Front Porch Moments
Front Porch Moments: Making the Effort to be a Front Porch friend….
So there we were riding through North Carolina recently on our way to spend a few days with our family. With my husband at the wheel I have nothing but time as we zip in and out of small towns and wind our way through miles and miles of fields full of crops; corn, cotton, soy beans and tobacco. Much of the time I am gawking out the window playing the game “Oh look at that pretty house” while the husband tries to reply as kindly as he can “Not now, I’m driving!” We came to a stop light which in my mind meant he had time to look around and appreciate the old southern homes that lined the streets in a beautiful little town. As we began to proceed through the traffic light I commented on several old homes with large wrap around porches and how I wish I had a house like that. “The porch” I said “makes that house more charming; more inviting” to which the husband replied “yeah, they just don’t make them like that anymore.” At that point my brain went into overdrive as I began to ponder the porch. Farther down the road I spy a row of simple small cottage type homes lining the outer edge of a tobacco field. Each little house looks like the others complete with chairs on the small front porch. Allowing my mind to think about these little houses it’s apparent that they were more than likely homes used by farm workers many years ago and quite possibly could still serve the same purpose. With the homes placed closed together I imagine that at night the families would gather outside to look at the stars, catch a few fireflies, eat some homemade ice cream, play a guitar and sing or just sit in the quiet darkness and reflect on the activities of the day.
Out of curiosity I searched the significance of the American front porch and what I discovered is that the front porch once served a cultural purpose. It was where families gathered to socialize and share the news of the day. It was where neighbors visited with one another and where ideas were shared. People knew each other and what was going on, because of the front porch. The front porch was like their outdoor living room; everyone felt welcome. Flash forward a few decades and take a look around. While most homes have a front porch few people utilize that space. Oh sure most front porches are tastefully decorated with rocking chairs, gliding swings and hanging baskets filled with beautiful flowers, but the front porch, it seems, has become nothing more than the means to gain access through the front door. Why is it that something that used to be so vital, so important and such a focal point to the life of a family has all but disappeared in its purpose? Why don’t people choose to sit outside and communicate with those around us? I wonder and can only come up with the assumption that we have allowed our lives to become so full of other “stuff” we simply do not have time to become front porch dwellers. Our lives have become so full of responsibility that we cannot seem to find the time to enjoy the front porch.
Imagine what life would be like if we all took a seat on our front porches after dinner and merely waited for someone to stop by. Imagine what life would be like if we took the time to get to know those around us sharing a spot on the front porch swing while waiting for a cool evening breeze to take our minds off the troubles of the day. Imagine the possibilities and opportunities life could offer to us if we just embraced a few front porch moments. Sit with a friend, share a cool beverage, talk about the news of the day or simply sit still and do absolutely nothing; because after all the front porch is a great gathering place. Enjoy your front porch moments.
Knowing that life is full of responsibilities I encourage you to take time out of your busy life and spend a few moments on your front porch. For those who do not have a front porch I encourage you to create a space that is inviting to those on the outside looking in. Knowing that life, our lives, tend to pass each year too quickly I challenge you to take time out on the front porch. Gather as a family, a neighborhood or community and embrace the strains of each day knowing that the front porch, your front porch, is a place to rejuvenate re-coup and recognize the need for front porch moments. The front porch has lost a lot of its luster and attraction to today’s society, therefore, I challenge you to create a space on your front porch that invites family and friends to come in a sit a spell. Take time to meet those around you creating a sense of community and purpose for one another. Break down the walls of unfamiliarity and build a sense of belonging and relationship with others. Life isn’t meant to be lived inside the house; carry yourself outside onto the porch and allow yourself to be part of the change that will definitely take place as you embrace the front porch moments of your life.
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!