Welcome To The Porch
I’ve always been drawn to the big old Southern porches. There’s something romantically nostalgic about them, like they hold the secret to lazy summer afternoons and fresh squeezed lemonade and kids chasing fireflies after dark.
When we bought our little Craftsman bungalow in 2010, the first thing that drew me in was the wraparound porch.
At the time, we were moving from a home twice the size of this one, which meant we had to get rid of approximately half of our furniture. I hated the thought of giving up the big farm table that held the memories of so many family meals, but there was no way it was fitting in this tiny dining room. It was like a surprise gift when we brought it with us anyway and discovered it fit perfectly on the side porch off the kitchen. And we have used the heck out of it! This table in this spot has been a gathering place for countless Saturday breakfasts & stirring conversations & early evening dinners that lasted into the night. It seats 8 but I don’t know how many times we’ve crowded 12 or more around this table, pulling out barstools from the kitchen and every other random chair we can muster up.
But over the years this porch has become more than a little weathered. We had rotting boards that were quickly turning into holes someone was eventually destined to fall through… most likely me. This winter my beloved porch had become an eyesore. Peeling paint, dirty flower pots still holding last year’s dried-up remains, and junk everywhere as it had become a catchall for everything under the sun. All of this surrounded by a brown, blah landscape. I was feeling agitated and depressed just looking at it. Downright angry some days.
One of my goals for this spring was to restore the life to this porch and reinstate it as a welcoming gathering place.
So many times during this never-ending winter I had to remind myself that nature is not dead in winter, as it may appear. It has simply gone underground to renew itself for spring. (Parker Palmer’s words from Let Your Life Speak).
But you know how it is. You can walk past that thing that aggravates you so many times and do nothing to change it, and it just continues to grate on you… or you can do something about it. So one of my goals for this spring was to restore the life to this porch and reinstate it as a welcoming gathering place.
And I have to say, I’ve had SO much fun doing it. This is a huge cup-filler for me. We started by having the rotting slats repaired & everything sanded down to bare wood. Then the priming and painting. Of course part of this process involved taking everything off the porch & sending it to the trash or to its proper place, which gave me a blank slate to work with.
Then the fun part. I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on new porch furniture so I decided to refurbish the old rocker & swing that used to sit on the porch at Darron’s parents’ place in Fredericksburg. As I’ve worked on this furniture, I can’t help but reminisce about PawPaw and Mama Sweetie sitting in these chairs on their porch overlooking the countryside while Alyssa, Jarod, and all the cousins worked and played for hours upon hours building their illustrious Fort Mondo.
I did splurge just a bit on a couple of swivel rocker chairs, inspired by my next door neighbor’s awesome back porch where we gather regularly for “wine & nibbles”. We discovered during the assembly process yesterday that one of the chairs had arrived with a defective part. Most people would have put it right back in the box and shipped it off for a new one, but my awesome husband was not about to be defeated by a chair and worked out a clever solution so I would have the setting I wanted for this week’s blog.
Fill the pots with fresh flowers and throw in some splashes of yellow and apple green here and there, and voila! We now have a porch that beckons. In the meantime, spring has happened all around. The roots were indeed burrowing deep during these cold, dreary months and renewing themselves into the vibrant array of color that restores my soul. This is once again my happy place.
So here’s to restoration and reclaimed spaces and springtime and life! Have a wonderful weekend!