Good times on a solid porchPublished 5:22pm Friday, January 25, 2013
By Shelia Kay Adams
Last night Jaine Treadwell and I sat on the porch steps like we were two young girls. There has always been a love for a good solid porch in my heart and from Jaine’s recollection, for her as well. We talked about many subjects as old friends will do… a good porch somehow brings conversation or sometimes an easy and comfortable silence. Either is just fine. There are no rules on a good solid porch except for, “You behave!”
I’ve spent many an hour of my nearly 60 years on porches. When I was five-years-old I heard my first ‘old love song’ sung on Granny’s porch by Dillard Chandler. I fell in love with the voices and words from my huge family’s vast collection of what I’d later learn were traditional ballads brought from Scotland and England. That’s where my ancestors were prior to the late 17th Century. In 1731 they found themselves in what is now Madison County, North Carolina and we’ve been there ever since.
I remember as a little girl in my bedroom with the windows open listening to Mama and Daddy talking and laughing quietly on the porch. At the time it was such a comforting sound. I felt God was in heaven, and on the porch, and all was right with my world. I can close my eyes now, fifty-seven years later and hear their voices, so young and full of love and hope for their future. And, when all Daddy’s and Mama’s brothers and sisters showed up, that porch was full to busting and much more entertaining than any ‘performance’ I would ever see!
My children spent many hours on those porches over home. And they all three have porches themselves to enjoy. My son built a huge porch onto my house after my beloved husband passed in March 2009. I will always remember coming home from being on the road for six weeks that July and rounding the curve at the top of the driveway. It took my breath away when I saw what had happened in my absence. A porch that stretched across the entire length of the front of my house – already with hanging baskets of flowers, a rocking chair and, wonder of wonders, a porch swing. I cried and cried while my son and son-in-law patted me and said they built it because of stories of all the porches they’d heard about over the years.
My grandson, Ezra, was rocked to sleep many nights on that porch. He took his first steps on it. Later, I built a ramp so he could ride his tricycle off into the yard. Last summer, we took the training wheels off his bicycle and he went flying off that porch with the confidence of being six years old and knowing God was in heaven and on that porch with his GiGi.
If I were in charge – A porch would be mandatory for all of us. Blessings and dreams of porches out to all of you.