Front Porch


Nearly twenty years ago, my husband and I purchased our first home for sixty-nine thousand dollars. The real estate agency described the house as having old world charm, a nice way of describing its many flaws.


The kitchen tiles were yellow and chipped at the corners like aged teeth, and when we caught a square with a foot in just the right way, we’d dislodge it and send it skittering across the room. A previous owner had painted the bricks of the fireplace tan. Someone else had cut a hole in the floor of the living room, replacing it with a 4 by 6 piece of plywood. And despite my best intentions, the stairs would never quite come clean: Eighty years of dirt and grime and dust had accumulated in the space where the tread had divorced itself from the riser. The shower leaked; the bathroom floorboards were rotted; the basement was musty. A monkey had been raised in this house.


Yet it was in this house that my husband and I learned how to be married as we discovered the stresses of homeownership; as we began a family; as we both privately wondered whether our new and fragile marriage would last.





We shared the neighborhood with retirees and young families. Apartment dwellers whose car alarms would suddenly shriek in the middle of the night. In three minutes, we could walk to a restaurant; the grocery store; the church.


* * *

I’m not sure how we first met Anne, our neighbor directly across the street. Likely, she brought over dinner, a hot casserole in a covered Pfaltzgraff dish, steam condensing on the underside of the lid. Anne and her husband had raised a houseful of boys who were now scattered around the United States. Their last son, younger than the eldest by twenty years, had just gone off to college.

Anne gave us a rundown on the neighborhood: Our house was sandwiched between the houses of sisters. The couple to the left had a daughter whose greatest ambition was to be a firefighter. She volunteered at the station. She worked out every day. Yet it was widely understood that her she would be rejected from the program due to her tiny frame. To our right lived a single mom doing her best to raise her son alone. Across the street an unmarried lawyer lived in the house she’d been raised in. Her sister and new husband lived one street over. A couple doors down, there was a family of four. And near Anne’s house there was a woman my age who babysat to supplement her husband’s income while she stayed at home with her young son. Her husband was a cross-stitcher who hid his—gorgeous—work in a cabinet while he was at work. And then, there was the drug house; a house full of people coming and going at all hours of the day and night; a house with the kicked-in front door; the house whose roof caught fire in the middle of the night.

Every day, when I got home from work, I would change into my tennis shoes and Anne and I would walk. We’d talk for hours—about her boys; about my pregnancy; about my family; about Catholicism, Anne’s long-term religion and the faith I’d adopted after marrying my husband.

Putting on the rules and expectations of my husband’s religion was difficult for me; uncomfortable and constricting , like squeezing into a tight pair of jeans. I often wondered aloud how much of myself I would have to lose in order to have a proper fit.

I couldn’t accept purgatory, this limbo between heaven and hell, where lost souls resided until enough people prayed for them, winching them out of purgatory with the weight of their prayers and thrusting them into their rightful place in heaven.

Anne nodded at my expanding stomach and told me that she didn’t believe unbaptized babies went to purgatory but straight to God. If Anne, a live-long believer, could question and disagree, then I could too. And I felt the bonds of our shared religion loosen ever so slightly.

My husband resented the amount of time Anne and I spent together. We were still practically newlyweds, after all. And we had a lot to do to prepare for the baby. But, eventually, as twilight settled upon the street, Anne and I would round the final corner and head home.

That first summer, my husband mowed our tiny lawn in his tee shirt early Saturday mornings after the dew had evaporated. I hung out the laundry in the back yard. In the evenings, after the weekend chores had been completed, we retired to the relative cool of the front porch—the big box fan and window air conditioner doing little to dissipate the day’s heat that hung within the house.

The front porch ran the length of the house. The floor was painted blue. In the ceiling, I could make out the individual strips of brown lumber. A white trellis invited ivy and roses to grow along the east end of the porch. There were a couple of ceiling hooks there, too, intended to support a porch swing. I imagined swinging there, under the shade of fragrant blooms and the buzzing of bees.

On that porch my husband drank cheap beer from sweaty bottles and listened to the Indians game turned low on the portable radio as we watched the day quietly slip into night.

