A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Monday, August 3, 2009

My dream house

My ideal dream house would have a huge wrap-around front porch. I know it isn't "in" these days to sit on a front porch, but I would love to have one. With a swing, rocker, table, etc. I have visions of sitting out there on a rainy day with a book. Sipping wine on a warm summer night. Maybe even having lunch on the porch on a nice Spring day. Whatever - I just want one!

I think it's part of my heritage. I come from a long line of porch-sitters. Back when my parents were growing up, everyone sat on their front porch. Talked with their neighbors. Watched people stroll by. It was the primary social activity - at least in Chicago where my family was from.

Here's a bunch of cousins and my aunt in the middle sitting on the front steps. Most of their "porches" consisted of a small landing and steps. But that's still where they hung out.

Me and my Mom with her friend Madelyn (I have no idea why I remember her name) sitting on the front steps just watching the world go by.

My dad playing king in the center of his mother and sister. This was a fancier house with metal railings instead of concrete!

In Tucson, we mostly took to the front yard in addition to the porch. Gotta catch those rays. This is at my grandparents house. When people came out to visit from Chicago, Nani Gene and Papa Jim took great delight in spending a lot of time outside. Especially when the visitors came in the winter to escape the snow.

This is the same front yard with a shot of the porch. I spent many happy hours in this yard and on that porch. My grandfather would sit out there most of the day smoking and talking with his friends who would drop by. We had holidays there, Easter Egg Hunts, Fourth of July festivities, birthdays. It was a favorite family spot. My grandfather died in 1973 a few months before my kids were born. My grandmother never went back to that house and our days of front porches and front yards was gone.

Now when we see people sitting outside in the front yard, it almost looks strange. Where's the privacy?? What are they looking at?? Why aren't they in their backyard?? No more saying hi to neighbors as they stroll by. No more seeing someone sitting outside and stopping by to chat. Now we hardly know our neighbors. I think I liked it better the old way.

So, someday when I get my dream house I'll have a big front porch. And I'll sit out there and say hi to people as they go by. And kids will probably call me the old crazy lady who sits on her front porch. I'm cool with that!


Nikki said...

Sandi you and I both!! My dream house has a wrap around porch on it too!! I had a house like that in Utah and oddly enough we sat on the driveway on those fold out chairs in the summer and had chit chat. LOVED IT! You are right, people are too unfriendly nowadays. I miss the days of summer when folks sat and chatted an bought lemonade from the kiddies stand. Ahhhh this is what I long for too!! Fun post...:)N

namaste said...

the pictures are great! i like the sound of your dream house. between you and nikki, whoever gets their wrap-around porch first will host the three of us having lots of laughs!


judypatooote said...

What a wonderful dream house...I love your pictures...great memories...your right no one sets out on the front porch any more... and that's sad....but around here if you had nice furniture on the porch someone would steal it anyway....change....is it just getting old that makes change so hard to except...?...I have to turn off my mind, when it comes to my grandkids growing up....what will they have to face....they buzz on through life with no care, and don't seem to be afraid of anything, which I guess that is good, or they wouldn't go or do anything.. well I blabbling on again so, I love your post.... and it was nice coming back for a visit... judy

Desert Diva said...

Now if you do this in Tucson you can have those "misters" installed and a big porch swing. I remember when I was a child people would take walks and speak to neighbors sitting on their porches - not now... Thanks for sharing!

Fleur de Lisa said...

I love these old pictures. There's something about a grand front porch that is so comfortable and welcoming. It connects people.