The Suitcase Lady


July 1, 2014, 8:12 pm

Southerners have raised porch sitting to an art form. A muggy summer day, a veranda with a breeze, a mint julep…..what could be better?

While we Northerners do not have as long a porch season, we also enjoy viewing the world from a fine porch. Wine or beer are substituted for the juleps.

When we designed our house, we wrapped porches around three sides. Nevertheless, we do not have enough “porch”. We did not realize that a 10 degree temperature difference would exist between the lake side and the road side of our home. We made the lake side porch a generous size and the opposite front deck only eight boards wide. Breakfast on the east facing lake side is gloriously warm. Dinner is always on the road side which provides the afternoon heat and a ringside view of the sunset.

So be forewarned, if you come for dinner at our house on a summer evening, we line up the chairs in a row like those on the front porch of a retirement home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

During dinner and until the sun sets, we note the action and growth in our front yard. The purple martins are scooping up the last bugs of the day and seem oblivious to us as we sit quietly. Numerous other birds swoop past us on their way to our feeders. Spiders are everywhere, gearing up for a night of web spinning and feasting. Moths begin fluttering around the porch light and sticking themselves to the front screen. The chipmunk who has put his hole in the middle of our gravel driveway is racing back and forth from his hole to the Tooley Cafe. Is he filling his underground home with bedtime snacks?

The plants bear watching as well. Starting with the flowering Cleveland pear trees, our front meadow is a succession of blooms which flourish amidst the clumps of little blue stem grass. When days are warm and rain abundant, the plants seem to grow by inches. The flowers are like a calendar marking summer’s progression.

We also pay close attention to Farmer Dennis’ well tended fields across the road. This year the crops are winter wheat and corn. We can report that the corn will not be knee high by the Fourth of July.

We know that our American culture is centered around consuming more and succeeding more. We, however, will be amply satisfied with our porch, our acre and the time to enjoy them.



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