An exterior appendage to a building forming a covered approach or vestibule to a doorway.
Most of the houses I’ve lived in have had porches…
My house has a porch, a small one. I have a chair out there with a pillow on it. In the summer or fall, there’s a pot or two of dying flowers on my porch. I’m never on my porch so mostly it belongs to the postman and the wasps. The postman’s on my porch every day; the mailbox is just outside the front door and since he’s only there briefly each day, the wasps freely build and dwell around their nest on my porch without disturbance.
The house we had in Charlotte NC had a big front porch and our house in Orland Park had a porch too. The potted flowers on those porches faired a little better because there was a hose nearby but I didn’t spend much time on those porches either. Those porches were mostly the place for holiday decorations and posing for Halloween and the first day of school photographs.
Each porch an appendage to my house.
When I think of a porch it isn’t the porch of any house I’ve lived in that first comes to mind. What pops into my head is the porch on my Aunt Rita’s house.
Summer sleepovers at Aunt Rita’s with my cousins in Bridgeport and memories of the porch…
The porch is where we sat with the small brown paper bags of candy we bought at Priscilla’s. We tore through our Razzles and Mary Janes and candy cigarettes and buttons and plotted our next move.
The porch is where we learned to play cat’s cradle. It’s where we rested from drawing our sidewalk chalk art creations.
The porch is where we waited for our turns at hopscotch and jump rope and bottle caps and foursquare.
The porch is where we spent our days.
It’s where we spent our evenings too.
We went in for supper but when we were done we went back to the porch…and looking up and down across the block we’d know who was still eating and who was done and who could play some more, because returning to their porches for more fun after supper is what all the kids did.
The porch is where we assembled for games of “colored eggs” each of us waiting anxiously for the wolf to choose our color ready to leap off the steps and bolt down the block without getting tagged.
The porch is where we played and laughed and sweat and argued, made up and played and laughed and sweat some more.
I treasure the Halloween and the first day of school photos of my kids on our porches over the years, and I’ve enjoyed decorating those porches for the holidays. And even though I don’t sit on it, I like the chair and pillow that’s on my porch now. And yes, my flowers die, but I still enjoy planting them. I like the porches I’ve had and the one I have now.
But I loved the porch on Aunt Rita’s house. The porch that defied definition. During those summers in the city Aunt Rita’s porch wasn’t an appendage. It wasn’t a covered approach to a vestibule or doorway. It was a whole world and home to rich memories of my childhood.
It was summer fun. It was games and penny candy. It was sweat and laughter.
It was…a porch.