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©May 2002

Carol Jane Remsburg



The Porch Payoff






Porches, back or front, decorative or useful, are often given the short shrift in the value of a home.  Yet in everyday living they come into their own.  Today is one of those days. 


It's Memorial Day today, a day for commemorating all those who have died to keep America free and safe.  If we don't remember and appreciate all that has been done for us we ought to be shamed.  Further, if we didn't also take this day and enjoy it to the fullest, we have no business having the holiday. 


The forecasters had predicted it would be periodically stormy and rainy with a touch of sun.  All three days couldn't have been better if they'd been planned.  And it seems that from the initial Friday night rush all the way through Sunday with the chores and the visitors and the visiting, somehow Monday rolls around quickly.  It is this day that the porch was meant for.


This wasn't a morning for the kitchen table, oh no, this was a morning for the back porch.  It was a soft morning perfect in accompaniment with the rustling of the newspaper as our coffee slowly brought a keener awareness.  The quiet calm of this morning was what we spend all our time working for, its brevity making it all the more precious.


The quiet faded quickly as a flurry of activity began with yard work and vehicle washing along with all the rest of the inevitable home chores.  Time zips along when you aren't watching.  I'd especially appropriated today to be one for reflection, not work, and not company—even though there is always work to be done.  It was a family day and pet day.  We discovered we now have a pair of chipmunks added to the dog, the cats, the hermit crabs, and the birds. 


At noontime, we were all back on the porch again for a meal and a chat.  The breeze had begun to pick up and the laundry flapped a rhythm in unison with the leaves and the birdsong.  The many chimes on the porch couldn't seem to keep up.  A few jokes were told and teasing was done.  Yet it was the animal watching that kept us laughing most.


By late afternoon, we were drawn again to the porch.  It was simply too inviting to stay away from.  The chimes were no longer chiming, they were jangling in a jarring fashion and the quiet whump-whump-whump of the ceiling fans could not longer be heard.  The heat of the day was upon us; however, the sheltering shade of the trees along with the gusts of wind kept us comfortable.


Conversation dulled into nothing.  For we elders, reflections of times gone by flitted past and none could best this moment in time.  For the child, well, this will be a memory she won't realize fully until later.


The day will soon dwindle into the dark.  Still, I won't give up the porch.  I'll light the candles, one by one, and enjoy their flickering in hopes it will draw out the lightning bugs later on.  The contentment of a safe and loving home sits fully in the forefront of my mind.  Oh the wonder of it.  Oh how thankful I am.


Praise and loving care for every veteran, not just those who died fighting, but please bless those who came back as well.  We are all so fortunate.  Tis something we ought to remember not just on the good days such as this but on the rough ones, the bad ones, and even the terrible ones.  Each day is a gift and your back porch will provide you validation of it nearly every day of the year.



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