Here's a piece I wrote about my porch and the memories and inspiration it offers me.
A Room that Tells a Story
In that room, my sister and I bathed doll babies, played dress up, trained puppies, chatted with birds, wild and tame, sipped lemonade from real lemons, ate rich berry cobblers and home-made peach ice cream, told stories and sang songs, rode wild ponies and listened to bees in the abelias. In the hottest of nights, the porch transformed to become our bedroom, open to the cooler night air, crickets and animal sounds. I still remember how the old swing felt as it cradled me at one end and my sister at the other, feet facing each other.
It was in the spirit of that room that I dreamed of a similar porch, open and earthy and fresh to raise my girls and romance with my husband and childhood memories. And so it is like that, a long graceful room with high ceiling and fans and a view from long, wide screens out to the yard. The wide wicker sofa, so soft and covered with friendly wide yellow stripes provides a perfect view of the room, the old handmade table made by Grand Daddy Jo, the rustic hand painted side board, the rough gray wooden barn door from an abandoned neighborhood farm, the art collected and handmade, and other garden trinkets and books. The screens open to a low swing and large oak, a rock spring bed with a garden, the woods and stream beyond. Here, too, my girls imagined and fashioned lives, managed miniature farms, make believed and real. We painted pictures here too, staged plays and puppet shows, made huge messes, devoured juicy cobblers and slept under the stars. Even in snow, the drifts piling high upon the screens became a haven for the girls out of the winter wind, tired –out from long trudges up –hill with sleds. They jumped and slid in the drifts, sculpted snow pictures and buried the dog in white powder.
From the porch, I remember the sounds and feel of childhood, distant barn sounds and night calls, fresh grass, pines, and wind. Even now, when I lie on the sofa and look to the west sky, I still know them. This place evokes my childhood dream days and now allows me the freedom to dream and to write. It’s a sacred space.