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Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Front Porch I

My front porch is an old front porch. I am old, and it is older than I am. But it is not as old as it could be, for it is the second front porch, not the first. The first front porch was retired after forty or fifty years. My Great
Grandfather built it in 1907 and 8. So this is the new front porch, but it is older than I by a decade or better. You can see the effort whoever made it put in on it, for it is a concrete porch where the first porch was a wooden tongue and groove job. This one is still smooth from the trowling they gave it. For a long time it was barn red, for longer than that it was edged in red--the remnant of that barn red finish it been given when it was new.

While I was growing up it was great fun to jump off the porch over in front of the upstairs door then run around to the steps and back to the high part of the porch in front of the upstairs door-round and off and round and back to the small gap between the Eouonymous bushes closer to the steps and through them like a rascal and off and round and off--trying every bit to reach the pine trees at the edge of the yard, or at least the cedars not too far away, now that would have been flying! and I would have been like Superman or Mighty Mouse or something. At one point, before we got too heavy(except later,just once-cause that's all it took, me by myself, in Jr High) we, my cousin and I, would climb out on the front porch roof and peering in the direction of the ground(for I am sure I needed glasses already) flail off into space hoping this would be the time that we just soared right up there with those Sparrows and Mocking birds, but, alas--only in our dreams. Well, Roger, my cousin, the Indian to my Cowboy, may be flying now. Surely he has wings...

Granmom would, on occasion, some still call her Grandmother(tho' I don't think I did much unless I wanted something really special like seconds on chocolate covered graham cracker cookies and apple juice, then I would), anyway, she, Granmom, would take the garden hose and wash the spider webs and dirt off the porch siding and floor. That was great fun and refreshing, eventually it became one of my jobs, until my Dad decided we might be pooling water under the house, so we began to use brooms instead of water pressure. That was probably better, but not nearly as much fun, and you had to go somewhere else to cool off.

During that time there would occasionally be great numbers of people gathered on the porch, five or six sitting with Granddad, a few still call him Grandfather(tho' I don't think I did much, unless I wanted something special like a tall tale-or was it? or chaw-only He could grant) and five or more standing all talking and laughing or perhaps not so much laughing, for later I found out that these gatherings usually marked someone's 'passing on'. You know, there may have been some laughter, because many folks I had not seen before, or only on these kind of occasions, when so many were gathered together no one knew for sure how many were there, or where they were at any one time, so they probably had lots of handshaking to do and hugs and kisses to give, stories and lies to tell and good times to remember, along with some sadnesses, and thoughts of, you know--hereafter. I remember that Great Aunties have a special aroma all their own, like apples or roses or something mysterious, and they so love to kiss the youngsters!

I have spent many hours since sitting on the front porch and contemplating, meditating and envisioning since then, but frequently more recently reminiscing about times gone by and wondering whether they were good or bad. Great Grandfather Isham, or Ice, as they say Great Grandmother Texana called him, envisioned the future as well as any-Dad said many a time, and Grandmom too, and Lois and Fenner--really nearly anyone who had talked to him, that he said, "There'll be houses at the front door", just off the porch, and there they sit, a spit and hark away. I sit and reminisce more and more and try not to conspire...

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