The first front porch I remember was my Grandmother and Granddaddy McGuire's. It was a wrap-around that stretched the length of the house. It had homemade, white porch furniture, straight chairs to lean back against the wall, and a big swing on either end. Grandmother always had lots of potted plants lining the edge of the porch. I especially remember the angel winged begonias. The men always sat on the porch with the women folk joining them when it got too warm inside. We kids were "in and out." I was young and life seemed to move at a snail's pace.
I don't remember rushing to do anything.
My next favorite porch was actually a carport. In the house where I grew up, we had a tiny front porch (or stoop) on the front of our house, but the place we sat was the carport. There was always a breeze, and the cool concrete floor felt good to our bare feet. The main activity on this "porch" was shelling peas or stringing beans. Whoever might happen to drop by joined right in.
My Daddy really preferred to sit in the front yard where he could wave to everyone who passed.
(He knew them all.) Mother frowned on this activity. Again, days seemed longer then with a comforting sameness.
Ma Ida's(my sweet husband's mother) front porch was always lively with conversation. Stories were told over and over again, becoming funnier or sadder each time they were told. Her porch also reached all the way across the front with a big swing and lots of chairs to accommodate a large family. The view from her porch was rolling cotton fields with a lane between turning toward her house from the main road. Sitting on the porch, we always knew who was coming before they got there. Ma Ida's porch was a good place to laugh and enjoy being together.
A tin roof, white rocking chairs and a cool breeze brings to mind another special, away from home, porch. The sounds and smells of the Gulf make it difficult to pinpoint any one particular pleasure this vacation porch brings. It could be early morning with a cup of coffee, the newspaper, and the sunrise. Perhaps it is lunch time with a glass of iced tea and a hot dog. The late afternoon brings fragrance to the porch. Magnolia and confederate jasmine sweeten the air. Life does indeed stand still on this porch.
Porches are places to enjoy the little things, and life is always slower on the porch.
(This was written in July, 1996, enjoy!)