Invariably Anne and her husband would mosey over. They would sit on the crooked stairs we were too broke to fix, Anne’s arms wrapped around her legs, Ron’s legs stretched out before him to accommodate the large stomach that entitled him to play Santa every Christmas. As the dark settled in and the lightening bugs began flashing, we’d slap at mosquitoes and talk, calling out greetings to other neighbors on the street.

On summer evenings, it seemed, the whole street would gather on porches, chatting with passersby, admiring new bicycles and new basketballs and new babies.

By next spring, we had a new baby of our own. Anne continued to visit; continued to talk; continued to want to walk. But I began to resent the time she took from me, time I wanted to spend with my child. I began shutting my front door, in spite of the heat, for a few minutes of privacy.

A few days before Easter, as I sat on the loveseat in my living room, I heard steps upon my porch. I groaned. I wasn’t prepared for a visitor. I didn’t want to take a walk with Anne. I heard quiet huffs of laughter, but no one knocked.

The footsteps went away. The front yard went silent.

I peeked through the window. Anne had decorated a bush in the front yard. Plastic eggs—yellow and pink, soft blue and purple—bloomed upon its branches.

* * *

Our family grew; our ambitions grew: We wanted a larger house, a house in the country. We wanted a house away from the drug house. Without telling anyone in the neighborhood, we put our house on the market.

And, one day in October, as the days shortened and the pumpkins ripened, we excitedly emptied our house, tucking our belongings in the U-Haul parked in the center of the street. When we’d finished, Ron stepped outside onto the street. “Anne’s too upset to come out and say goodbye,” he told us.

We promised Ron we’d be back for a visit; we’d bring the kids soon. We’d take a long walk.

Then one day, a few years later, I received a letter from Ron. Anne, always a worrier, had had a massive heart attack and died. And I’d never said goodbye.

* * *

My husband and I purchased our third house for a ridiculous price. It has four bathrooms and four large bedrooms. It’s far from the city. Safe from drug dealers. Far from interesting restaurants. The house is in a new development of identical houses. The front porch is poured concrete and measures roughly 4 by 8, a suitable spot for the mailman to put oversize packages. A place to put a planter of flowers.

Visitors stand on the porch, ring the bell and wait to be admitted or turned away.

No one, to my knowledge, has ever moseyed over to sit upon it.

The house has a large backyard deck. Clotheslines aren’t permitted.

Our marriage has held together and strengthened. We have three terrific children. Yet I am still unsteady in my faith.

Every year, around Easter, when plastic eggs bloom upon trees, I’m reminded of Anne.

And I’m reminded that something is missing.

I miss the old world charm of neighborhoods.

I miss my low mortgage payment.

I miss Anne.

I regret going back on my promise; not going back for another walk, for another visit.

I missed my opportunity to say goodbye.

Our next home will have a big front porch. A white trellis with ivy and roses. And a porch swing.

The neighbors will be invited to sit upon it with me and watch the world go by.

And we will, all of us, keep the promises that we make.

This post has been linked to Yeah Write.

Labels: ,

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Front Porch

Friday, March 30, 2012

Front Porch


Nearly twenty years ago, my husband and I purchased our first home for sixty-nine thousand dollars. The real estate agency described the house as having old world charm, a nice way of describing its many flaws.


The kitchen tiles were yellow and chipped at the corners like aged teeth, and when we caught a square with a foot in just the right way, we’d dislodge it and send it skittering across the room. A previous owner had painted the bricks of the fireplace tan. Someone else had cut a hole in the floor of the living room, replacing it with a 4 by 6 piece of plywood. And despite my best intentions, the stairs would never quite come clean: Eighty years of dirt and grime and dust had accumulated in the space where the tread had divorced itself from the riser. The shower leaked; the bathroom floorboards were rotted; the basement was musty. A monkey had been raised in this house.


Yet it was in this house that my husband and I learned how to be married as we discovered the stresses of homeownership; as we began a family; as we both privately wondered whether our new and fragile marriage would last.





