If you had to think about it, what would you say is the most important part of your house? If you had to think about it, most folks would say the kitchen, den, maybe even the bathroom. And in a way, I’d guess they would be right. But think about it, what place would you say, in a sense is the safest, in good times and bad, where people gather to celebrate, and to comfort those in their lowest times? Where kids can find neutral ground when they need it with their folks and the parents can help them find the path they need to get through whatever is bothering them? Where you can sit and watch the world go whizzing by, and say to your self, “I’m glad I’m in no hurry to go any where.” The first place company is welcomed in and the last as they are leaving for the night? If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s your front porch.
I guess I’ve always had a love affair with front porches. One of my earliest memories is swinging on Ms. Gladys Blakely’s front porch swing when we came to stay with Granddaddy. My Grandparents had a front porch, screened in, but it didn’t have a swing, so the swing would win out every time. But through the years I’ve never seemed to get a swing, but I’ve got something better, a rocking chair.
And when you have a rocking chair, on a cool summer night, be honest, what else do you really need? There is something about that creaking back and forth that seems to put everything into perspective. I heard one time someone say you could rock your cares away, and now I guess I understand what they meant.
I guess me and Mel have always had a porch. When we first got married we had a small single side, and I built one, that is me and my brother-in-law Waine did. And it was where either she or I would greet the other as we came in from work. There is nothing like seeing someone standing there waiting on you as you roll up, the feeling of I’ve missed you and are glad to see you’ve made it back safe and sound. As I was writing this, I got to thinking, after all these years we still do that, either she meets me at the door or I meet her.
When we first had kids, she would always tell them to stay on the porch, but they never could. When they would see my truck coming down the road from the mill, they always seemed to know what time I got off, she would have had to tie them to get them to stay. I would meet them at the end of the drive, and let them jump in the back, so they could ride that last few yards to the house. It’s the little things that thrill kids, things as the years go by that we tend to forget that we use to do.
I use to have to sit there and let them tell me about there day, then Mel would come out, and before you know it an hour or two had passed. It’s where I would sit there and let them talk and talk, and every now and then look up to heaven and silently say “Thank You”. Because from your front porch you can look at all you’ve been blessed with, and realize even though you can see as far as the eye can see, this little portion is yours.
It’s from my front porch I’ve watch my world change, like the seasons on the trees, as the leaves change from green to gold. I’ve watched my kids from it, walking to the bus stop, and the days they left for college. And just as they left they always returned, and they always found me standing there waiting. And just as when they were little, we spent a few minutes sitting there telling each other about our days.
When was the last time you sat on yours? Think about all the things you have been missing:
While you’re rushing to get in the door.
You can reach Robbin Bruce by e-mail at email@example.com.
Opinions that appear on this page in Letters to the Editor or in columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.
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