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 ..