More and more I am noticing new homes with lovely front porches, complete with wicker furniture, flowers, and antiques. They look lovely. The problem is, I never see anyone on them.
In the "old days" porches were really an important part of everyday life. Dad read the paper there. Mom mended things, or shelled peas, or read. (I know we don't actually do these things much anymore). However, the front porch of the past was the meeting place of the neighborhood, the news front, the political problem solver, the gossip area, the music fest.
Several of the men in our neighborhood would sit on the front porch in the evening and play guitars, or harmonicas. Imagine that!
Neighbors kept an eye on their kids and their neighbor's kids as they rode their bikes or played in the yards.
You were aware of what kind of birds were around your house, and if there was an owl in the area. We noticed the first night that the fireflies came out, and when the locusts started their calling.
Of course, I grant you, that this was before air conditioning, so, sitting on the porch waiting for a breeze was a better alternative than sweltering inside. And, folks didn't have the internet, TV, or video games.
The good thing was, that people got to know their neighbors, took time to visit, and, I somehow believe that sitting and swinging on the old swing was a better stress relief than watching the evening news.
So, here's to the old front porch. Hopefully, we can turn off the tube, or the computer once in awhile and sit out there. You'll be surprised what you can see and hear.