Monday, May 9, 2011
A Mighty Powerful Porch
Eric and I knew we had a porch that was mighty powerful. And what has happened recently on that porch has solidified our belief in our porch’s power.
You may recall back a year ago when I bought The Bungalow, one of the main selling points was its deep porch with a perpetual cross breeze. I had fallen in love with it just as the previous owner Ms. Mildred had some fifty-three years before. That porch just calls to you to come and sit awhile. And the furniture upon which you sit is the same furniture that has graced the porch since around the fifties (vintage metal glider, chaise lounge and chair that I negotiated for in the closing of the house). I mean, when you’ve got something good, some mix of special, why mess with it?
So, in the past year, Eric and I have had many a meal and many a causal evening with friends out on that porch. When our friends Farrah and Jared came to Gadsden to give poetry readings and workshops, we spent a fair amount of time on the porch before they left to head back to Brooklyn. When Elisha came down from Souix Falls, we had a number of lunch-times, and after-dinner-times out on that porch (and we may have had a number of fancy beers, too).
But most recently, we’ve had some rather unusual (and truly magical) things occur on our porch. We’ve had music. Not music from a radio, but live, spontaneous music.
It started about two weeks ago when Tami’s son Zach stopped by the house after a cello performance. Tami, Eric and I were all sitting on the porch having after-work snacks and beverages, and were generally just enjoying each other’s company and the fantastic breeze. We began asking Zach about how his performance went, what piece he had played, etc. One thing led to another, and before we knew it, Zach had his cello out and was playing a piece from that night’s concert. It was surreal. There in the dark, on a Thursday evening, we were listening to live cello music on our front porch. It was a most special thing.
So, when something similar happened again last night, I knew that it couldn’t be just a fluke. Eric and I were sitting on the porch, minding our own business when, one by one, all of the neighborhood kids ended up on the porch with us (and I do mean ALL of them…five from one house, two from another, three from another, and a couple of extras who were just visiting). There was much jumping from steps and stumps (no, the stumps haven’t been ground, yet), lots of sneaking-up-on-and-pretend-shooting, some ballet demonstrations…you get the picture…we own the pied piper of porches. Then, our neighbor Adrian, whose wife and kids I know from the library, came over to formally introduce himself to us. And when he came over, all of the adults on our end of the street migrated over as well. And Adrian’s brother Tony stopped by with his wife Andrea. And before we knew it, Tony and Adrian had started singing a song that Tony had written for Mother’s Day and had sung at church that morning. They sang it to Adrian’s wife, Jessica, since she had missed it at church. It was a lovely acapella piece, sung by two brothers who had clearly sung many songs together. Eric and I were speechless. Yet again, it was most special.
A porch is a powerful thing. Eric and I know this to be true, because we recognize that we are the owners of a mighty powerful porch. And we’ve made a solemn vow to use our porch wisely, and only for good…