Another Front Porch Story

"If the world had a front porch like we did back then, we’d still have our problems but we’d all be friends; treating your neighbor like he’s your next of kin wouldn’t be gone with the wind, if the world had a front porch like we did back then.”  These familiar words were presented and performed by Tracey Lawrence beginning in 1994 and the concept continues to be true today. 

David and I grew up in a new brick home that was custom built for our parents; we moved into it before I started to school.  We had no more than a postage stamp front porch there on Nicholson Street (Lumpkin highway) in Richland, it was not the fashion in 1955 when it was being built, but Nanny had an unforgettable front porch at their farmhouse in nearby rural Terrell County where we visited often. 

Nanny used her front porch as another room of her house nearly year round, the structure was located near the country crossroad and people stopped by frequently to visit and catch up on the community news.   When David and I visited our grandparents, we spent a lot of quality time on their porch; there were rocking chairs, at one time an old fashioned metal divan, several footstools and a wooden porch-swing.

I have written several narratives about my front porch here in Baldwin County but the other stories have been penned during the spring, but this time it is autumn and the facts differ tremendously.   In the spring I have to contend with that nasty pollen that makes us sneeze and gives us puffy eyes but in the fall I spend a lot of time removing the falling leaves and those pesky acorns from the massive oak tree in the front yard.  Otto often said that the oak tree was too big and needed to go but I have not yet been able to consider having it removed. 

I spend a lot of time on the porch during the warm months, enjoying the sunny days and when it rains, but as the days become shorter, it is increasing more enticing to linger in my rocking chair and enjoy the cooling temperatures.  I read the Stewart Webster Journal, work a Union Recorder crossword puzzle and relish the autumn breezes. 

All those attractive plants that flourished during the warm months are beginning to yellow and wilt away and the hard decision has to be made about which ones to try to keep alive over the winter months and which ones to discard.  And, then you have to find a place in the house to over-winter the chosen plants, which creates more decorating decisions to be made. 

The colorful hummingbirds have left for warmer climates and those containers have to be cleaned and stored away.  But it seems that as cooler weather arrives, the birdfeeder is now less popular and only needs refilling every few days. 

"If the world had a front porch like we did back then.” 

Brenda S. Brown 


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