Doc officially joined the Porch People in the spring after she moved into her first home that was built in 1907. The lemonade front porches with their rockers and hanging swings are what attracted her to the neighborhood. The Friday night gatherings on the front porches are what kept her there for 18 years. Although this happened before I was born, I can tell by the way Doc talks about it that those neighbors and experiences will always be embedded in her heart.
The weekly gatherings centered around discussing the events of the week with a cold beverage, a lot of laughter and emotional support when needed. Neighbors out for an evening stroll would often stop for a moment to chew the fat and catch up on the latest news.
Doc told me that her neighbors supported her through her Ph.D, the death of her parents and almost every good and not so good experience of her life.
Most holidays were celebrated on one of those porches as well. Doc’s favorite was always Halloween when the neighbors gathered out front in the cool fall night waiting for all the ghosts and goblins to arrive. Then it was off to the neighbors for sloppy joes and cider when trick or treat was over.
Even after Doc moved, she would go back to the neighborhood to sit for a while on warm summer evenings. As all good things must come to an end, it was with a feeling of melancholy that Doc sat on the porch across the street from her old house for the last time. Her good friends Joe and Marie had sold their house. As the sun set and the lightning bugs began twinkling in the dark, they reflected on all the good times they had in that neighborhood, knowing the new owners would be welcomed there. Doc couldn’t help thinking about all the people who sat on those same porches for over a hundred years and how that will continue for more generations.
We may live in a fast world of technology and communication, but I think it is the simplicity of the front porches of this world that will keep us bonded together if we just take the time.