We shared the neighborhood with retirees and young families. Apartment dwellers whose car alarms would suddenly shriek in the middle of the night. In three minutes, we could walk to a restaurant; the grocery store; the church.


* * *

I’m not sure how we first met Anne, our neighbor directly across the street. Likely, she brought over dinner, a hot casserole in a covered Pfaltzgraff dish, steam condensing on the underside of the lid. Anne and her husband had raised a houseful of boys who were now scattered around the United States. Their last son, younger than the eldest by twenty years, had just gone off to college.

Anne gave us a rundown on the neighborhood: Our house was sandwiched between the houses of sisters. The couple to the left had a daughter whose greatest ambition was to be a firefighter. She volunteered at the station. She worked out every day. Yet it was widely understood that her she would be rejected from the program due to her tiny frame. To our right lived a single mom doing her best to raise her son alone. Across the street an unmarried lawyer lived in the house she’d been raised in. Her sister and new husband lived one street over. A couple doors down, there was a family of four. And near Anne’s house there was a woman my age who babysat to supplement her husband’s income while she stayed at home with her young son. Her husband was a cross-stitcher who hid his—gorgeous—work in a cabinet while he was at work. And then, there was the drug house; a house full of people coming and going at all hours of the day and night; a house with the kicked-in front door; the house whose roof caught fire in the middle of the night.

Every day, when I got home from work, I would change into my tennis shoes and Anne and I would walk. We’d talk for hours—about her boys; about my pregnancy; about my family; about Catholicism, Anne’s long-term religion and the faith I’d adopted after marrying my husband.

Putting on the rules and expectations of my husband’s religion was difficult for me; uncomfortable and constricting , like squeezing into a tight pair of jeans. I often wondered aloud how much of myself I would have to lose in order to have a proper fit.

I couldn’t accept purgatory, this limbo between heaven and hell, where lost souls resided until enough people prayed for them, winching them out of purgatory with the weight of their prayers and thrusting them into their rightful place in heaven.

Anne nodded at my expanding stomach and told me that she didn’t believe unbaptized babies went to purgatory but straight to God. If Anne, a live-long believer, could question and disagree, then I could too. And I felt the bonds of our shared religion loosen ever so slightly.

My husband resented the amount of time Anne and I spent together. We were still practically newlyweds, after all. And we had a lot to do to prepare for the baby. But, eventually, as twilight settled upon the street, Anne and I would round the final corner and head home.

That first summer, my husband mowed our tiny lawn in his tee shirt early Saturday mornings after the dew had evaporated. I hung out the laundry in the back yard. In the evenings, after the weekend chores had been completed, we retired to the relative cool of the front porch—the big box fan and window air conditioner doing little to dissipate the day’s heat that hung within the house.

The front porch ran the length of the house. The floor was painted blue. In the ceiling, I could make out the individual strips of brown lumber. A white trellis invited ivy and roses to grow along the east end of the porch. There were a couple of ceiling hooks there, too, intended to support a porch swing. I imagined swinging there, under the shade of fragrant blooms and the buzzing of bees.

On that porch my husband drank cheap beer from sweaty bottles and listened to the Indians game turned low on the portable radio as we watched the day quietly slip into night.

Invariably Anne and her husband would mosey over. They would sit on the crooked stairs we were too broke to fix, Anne’s arms wrapped around her legs, Ron’s legs stretched out before him to accommodate the large stomach that entitled him to play Santa every Christmas. As the dark settled in and the lightening bugs began flashing, we’d slap at mosquitoes and talk, calling out greetings to other neighbors on the street.

On summer evenings, it seemed, the whole street would gather on porches, chatting with passersby, admiring new bicycles and new basketballs and new babies.

By next spring, we had a new baby of our own. Anne continued to visit; continued to talk; continued to want to walk. But I began to resent the time she took from me, time I wanted to spend with my child. I began shutting my front door, in spite of the heat, for a few minutes of privacy.

A few days before Easter, as I sat on the loveseat in my living room, I heard steps upon my porch. I groaned. I wasn’t prepared for a visitor. I didn’t want to take a walk with Anne. I heard quiet huffs of laughter, but no one knocked.

