Thursday, August 19, 2010

a porch

it wasn't anything big or very southern, just a simple concrete slab of a front porch .. attached to a simple post war ranch style house .. but, we loved that front porch and it played a big part in a variety of activities that highlighted our childhood ..

foremost, that front porch signified 'home' .. home base .. safety .. protection .. and where we gathered to discuss the summer games scheduled for the day ..

our most popular summer game, we named 'pa-ting' (pah - ting) .. it involved one of us being 'it' or as we called them, 'pa-ting' .. their goal was to chase ( robot style ) the other participants in an effort to tag them with a baton ( an old twirling baton ) they carried .. and repeatedly say 'pa-ting, pa-ting, pa-ting' .. the other participants could run anywhere in the front yard they wanted except into the driveway or street .. mainly they had to stay on the grass .. the front porch was 'home base' .. and only one participant on home base at a time .. 'pa-ting' had to 'tag' 3 people to 'release themselves of the curse' .. the third person tagged would be the new 'pa-ting' .. and the game would go on ALL day ..

as i entered my pre-teens, we moved into a home on the outskirts of town that was more or less a farm .. it was a big old prairie style house with a huge southern style front porch and a big old barn .. we had horses, pigs, chickens, rabbits, goats and momma even raised doves .. we even had on old hoot owl in the barn and a raccoon in one of the sheds ..

the porch may have taken on a different shape and style, but it always stood for comfort, protection, safety .. home base ..

that old porch on the house on the hill .. as we came to call that home .. stood in at many bar-b-ques as a place where the kids always gathered on cots and roll-a-way beds to 'hunker down' for the evening .. whispering ghost stories to one another .. trying to stay awake to watch the sun come up .. the morning dew misting the sun dried sheets, cooling our sun burned legs and backs .. the comforting sound of fathers snoring, in their lawn chairs, under the trees of the side yard .. the smell of bacon frying and coffee brewing and fresh cantaloupe filling the morning air ..

i long for a place with a nice front porch ..

wishing you all a joy filled day ..

love, troy


  1. Oh Troy, you've brought back such great memories. My aunt had a "sleeping porch" that was at the back of her house and it was essentially a large room surrounded by windows that had about 3 beds in it as I remember. One year, I'll never forget it, I was little and sleeping on that back porch with both my grandmothers on each side of my family (which was rare, never happened again) and I was probably in the middle since I loved them both and would want to be surrounded by them. I could hear the frogs and the night was so quiet and it turned cool and we had sleep under covers. How I long for that sleeping porch now. Wish I had a picture, but I can still see it so clearly. She too had a front porch, similar to your photo but it wasn't screened in. I used to sit there and make "mud pies"! Oh those memories seem so long ago.

  2. I too would LOVE to have a house with a big wrap around porch!! They always look so inviting. Where my store is located, Old Towne Orange, it is a historic district that has some killer houses with great porches. I chose to live in a "track house" not far from the beach. I'm still trying to figure out how to "add" a big porch to the front of my house!

    Take care, Sue

  3. Your "pa-ting" story resonates so much with me!
    I spent many of my childhood Summers in Waco at my grandmothers house, and I have so many fond memories of playing on her front porch, making up creative games like y'all did.

    Can you imagine kids today having the same degree of imagination? I sure can't.

    You;re gonna,laugh, but quite honestly my favorite front porch activity was to sit out on Mammaw's porch with a fly swatter and swat flies by the HOUR. I was a weird kid!!!

    Troy, you come on down to my place and you can swing on my front porch. You can even bring your baton if ya wanna. :-)