Thursday, June 16, 2005

Front Porch and patio

If you have shade, these are nice days for sitting on the front porch or patio and listening to evening sounds, feeling the cool breeze and just talking.

When we were growing up, toward the end of the afternoon after all the chores were done and supper was in the oven, my mom would go next door to the Warnells--a single woman Sue and her mother lived there. They would sit on the front porch and talk about the day, what was happening on radio soap operas, what the neighbors were doing, and the state of the world. We kids would sit and listen as long as we could stand it, go run and play, and then come back and listen some more. (After all, something juicy might be said.)

It was a lazy time in a long, hard day of work for my mom, and I know she enjoyed the respite. We came to know more about the Warnell relatives than we really wanted to know.

After we moved to another house Sue and her mother would visit occasionally and the same scene would play.

Someone has written a book about the demise of front porches and their haven. Air-conditioning and television brought the end. It seems to me that something important was lost when we all moved inside. I am nostalgic for the shade of that porch, for the soft voices and laughter and the community that was built there as we called out greetings to neighbors walking down the sidewalk and to kids riding their bikes down the dusty street.

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