There comes a time, and it is probably different for everyone, when you need a comfortable spot to perch and watch the world as events unfold.
The first time I remember wanting a place at home beyond my room was when I came home from college in the summer back in the sixties and seventies.
I used to sit on the side porch of our home at 347 West Pine in Mount Airy, NC. From there I could look either at my mother's beautiful gardens or watch thunderstorms roll across the North Carolina hills. I could also see people walking up Pine Street towards Main Street.
My wife and I moved to Canada and used to sit on the side stoop of our old farm house in St. Croix Cove, Nova Scotia. From there we could look down the main road and see another three homes in the settlement.
When we moved to Tay Creek, New Brunswick, we had a front porch that we loved. it the wintertime it was often looked out over mountains of snow, but in the summer it had a wonderful view of the farming community all the way to the ridge where we had a second farm.
In our Roanoke, Virginia home my spot was the screened porch on the corner of the deck. Not only can I remember going there to think things over, but I also took some wonderful naps while mountain breezes kept me cool.
One of the things the Roanoke porch did was to give me a refuge from all the civilization that I endured on my weekly commutes to Northern Virginia and especially from those all too frequent trips to California when I was working for Apple. It was a place that I could decompress and forget about some of the unusual bosses that I had over time.
Now I need a different kind of refuge. Living on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina is about as far from the pressures of civilization as you can get. The Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina gives me plenty of opportunies to be close to nature. I am often alone in my boat out in the river or even if I am fishing with someone, the conversation is usually minimalist guy chit chat. Then there are those long beach walks where the only conversation comes from the surf and your memories.
When my wife rearranged the furniture on our front porch at our home on the water near Cape Carteret, I happily claimed the white rocking chair from where I can watch the community boat ramp and the regular walkers that enjoy the quiet streets in Bluewater Cove. It is also a good place to receive visitors. We're far enough from the street that people don't wander in unless they see someone. I am looking forward to some nice chats with friends.
This summer with all the tomato plants that I have, I might have to put up a stand to get rid of the surplus. That rocking chair might be a good place to handle those duties and to do a little thinking.
The funny thing is that the white rocking chair is also a good place to watch those summer storms which brings me back to those college years when I first started sitting on my mom's side porch.
I guess that completes the circle. Front porches never died in the South. I'm glad to see them making a return.