By Amy McCollom
To be quite honest, I miss my old house. The front porch, mostly, because it beckoned people to come visit, sit a spell, talk a while, open up, enjoy the outdoors. It also drew me outside, rain or shine, to stand or sit, watch, breathe, cool down or warm up. I love that front porch.
The house we are in now has much more room; it actually has twice as much room. All the kids have their own rooms, and there are two bathrooms, which comes in handy. The kids love the freedom of having the whole upstairs to themselves and having their own rooms for the first times in their lives.
I still have never had my own room, but at this point in my life, having half of a room is just fine with me. It’s hard enough for me to keep my half of the room clean.
Over the last ten years, my body has undergone some changes and break-downs, and things hurt that didn’t used to hurt. Sweeping and vacuuming is now a chore that takes me a while to recover from, rather than just a simple household job. Standing and washing up a sink full of dishes can literally do me in and put me on a heating pad with back pain for days. I no longer try to move pianos by myself or think that I can man-handle dressers across rooms without help. Carrying a basket of laundry down the basement stairs nearly throws my knees out of joint and feels like ice-picks in my knee caps.
I used to get angry when family members taunted me that I was heading for a nursing home with as many ailments as I have, but actually I’m thinking it might not be such a bad idea.
Think about it; in an assisted living facility, John and I would get a maintenance free apartment, our meals would be cooked for us, no dishes to wash, no vacuuming or sweeping to do, no scooping snow in the winter, someone there in case we need help. From the nice assisted living homes I have seen that my mom has lived in, they are beautiful places. As long as I could get a porch, balcony, patio or someway to be able to sit outside, I would be perfectly content. (And as long as it wasn’t the same one that my mom was in; because that just would not work out well at all.)
If I didn’t like the food, I could always eat a bowl of cereal, which is what I do at home when John and the kids eat something I don’t like. Plus, there is always take-out.
Our youngest kids are Juniors in high school. John has around five years before he can retire. It’s always good to have some plans for the future, several sets of plans in case things change. The Word says where there is no plan, the people perish. It is always good to think ahead.
One thing I am sure of; when it is time for John and I to retire, I want to make sure to spend as much time outside as possible. The sun, the breeze, the blue sky, the birdsong, and the scent of newly cut grass excites my senses. It makes me feel alive and puts my body in tune with nature. It is truly therapy for my mental well-being.
If you have a front porch, get out there and sit a spell. Enjoy the outdoors. Plan and plot and ponder. Think great thoughts, and small thoughts. And close your eyes and take in all the sounds and smells that float in on the breeze of spring.
Spring is here, with new birth, growth, dreams, plans, flowers all green, blue, yellow, pink, purple. Kids are playing, people out walking, dogs barking, and cats scurrying through yards and down alleys. Small towns with front porches and the hum of distant lawnmowers and children playing. I like this life.
I would like my house better if it had a front porch, but for now I will pull up a rocking chair on the small patio out front and visit with passersby, watch small finches peck at the bird seed I scattered on the boulevard for them, and sip my tea. There is always a chance that I will have another day, and maybe another front porch in the future.