Thursday, July 15, 2010

Remembering porches..

     I have been wondering about how porches fell out of vogue during housing designs of the 70's and 80's? They are essential to socialization in neighborhoods. So many memories are connected to the porches of my own childhood.  A visit to Aunt Pauline's house could mean bounce-rocking in one of her vintage shell back metal chairs. Remember those? They were American made , Wormack designed, singular tubing  framing bright colors of red, yellow, turquoise, white. I adored sitting on her porch, in one of those chairs. Aunt Pauline, a beautiful woman, well dressed, energetic, with a gift for hospitality and conversation. When you left, you felt warm and important. Her strong Southern accent made you smile inside, often I would replay her lyrical voice in my head. A Sunday visit was nearly always the case because she lived in town, close to church. That meant dressing up, attending service, then visiting on her porch afterwards. As you walked up the dogs would come out of nowhere to greet you, then scatter as you sat to chat and sip fresh lemonade served in a colorful aluminum tumbler. Remember those?!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Early and abundant Summer

Grandparent's Porch

June has flown passed and though demands have kept us on the go, we have managed to sneak in family porch time several evenings this month. I have been thinking about the porches that marked passages of time for me. The earliest memories I have begin with on my grandparents humble southern porch. Their home had two porches, a more formal one on the front and the one we all gathered on in the backyard. It was a cement slab with with black wrought iron rails that we used to balance ourselves in between the rails trying to be as tall as the adults. The porch had only one chair wrought iron, of coarse, and that was for Mamaw. The kids just sat on the steps or clung onto to the ironwork, twisting and contorting to remain on. A well was located there, ingeniously placed by Papaw, afforded getting water much easier . Large honeysuckle vines covered one side of the porch and filled the morning air with a heavenly scent. Mamaw worked tirelessly in her kitchen until her "stories" came on, then back to the kitchen to prepare supper. Meantime, as a child, spending summers there was the best. It meant playing "I Spy" or "Tag" in the backyard with my cousins. "NOT IT!!" Naturally, the porch was "SAFE!" Most days and evenings centered around the porch. Memories of snapping sugar bean, shelling peas, husking corn, and listening to my mom and aunts telling stories and laughing. Toward evening Aunt Charlotte would bring us out a special treat to cool us off. Porch popsickles were special and tasted extra good, especially cherry. Mamaw's porch was what memories were made from. Coarse, it was also the spot you were taken to "discuss" any antics you may have been a part of..While that was several decades ago, I still feel "safe" there when I visit now.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


The front porch. It's the first and last thing we noticed about our house when we were looking. Porches hold so many memories for all of us. It's a place to have our morning coffee before setting off to our daily routines, then it's a place we gather in the evening to share the events of our day. Porches are our public window to our neighborhood, yet can also be a cozy private spot for sharing personal affairs. My next few blogs will be about porch memories.