Front Porch Breezes

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On a good hot Southern afternoon, you’ll beg for a breeze. You’ll take your tea glass and press it to your face so a few moments of comfort come your way. We Southerners love our front porches. We sit out there just like we were sitting in the living room.


Someone will pass on the sidewalk and a holler of hello is sent out no matter if we know them or not. Don’t walk on our sidewalks unless you can stop for spell.


Life in the South is not meant to be fast. It’s meant for the fine things of a front porch. Containers of flowers are part of the atmosphere. The life of the plants tells a person that it’s a friendly sorta place with owners who are feeling good about inviting you up to sit awhile.


If you ask us directions, why that’s just like inviting a conversation. Porch owners look for opportunities like this so we can tell you all about the details of our life. It sure is hot and don’t you want some tea? The azaleas are doing good this year. Too hot to work and almost too hot to talk but we’ll manage. We’ll manage to tell you in every way we can how to get where you are going.

Go on down there by that white house where the lady lives who has 9 cats. She lost two due to traffic. Hasn’t traffic been bad this year? Do you have traffic where you are from? She’s got a son who works on cars if your car breaks down. My mother fixed her fried chicken and cornbread when her husband died. He was the undertaker.


Will you be staying here long? I have a cousin who owns a bed and breakfast. They fix good chicken too. Are you hungry. If you are hungry, I’ll run in and get you a Pepsi and some nabs. Do you know what nabs are? You don’t! You must be from up North a ways. Where about did you say you were from? OH, I see. You know Wilfred? Wilfred’s people are from there? Do you see the house with the iron fence and red door?

Well it’s on the corner after you past the white house where the lady lives with all those cats. Lord have mercy, that is a right good bit of cat food she has to buy and I’m assuming she gets it at the Piggly Wiggly on Waughtown street. You ever been to the Hot Dog House on Waughtown. Take a extra size britches with you when you go cause you eat a right many slaw way dogs. I know, it’s happen to a many out of towners. They get down here where calories are still attached to the food and if it don’t run out of you right quick, then it’ll stick.


You’re going turn right at that pretty blue house adjacent to the house with the red door that’s down the street from the white house and the lady with all those cats. Can you imagine the fur balls she has to put up with? I know I can’t and don’t want to. My uncle had a mess of cats too but they are all in his pond swimming around and that is where a good cat should be. He can fry up the best mess of catfish anywhere around these parts. He even cooks better than my cousin who owns the bed and breakfast in that house with the red door I told you about just a bit ago. You ain’t forgot have ya?


On past the blue house after you turn right, you’ll see the mayor’s house with the rounded arch and big columns. He got money once and spent it on columns. But his wife, Lucy has family that rescues the homeless. Lucy goes down to the place where the homeless hang out and gives them a card telling them how to get where her family has a good meal waiting for em. Do you want to know how to get to that place where Lucy’s family rescues the homeless? You don’t and your in a hurry? Alright then, once you’ve past the mayor’s house and Miss Lucy, look straight ahead and you’ll see where you’re headed.


But the people you are looking for don’t live there anymore. Naw, they moved a year ago and we don’t know where they went. It was real nice talking to ya. Are you sure don’t want a Pepsi, iced tea, water even?, or something to eat? Lord have mercy it’s hot out here and you standing there in the sun all this time. Why didn’t you join me on the porch if you were going to stay so long. I feel just awful.

26 Comments Add yours

  1. What a fun post, Anna. I had to look at this since it was all about porches – and of course, the story about Nabs was new to me. But now that I know the rest of the story, I love it. I love those packaged crackers and snacks. Just finished some peanut butter crackers in fact.


  2. Front porches are our own little piece of paradise. I love these photos. It’s a great reminder just how valuable this real estate is.


  3. carolyn says:

    Goodness gracious how you do go on:-) Johnny Carson once warned his viewers never to ask directions down South cause you’d get ” Go down yonder a bit where the old saw mill used to be except its not there anymore they cut it down in’42 …”

    We have a huge porch here but it’s very lonely because its never used. I can imagine that back in the day it was somewhat like yours with friends and neighbors gathered about on a hot summer night.

    Your story was just like a page out of one of my favorite books , A Member of the Wedding . Thanks for sharing. Made me homesick and nostalgic at the same time.


  4. teresa says:

    I swear that looks like one of our neighborhoods here. we have a lot of old homes like the ones you have shown. Nice to know people are still enjoying old front porches. I know I love to be on mine.


  5. That was awesome! And so true. . .


  6. I happened onto your site while looking at front porch images on google. I absolutely love it! We are building a new house and I want a big front porch like the Victorian I grew up in. I have fond memories of our front porch swing and conversations with our extended family, neighbors, and friends who would see us sitting and stop by to say hello…life is so busy now that we need to slow down and get back to those ideals of knowing our neighbors and having “real” conversations and connections with people. Facebook is great and all for long distance connections, but I feel we are moving away from and losing those close-knit, face-to-face connections that help us feel a sense of community and comradery. Thanks for the laughs and inspiration!


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