Every time I walk across the ground where my childhood home and that old front porch once stood, I smile.
To some it wasn't much of a porch, but it was ours and we saw it's beauty and worth.
One summer, long after I grew up, I helped my elderly father build a large and heavy wooden step for our old front porch.
I remember the project well.
The master of make-do rummaged through a pile of old lumber. He found usable 2x4s and some 2x6s. Next the saver of this and that and almost everything else grabbed up the stash of nails and screws, that he housed in a little banded wooden keg in his feed shed.
First he pulled out a goodly amount of small primitive hand tools and laughed about his inability to tell his helper their use or history. He was a collector of priceless 'keepers', including the remaining contents of that little barrel, old rusty nails.
He dumped the steel fasteners, both square and round, in a heap and spread them out on an empty feed bag. I can still see him sorting through and selecting the best of the lot.
The beagles came in from a run in in the spills nearby, in the meantime. A couple of them chose the broken down old step that we pulled away from the porch to nap on.
After we straighten out the bent our nails, Dad lifted his best handsaw from the spike on the wall. We measured the boards with a yardstick.
He cussed some and we discussed my failure to follow the man with a plan's instructions, completely.
Grandpa' Siner's handed down saw fit my left hand just right. The old hammer with the weathered handle and worn head pounded, pushed and straightened those spit dampened rusty nails to the limits.
We built a sturdy step that day, no doubt about it.
He laughed and sang, when all was said and done. He patted me on the back and boasted, "By golly, 'Laurel' and 'Hardy' built a dandy step, exact in measure and cut!"
His grateful helper started talking to him again.
I went back the next day, prepared the step and the porch for paint. When the surfaces of both were ready, I applied a shiny coat of battleship gray deck enamel, to the previously painted porch and a primer to the new step.
Mom placed the lawn chairs in a row after the paint dried to her satisfaction.
I sat between my parents on that lazy summer's afternoon and we observed the happy sparrow playing hide and seek in the gingerbread trim near the nest in the corner, near the ceiling.
We watched the strong breeze move the leaves on the tall oak near the entrance of the driveway and admired our work. Mom brought out icy cold Kool-Aid in retro metal glasses. For a little while, time stood still.
Mother and Dad are gone now. The old front porch went when the house burned down in 1987. I'm still here snapping green beans, doing what comes naturally and clinging to wonderful memories.
I apologize for a serious error that I made in a sentence last week. Just the omission of a single letter "s" caused the sentence to be grammatically incorrect. I wrote: The garden were beautiful and the wedding flowers the same.
Avon Gardens, is comprised of, not one, but several perennial gardens, beautiful flowers and plants too many to mention.
The computer and I are not good companions after midnight. I am burning the oil too late these days.
Thanks to everyone that helped me bring my blood pressure down last week or assisted me in any way ,from day one of my complaint. God Bless You!
I can be reached by phone at 446-4852 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Old Front Porch
Thinking of yesterday Visions of my past
Memories of our old front porch
These I hold steadfast
It was a gathering place my family and our friends
A place where we could rest awhile
And tie up some loose ends
Sometimes we would snap green beans
While we sat around and talked things through
We would laugh at nothing, discuss the world
And squabble a little too
Our old hound dogs would leisure
Lying listlessly at our feet
Mom would offer Kool-Aid
To refresh us from the heat
The sparrows would be nesting
In the corner by the door
My dad would let them nest
Until he couldn't bear it anymore
With broom in hand
He would knock them down
And sweep them up again
They would turn around
And build another where it had been
Homemade ice cream and watermelon too
Mother served on that old front porch
And a lot of it was for me, Ol' Mary Lou
It welcomed strangers
Who came knocking on the door
And ushered in the rain and snow
And yes, the old front porch
Was about a lot of things
That don't happen anymore
Copyrightę2000 by Mary Lou Lynch Sartor