Thursday, June 22, 2006

corners of my home: front porch

This is the time of year when our porch is our favorite room in the house. One of our annual rites of spring is bringing the porch furniture up from the basement, washing it, and sweeping and mopping the porch floor to inaugurate our season of outdoor living.

There is so much to love about porch life. I admire the way that, though all the porches on our street are different, they share a sameness of size and proportion so that looking down the row of them is a little like looking down a patchwork colonnade.

In porch season, this is where we eat all our meals, play, read, hang out, and chat with passing neighbors. It is from the porch that Iris conducts her census of neighborhood dogs and urban wildlife. There are squirrels, of course (which she calls “Eichhörnchen” – since we visited relatives in Austria last year, she has a small but eccentric German vocabulary), and robins and cardinals, but also goldfinches who visit our sunflowers and even a local resident hawk. Once J and Iris saw a raccoon. I know, more disgusting than delightful is what you’re thinking, but if you’re two years old and have only seen them before in books, the thrill is akin to sighting a celebrity in the grocery store. Her father was also impressed. “I see raccoon,” Iris reported to me later. “Daddy say ‘Holy cow!’”

More corners here.


Blogger Pittsburgh Midwife said...

It appears that we are neighbors, or well, living in the same city at least! You have a fantastically wonderful house and an equally wonderful family. Nice to have found your blog.

12:02 AM  
Blogger angelique said...

Thanks! I wonder if our paths crossed last night at the midwife center event?

9:30 AM  
Blogger Pittsburgh Midwife said...

nope, I didn't get a chance to attend...but it is quite possible that we have been at the same place before. Do you happen to know Erin & Scott who are expecting? They just recently had a benefit party in their home to help pay me for their up-coming homebirth and there were a ton of people there who I didn't get to meet...I thought that you might have been one of those people.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

perfect corner. such a shame modern homes lost the porch. (we spend so much time sitting on our front walkway - the girls love watching what is going on up and down the street) so much to be said for connecting one to your neighborhood. enjoy!

4:23 PM  
Blogger angelique said...

Hi pittsburgh midwife -- no, I wasn't there, but if we haven't met yet, perhaps we will soon... this is such a small town.

And Tracy -- isn't it telling how we try to recreate the front porch experience even in houses that don't have them? My father used to live in a porchless neighborhood where people set up chairs and hung out in their garages with the doors open in summer!

9:35 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I so miss front porch life. I don't believe they have ever heard of front porches in the midwest...Your post is the perfect description of our Pittsburgh life. We are becoming connoisseurs of backyard life where you don't get to see neighbors wandering by. We do get visited by baby deer during dinner, though. I bet Iris would be impressed.

1:54 PM  

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