To get mine, all it took was an epic public meltdown.
I was trying to “install” the 1940’s wooden screen frames I’d neglected outside to the midwestern elements for an entire year into our porch. Who knew they’d be completely warped and ruined? I figured it wasn’t anything a swinging hammer or kicking foot couldn’t fix. Turns out, no manner of either (including boisterous cursing) would make my porch dream come true. With lead paint chips flying and tears flowing, my husband, Brian recognized from a nearby window that I would really appreciate a screened porch and fast.
A couple of months later, I had my very own (hand built by Brian) and not a moment spent on it since has been taken for granted. It has been one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received from anyone.*
My porch is humble. No wall-mounted TV or any modern conveniences other than a strong wifi signal. No gas-powered fire feature (although I do hope to create a table-top fire pit this summer.**) My porch may be small by some standards but perfectly sized to relax, observe the neighbors and literally do nothing other than sit with a cold drink. Jane Austen would be so proud!
Another pleasure of my porch is the quiet companionship of Hank, my dog and loyal porch buddy. I in my adirondack and he on his bed, together we just take it all in and wonder what the heck has gotten into the squirrels.
He sniffs a lot. Actually, he sniffs constantly. What does he smell? Maybe it’s the other dogs in the neighborhood, the faint sweet aroma of a man’s cigar as he drives by or the wafting of dinner from a kitchen window…or maybe it’s the overpowering odor of the ranch dressing left behind by Hazel in a ramekin ’cause right now that’s all I can smell.
There is a peace and comfort in just “being” with Hank on the porch. He’s perfectly content to lay on his bed and observe the neighborhood. His ears perk up at the distant sounds of road construction, wailing sirens and train whistles all the while birds happily chirp their ubiquitous songs.*** I’m hoping one of those chatty birds will decide to make a nest inside my new birdhouse hanging outside. That would be a pleasure.
Finally, another one of my favorite porch activities is to enjoy an ice cold beer on a sweltering summer night – the hotter the better. For some reason, that’s when a beer tastes uncommonly delicious and refreshing. However, my porch buddy doesn’t want to relax on his bed at night. Since it’s too dark to see, he’s curled up on the couch in the cool house leaving me to take in the sounds of night by myself. That’s alright with me because Hank and I will be back at “being” tomorrow, together on the screened porch.
*A close second is my KitchenAid stand-mixer given to me by my late mother-in-law.
**This has blog post written all over it.
***He will also bark his living head off when a bicyclist rides by (as he just did.)