When I was a kid and we’d go “back home” to Oneida, Tennessee, I just loved sitting on my great-grandparents’ front porch in one of the old rockers and waving at every car that drove by.
Now, I don’t come from monogrammed-Southern folks.
We’re the people balancing Dixie bowls of pinto beans on our laps because it’s cooler outside than it is in the kitchen. We’re loud. We tell big whoppers and love a good, solid practical joke.
So while my great-grandparents’ front porch was the place to gather, it wasn’t fancy.
She didn’t have much but my great-grandma, Gertrude, made sure there were plenty of places to sit on her porch.
And she made sure you got something to eat.
But mostly, she made sure you felt like you were home. Because of her kindness, her porch was a gathering place. It’s where bread was broken, babies were passed from lap to lap, Cokes were sipped and belly-shaking laughs were had.
It was a porch for storytelling and the setting of some of my personal favorites like one my Papaw would tell around the fire about the headless cat that would scratch on the door on bitter cold autumn nights. Or the time my mom, who was only two or three years old, went out to use the pee-pot before bed and spooked everyone when she came back in to say Uncle Ken (who, unbeknownst to her, had been buried that afternoon) was singing “Knick-knack paddy wack” as he walked through the yard and up the hill to the family cemetery in his military uniform.
I think about my great-grandma every time I sweep our humble-but-happy porch. I like to think it’s a place she’d feel at home. And of course, I can’t help but smile when Ada leans over the rail to greet everyone who walks by and invite them up to swing or eat or have a sleepover. That kid. Love her heart, she’s never met a stranger.
Yeah, I love my bunch of crazies. By the way, Travis has that blanket over his lap because we’re hiding his pink toe nails. We were both sick last week and instead of taking his turn helping me with the baby, he fell asleep. I thought, well fine. I’ll just paint his toenails pink. And I did.
Told you we appreciate a solid practical joke ;)
Cotton wreath: Michael’s
Plaid blanket: Ikea
Star blanket: Homegoods
Throw pillows: At Home
Vintage metal chairs: Everything But the House
Ada’s outfit: Yard sales! Her boots were only $3!