The Front Porch

The front porch was the “chat room” of years gone by. The front porch usually had a porch swing and a couple of rocking chairs. The front porch was where family and friends gathered to chat in person. They would play the guitar and sing on the front porch. 

When I was a child, not every family had air conditioning in their house. In the summer, it was cooler outside on the front porch than it was inside the house.

On the front porch, people would wave and greet those who passed by.  Folks would sit and talk, snap beans, shuck corn, peel potatoes, crochet, and darn socks. Young people would court on the front porch. Haircuts were given on the front porch. Deals were made with a handshake on the front porch. The preacher would visit on the front porch. People gossiped on the front porch. Great ideas and plans for the future were made on the front porch. You name it, it probably happened on the front porch.

Sometimes, the front porch was a place you could go to be alone, or a place to go to be with friends. It was a place of talking, laughing, singing, praying, crying, and smooching.  It was a peaceful place where many memories were made.

People don’t sit on the front porch much anymore.  Most of the houses now have air conditioning, televisions, computers, and game systems. I don’t care too much for the TV or game systems. I would rather sit on the front porch.

As a man in my sixties, I still like to sit on the porch swing and read and think and pray.  I enjoy sitting with my wife on the front porch as we discuss the past, plan for the future, and maybe even smooch a bit.  It’s a quiet place of solitude to get away from the noise of the 21st century.

I imagine that front porches will be a thing of the past in the not-too-distant future.  Most people today don’t want to sit where there’s no air conditioning or heat 24/7.  They want their electronic toys/smartphones 24/7.

I want to encourage you to not allow the front porch of your house to be just an entrance to your house.  Stop awhile. Read, drink a cup of coffee, pray, meditate, and slow down a bit.  I know that you have a lot to do, and that you have a busy life.  But your aging parents and grandparents are wishing and praying that you would stop and chat awhile with them on the front porch.

Pull up a rocking chair, grab a tall glass of cold, sweet tea, and sit a spell.  I’ll be glad you did, and I hope you will, too.