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Re: What this world needs is more Front Porches

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Message 21 of 23

Most of my early memories revolve around the front porch.  Until I was in the 2nd grade we lived in one side of a duplex that was my grandmother's house.  She and my aunt lived in the other side.  The house was the 2nd house in the residential part of a business district.  From our front porch we could see the signs go up on the grocery store across the street and know what was for sale.  This was important at the end of WWII when some things were hard to get, like sugar.

 

A bakery was also across the street and the aroma of cinnamon rolls drifted toward our house if the wind was blowing in the right direction.  It was a real treat if somebody went over to get some.  We could also see the movie theater and know what was playing, although I had to go to the bottom step to be able to see that over the big bush at the corner of the house.

 

There was a porch swing and I remember sitting beside my great-grandmother while she showed me how to shell butterbeans.  I also remember trying to talk her into getting the man who often passed by to be my grandfather.  She didn't seem to like that idea but I thought nothing would make a better grandfather than someone with a long white beard, a cart filled with vegetables, horses and a dog.

 

My parents built their own house and my grandmother sold the old one which was zoned for business.  Neither our house nor my grandmother's new one had a porch.  I suppose they were out of style by then.

 

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Re: What this world needs is more Front Porches

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Message 22 of 23
Agree absolutely!
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What this world needs is more Front Porches

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Message 23 of 23

"What this world needs is more front porches, where people talk, live, laugh, and love." - Unknown July 3, 2016  

When I was a little girl,  July 4 meant fireworks and picnics and watermelon and parades. In today's world, open the newspaper or turn on the television, and you will see "4th of July sales and specials" in every store.  I am not a fan, and sometimes I think the world would be better if we could just slow it down a little, and actually talk to each other, instead of looking at phones. 

As I was growing up, Pennsylvania had "The Blue Laws", which meant that stores could not be open on Sundays and holidays. (First enacted in 1682, the Blue Laws were all about no fun on Sundays. http://old.post-gazette.com/regionstate/20000218sunday5.asp )  

 

Forgot to buy the hot dogs and charcoal? You did without. Out of gasoline? Too bad- wait until the station opens. Times were so simple back then, and although things were more inconvenient, I think families were closer.

I was born in 1952, and I remember my brothers and I getting ready for the 4th of July parade to come past our house.  When George and I were older- 10 and 12- we were permitted to follow the parade for a few blocks on our bicycles, which was a very big deal. July 4, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and other holidays were celebrated as a family. Chores went on as usual, but the afternoon and evening were our "family" time. We sat on the front porch and talked or played games like Parcheesi, Chutes and Ladders, and Scrabble.Sometimes, the neighbors came over, and we -"the kids"- waited for darkness to light sparklers and make air designs with their shimmering loveliness. 

Our big front porch itself made for a relaxed atmosphere.  We had a comfortable glider (always covered, except when in use)  and three metal rocking chairs with some side tables and ashtrays. My dad smoked back then- almost all the adults we knew smoked- and f too many people stopped by, the steps were a comfortable porch seat as well. When I think of my mom and dad, who have been gone for 14 years, I often picture them on the porch. Both of them worked so hard: Dad worked at Allegheny Ludlum Steel on the swing shift (8-4, 4-12, 12-8) for almost 44 years, and my mother worked equally hard inside the house taking care of us, cooking, sewing, and meeting all of our needs.  Mom and Dad really enjoyed their relaxation time on the porch. 

The "hurry, hurry" atmosphere that permeates everything in our society has found me reminiscing about those simpler times on this July 4.  I hope that this holiday weekend, you have a chance to sit on the porch without electronic distractions and enjoy the company of those around you. Personal connections are so much more rewarding than electronic connections, and enjoying the company and conversation sans cell phone will refresh your soul and calm your spirit.  I am off to my brother's house, to sit on his front porch and enjoy a family picnic. 

As always, I welcome your comments.

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Posted by Dave the Lighthouse Keeper
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