My Parents’ Front Porch — Lillian, Alabama — Road Trip!

Whittling my walking stick.

Whittling my walking stick.

I took advantage of my recent front porch tour and road trip to see my parents and spend Thanksgiving with them and extended family.

While there, I sat on my parents front porch and whittled on a piece of bamboo my oldest son had cut for me to be a walking stick.

Other members of the family were out in front of me, playing a hearty game of croquet, so enthusiastically we broke a few mallets. As “punishment.” the culprits had to keep playing with their now very short clubs, resulting in the gangly youths looking like overgrown grasshoppers. Such are the sights of the porch dweller.

There was no front porch when I was a child. It evolved, first as a brick walk, then a low deck and finally a full-on porch, complete with widened walkway, fountain, and birdfeeders populating the front beds.

The furniture has changed over the years as well. Currently, my grandmother’s vintage 1960’s patio furniture holds court on the porch: bright yellow and happy.

I like this space, with the water burbling and the birds, tucked in the tall bushes, waiting for me to leave so they can have yet another treat from the feeders. Many of the plantings were gifts that I gave my parents, honoring a birthday or other special occasion.

The sunsets and starlight from here are amazing. This front porch is out in the country, so neighbors are not overly abundant. I can, however, hear the children next door playing as they visit their grandparents, like mine are visiting theirs.

I wonder if curiosity will get the better of either group? I wonder if they will go explore and see what is happening in the other neighbor’s yard? Discover potential friends?

Regardless, it is good to sit here on this front porch. To hear and see and be seen. To be lightly connected to this space and time and memory of laughter and water and a wacky game of croquet.

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