Porch sitting. I could stop with those two words. Y’all all know what I mean. It’s what we do down here—you also know what those words mean—“The South”. It doesn’t matter how big or small your porch is, it doesn’t matter if it’s on the back, front, side or falling off the house. It doesn’t matter if it has chairs, couches, boxes, blocks…We are going to sit there the first chance we get when the weather permits. We might have to put on a coat, sweater or our toboggan but by golly we are gonna sit on that porch. It is restful whether we are looking at the Hooch, the traffic, the neighbor’s house, the street, the kids playing, or the back of our eyelids. It doesn’t matter if we’re sipping tea, coke, Chattahoochee Branch—that’s water—just ask Bill Gilbert, or nothing at all. The porch is where you gotta get to after a winter like we’ve had.
Just ask all those folks in Atlanta and Birmingham what they needed after 10 hours in their cars on the interstate. They needed a porch! Of course, they also needed weather like we had yesterday too.
Think back—great porches—the first one that comes to mind is my Grandmother Starnes—now she had a great porch. It was huge or so it seemed as a kid. It had wide concrete banisters that were loaded with huge pots full of begonias, and ferns. The furniture didn’t have cushions but it was large, wooden and comfortable—a glider and a huge chair where my Grandmother always sat—weather permitting. Actually she only sat when she wasn’t tending her flowers. After she finished showing you all the flowers then she sat. Her chair was a glider too. Who got those pieces of furniture?? I bet they are still giving folks some rest.
Another memorable porch was the one on my house in Ensley. It was more like a sun porch that could only be reached from inside the house. My rocking horse was there, Bullet. Bullet is now in my basement. Bullet and I had lots of adventures on that porch. I have a scar on my head to prove it. Bricks and a kid’s head. I’m sure you have your own porch scars. We’ll start a story swap.
Our Talladega porch was small, screened, and on the back of the house. My knees ache when I think about the day I fell through the screen while trying to adjust to my new bifocal contacts. My family came home and thought a burglary had occurred. Why didn’t they just open the screen door? It didn’t have a lock. Took a while to live that one down.
My Hooch porch has comfy chairs, an eating table, and rockers. It also has a fabulous view. Yesterday the geese took their daily trip back to the pond from the West Point Lake. They are so loud that they make you look up even if you know by now what all that racket is about. Birds are everywhere now too. They sound like creatures three times their size pulling out twigs, leaves, and other comfy liners for their nests. Double N, our community cat, is intrigued by all the chatter and digging.
Look for a porch—quick—it’s gonna get cold again next week. But don’t be sad if you are slow to make porch friends because spring really is coming that’s a promise… here in “The South”.