In days gone by, folks in neighborhoods would sit on front porches and watch the world go by in the evenings, as weather permitted. Neighbors seeing each other at home, would ‘pop over for a visit’. Porches were made welcoming with cushioned chairs and plants, shady vines growing up on the sunniest sides.
On back porches, folks often had supper in the evening. When iceboxes were a new concept, that is where many were located. The iceman could get to it easily and any leakage from melting ice was not an issue. Other deliveries were made easier that way too, milk and meat for example. Laundry would be hung there to dry in inclement weather and fresh baked food would go there to cool.
A lot happened on the back Porch, a lot of living that is… Often, it still does. While front porch life seems to have largely been replaced by evening television, back porch life still goes on, at least for us.
That is where we eat most evenings; weather permitting, as long as the season lasts. It’s also where we entertain friends and family that stop by in nice weather. The back porch is a great place to watch the storms that roll in across the distant mountains. We’re up high and there’s a big piece of open sky between the hills and us.
There are 3 lilac bushes surrounding our porch. One is an old specimen that is loaded with deep purple blooms in the spring. The others are young and have pink and pale lavender blooms. All are extremely fragrant. It’s heaven to sit out there when the lilacs are in bloom and do anything. A lot of laundry and bill paying gets done out there then. As soon as the danger of frost is past, out march all the geraniums in pots and other housebound houseplants, for their summer vacation on the porch.
It’s a nice place to sit with a book and wile away quiet summer hours too. Being on the hill means there’s almost always a breeze, very few bugs and lots of fresh air. And the sun never makes is’s way around until late afternoon so it’s cooler there than most other places, most of the day.
As the season progresses, corn husking, bean un-stringing and pea de-podding happen on the porch. When the weather is iffy, wooden clothes racks hold laundry under the roofed portion of the porch. It is with significant regret that tables and chairs and umbrellas get put away at the end of the porch season.
In come the houseplants, down comes the hummingbird feeders. Up go the sturdy seed bird feeders and suet cakes. Windows in the kitchen afford us a great view of the cold weather bird life at least.
We are often back out there before all the snow is out of the yard. Eating outside is an annual milestone for us, as soon as the snow is off the porch; we look forward to that rite of spring. Just another simple pleasure…