can have a verandah, a portico or a piazza.

It really doesn’t matter what you call it. What matters is what you do there and who you share it with.

I have a lovely second-story deck on the back side of my house that provides serenity overlooking the Sandhills. It’s a great place to unwind from the busy-ness of the day. But it’s not a porch.

I also have a covered stoop on the front side of my house. It’s small, although it does offer a bit of protection for anyone coming in or going out the front door. But it’s also not a porch.

Across the street-—now that’s a porch.

The neighbors have a full-length covered porch with a pair of rockers and a couple of tall seats separated by a table. It’s on the north side of their home facing the street, so it’s a perfect place to sip a cold drink on a warm summer evening.

My husband and I spend a fair amount of time on the neighbors’ porch. We’ve come to realize the laundry, the weeds, even supper can wait while we discuss the dealings of the day with our dear friends.

We sit and we talk and sometimes we even sing. When we get up to leave an hour or so later, we all feel as if we’ve solved the world’s problems for just one day.

How long has it been since you’ve plopped yourself on a front porch, yours or a neighbor’s? Think you’re too busy for a little impromptu downtime with friends? Think again.

It doesn’t even take an hour a day to flush the frustrations and build the bonds for a happier, more peaceful life.

I hope our neighbors realize what it means to us for them to share their porch. It’s not as much of a place as it is a state of mind we’ve come to appreciate.

Give it a try. Sit a spell. Everything else can wait.