I’ve been receiving cosmic messages from the universe in triplicate and they all relate to my front porch…that desolate place that collects dust and makes me sneeze.
First, “All things Considered” on public radio did a piece on front porches; then my local paper carried a story in Sunday’s magazine section. After seeing a blurb on Home & Garden television, I finally got the message.
Each one entreated me to rediscover my front porch. So I decided to try, since my front porch is dying of boredom and criminal neglect.
Last night, after the heat of the day had retreated, and the few remaining fireflies that inhabit the earth were flitting through the overgrown hedges that need trimming, I tentatively approached the porch. The last time I tried to sit out there, along came a spider and ran me inside. Armed with a full can of Bengal, Rebel and Lucky Dog and I jumped on the porch swing and began pumping.
It was really nice and I wondered why I don’t come out here more often. After all, a big front porch was one of the “Must Have” criteria on my check list when I bought the house. I know not why. I don’t visit except to pick up the mail and water the few withering plants.
Yet, I have rich memories of visiting my grandmother when I was a child. After a supper of ham and rice (leftovers from “dinner” which referred to the noon meal back then), we would move to the porch and watch the traffic whoosh by. Occasionally, a neighbor would join us and we would receive the gossip of the day while the rusty porch swing mesmerized us with its metronome-like pace. I usually fell asleep on that old swing and mother would carry me inside.
We didn’t have air conditioning back then, or computers with Wii games. Television was spotty and there was nothing to watch but the test pattern after 9 p.m. So we repaired to the porch. Old “so and so” would innocently drive by and we would get a full report on his life and times. Ditto for the next motorist. It was like a soap opera without the commercial intermissions.
Back at my childhood home, the neighborhood kids and I met on my front porch every night after supper (leftovers again) and discussed our nemesis, the Abominable Snowman. Each of us had stories about seeing him in person. Larry McHaney told me the monster hated girls with freckles and I knew I was doomed.
We’d go in – when mother made us. I would vigorously rub my face with lemon juice which I was told would fade the freckles, and ask for the light to be left on. I’m still terrified of that monster snowman.
Sunday’s magazine section featured Claude Stevens, a self proclaimed professional porch sitter. He has even given himself a porch-sitting alias – “Crow Hollister.” I liked that idea so much, I’ve given myself a porch sitting alias – “Basil Metabolism.” Come join me for some sweet tea and chocolate chip cookies. Those will stow the fires of our metabolism.
We’ll sit a spell (does anyone know the definition of a spell?) and put the cares of the world on hold.