Wednesday, August 25, 2010
When I take a few moments to dream, I visualize us adding a front porch onto the house! Nevermind that it is not designed for such an addition and that it would probably cost a ka-billion dollars! I MISS front porches. (Honeybuns has pretty much promised that our next house will have one already installed!)
Younger folks probably do not understand the significance of such an outdoor room because most have never experienced it. Our boys certainly do not grasp it's importance. That's one childhood memory they will never pull out and examine.
My childhood home had one and we lived life on it, probably at the enjoyment of the neighbors. Free entertainment. It was pretty small and was furnished by an old green wooden swing and a couple of old 50's style iron lawn chairs. You know the kind, they're called "retro" now.
The porch was an important living space for that very small concrete house. As young girls my sister and I played house there, learned to sing old fun songs from Granny while swinging, styled and sometimes cut our hair, played our tiny record player and danced and most importantly practiced the art of conversation. In the summer it was too hot to remain indoors, no A/C, so evenings were spent looking at the stars from the front step. In the winter the sun on the concrete melted the snow quickly and it was a perfect napping place for various cats and dogs we owned. Lots of laughter, sharing news and ideas and much needed counseling occurred right out there in view of God and everyone. Friends, relatives and neighbors were very welcome and shared the space from time to time. When the uncles came it was a stage for their band, when I misbehaved it was a place to pout.
Statistics and developers have learned that the disappearance of the front porch has had a direct effect on the closeness of a community. We've all moved to the back patio. And BECAUSE the patio is on the backside of the house we've isolated ourselves from our neighbors. We're protected from prying eyes and we're staring at our 6 ft. board fences. We drive into the garage, put down the door and proceed to our private place. Evidently at one time that was considered a good thing.
Smart investors have for a while now started developing entire communities with houses built close to the front sidewalks and wide open front porches. People walking their dogs can wave and share a bit of news, children are seen and heard, & old people in their rocking chairs are included in the mix.
It's just too hard and expensive to renovate the houses that already exist without them.
But...I'm encouraged. We social creatures always find a way, don't we?
FACEBOOK! It's the new FRONTPORCH and I love it. FB is the new FP and is saving Honeybuns a ton of money. Technology, don't you just love it!