My earliest memories of vacation are on the side porch of my grandparents’ home in rural Louisiana. This porch was no more than 10 feet long by 8 feet wide with splintery floorboards, a rocking chair, and a two-seater old fashioned metal glider.
The side porch and front porch are where our family gathered. When visitors arrived, they joined us, too. The children would sit on the floor with our legs dangling off the side of the raised porch, and the adults would bring their own lawn chairs or sit right alongside the kids. This is where we exchanged greetings, recounted (and re-imagined) stories, and waved at every car that rolled down the nearby gravel road.
As the gathering reached some undefinable point of “beginning” in earnest, my grandmother, perfectly on cue, would disappear into the house. Moments later, she would re-appear, this time with a tray of cold lemonade in tall glasses and tender tea cakes placed upon white paper napkins (southern hospitality is no myth).
When night fell, sitting on that front porch was the main entertainment. I suppose it was a way to escape the stifling heat of the small house. But, there was also something enchanting about watching fireflies light up a dark velvety blue sky as frogs croaked a slow beat and crickets chirped their familiar melody.
The only thing that could make this better was the approach of an evening storm. Lightning would brighten the horizon and low rumbles of thunder would increase in intensity as the storm rolled in. The skies opened for a downpour of biblical proportions, and just as quickly as it started, it was gone. A cool breeze brushed our faces, and the frogs would begin their songs one again.
No, there isn’t anything better than sitting on a porch, talking with family and friends, and having a little to eat and drink!
Porches are an extension of our homes and, for many, one of the most utilized “rooms” of the house. Today, many porches feature beautiful outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, swings, lounging chairs, dining sets, wide-screen televisions, or soothing water features.
No matter how small or large – luxurious or quaint, this is the place where we breathe the air, feel the breeze on our faces, and soak in the days. This is where we are re-energized and re-inspired. The porch is where all the magic happens!
Our series called “On The Side Porch” will feature articles on all the ways you can slow down and be at ease on your own porch. We hope you join us.