May 4th, 2009 Free Ice Cream-Ode To The Back Porch
You know spring is here when winter slinks away, leaving a fresh scent clinging to your hair. People are grinning more, that old fire back in steps. The earth, hyper-charged once again. And the best perk is, you can sit outside without freezing your rear end off. That and step outside bare-footed.
On a recent trip to southern Louisiana, we stayed on the two hundred acre grounds of a plantation. The cottage digs weren’t fancy, one bathroom between three girls, but that ample back porch, complete with iron tables and soft sitting areas, was primo. Knew I’d gotten it right when a collective squeal went up.
The view from there was heavenly: two hundred year-old live oaks dripping with Spanish moss which resembled wiry hair. To the right, a pond, complete with ducks, quacking, flapping and gliding. And land to roam as far as your little eyes could devour.
The old Missouri farm girl in heaven.
Shoes popped off. Cards and books materialized. The good old days reincarnated. Maybe you had your own back porch growing up, or a grandparent did. Remember when people actually spent time outside, visiting with family, neighbors and friends, nothing more on the agenda than sipping tart lemonade and shooting the breeze? Call me old fashioned but this still appeals to me. Big time.
We wandered from the porch that day only to retrieve dinner and walk the grounds where we discovered an ancient family graveyard, complete with eerie stone wall and iron gate. Of course the girls wanted to visit at night, but the chicken in me squawked, No thanks, don’t want any. With flashlights wobbling, they took off, me sitting on the back porch clutching coffee, breeze in my hair, a sloppy grin on my face. “Have fun,” I yelled. “Say hi to the ghosts for me.”
Not two minutes later, lights flickered on and off. “Wait for me,” I whispered, lip quivering, but they were long gone. The next night they didn’t have to talk me into going. I was so there. I even took my cheesy camera, which turned up pictures that would make your hair stand on end. Stay tuned for that story in an upcoming series I’ll be weaving.
All the while the porch waited; for us to sit, savor, to make memories on. I do hope you’re out making your own memories. Life is short and that back porch is waiting!