Front porches and family

fpBy Becky Holland
  You know you are in the South when you ride down the high way and see people sitting on their front porches or back porches, depending on how their house was designed, no matter how big the porches are. 

When I was in college, I lived on the upper level of a student apartment complex at the college I attend. We had a walkway in front of our apartments and a small area in front of our windows where we could put some outdoor chairs. My neighbor, Tonya and I shared a lot of good conversation outside of her apartment and mine. 

 One day,  I noticed that three girls who lived in the bottom level of one of the other buildings in our complex seemed to live outside their apartment, sitting in folding metal chairs. Across the way, another resident would sit in a chair by her door, and talk on the telephone on her porch. 

 Porches are a place to barbecue, to sit and talk, and to watch the world go by. At school, other students used their porches for a whole bunch of reasons from reading to studying to even exercising(someone had an exercise bike on their upstairs balcony porch.)!

 In the days of the old South, in particular during the days of Gone With The Wind, parties and dinners and teas were given on front porches.  I read somewhere that the home and the road came together at the porch, and people who didn’t meet anywhere else could meet there for conversation and business. 

 Growing up in the South, in Cochran, Georgia,  life revolved around faith,  food, family,  friends and fun.  Simple words, yet each brings up fond memories, and for  me, define what it means to be  a Southerner. We shared most of these things on the front porch or the back porch(until Dad made it into his computer room). No matter how old I get, or how far  away I am, I’ll  always be that wide-eyed little girl sitting on the front  porch swing or steps or on the back porch,   listening to my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles tell stories.

 

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