The footsteps went away. The front yard went silent.

I peeked through the window. Anne had decorated a bush in the front yard. Plastic eggs—yellow and pink, soft blue and purple—bloomed upon its branches.

* * *

Our family grew; our ambitions grew: We wanted a larger house, a house in the country. We wanted a house away from the drug house. Without telling anyone in the neighborhood, we put our house on the market.

And, one day in October, as the days shortened and the pumpkins ripened, we excitedly emptied our house, tucking our belongings in the U-Haul parked in the center of the street. When we’d finished, Ron stepped outside onto the street. “Anne’s too upset to come out and say goodbye,” he told us.

We promised Ron we’d be back for a visit; we’d bring the kids soon. We’d take a long walk.

Then one day, a few years later, I received a letter from Ron. Anne, always a worrier, had had a massive heart attack and died. And I’d never said goodbye.

* * *

My husband and I purchased our third house for a ridiculous price. It has four bathrooms and four large bedrooms. It’s far from the city. Safe from drug dealers. Far from interesting restaurants. The house is in a new development of identical houses. The front porch is poured concrete and measures roughly 4 by 8, a suitable spot for the mailman to put oversize packages. A place to put a planter of flowers.

Visitors stand on the porch, ring the bell and wait to be admitted or turned away.

No one, to my knowledge, has ever moseyed over to sit upon it.

The house has a large backyard deck. Clotheslines aren’t permitted.

Our marriage has held together and strengthened. We have three terrific children. Yet I am still unsteady in my faith.

Every year, around Easter, when plastic eggs bloom upon trees, I’m reminded of Anne.

And I’m reminded that something is missing.

I miss the old world charm of neighborhoods.

I miss my low mortgage payment.

I miss Anne.

I regret going back on my promise; not going back for another walk, for another visit.

I missed my opportunity to say goodbye.

Our next home will have a big front porch. A white trellis with ivy and roses. And a porch swing.

The neighbors will be invited to sit upon it with me and watch the world go by.

And we will, all of us, keep the promises that we make.

This post has been linked to Yeah Write.

Labels: ,

73 Comments:

At March 30, 2012 at 10:35 AM , Anonymous Alison said...

I love this, Kelly

 
At March 30, 2012 at 11:43 AM , Anonymous Leslicollins said...

Okay... I'm dabbing here. Really well done and I can so relate to all of this.

 
At March 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM , Anonymous jaum said...

What a powerful (tearjerker) story. Regrets can be a terrible burden, but your vision of things to come is way of diminishing past regrets. Great post.

 
At March 30, 2012 at 1:06 PM , Anonymous Leslicollins said...

I also have to add that Anne's outfitting your bushes with plastic eggs says much about the bonds and discussions you shared together... oh sob....

 
At March 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM , Anonymous Pam Parker said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you.

 
At March 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thank you for reading, Pam! I'm glad you liked it.

 
At March 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Can't wait for that porch...Thanks.

 
At March 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At March 30, 2012 at 2:53 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Remember the tree in the front yard?

 
At March 30, 2012 at 2:55 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks, Alison. This was one of those essays that had to wait for a long time before it could be written.

 
At March 30, 2012 at 2:57 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks, Alison. This was one of those essays that had to wait before it could be written.

 
At March 31, 2012 at 9:33 AM , Anonymous Sharongreenthal said...

Don't feel bad. Lives take off in so many directions. Anne knew you were her friend and she was yours when you needed each other. This was a really touching story.

 
At April 1, 2012 at 6:07 AM , Anonymous idiosyncratic eye said...

Very thought provoking. :)

 
At April 1, 2012 at 3:21 PM , Anonymous Mary said...

How wonderfully poignant. Sad how folks have lost the art of simple communication. Perhaps, with time, we all will follow through with our promises...no regreta.

 
At April 3, 2012 at 5:14 AM , Anonymous Jenn said...

Aww, this made me teary. I'm so glad that when you needed a friend like Anne, she was there. and I am sure she knew what she meant to you.

 
At April 3, 2012 at 6:39 AM , Anonymous momma23monkeys said...

MAde me teary eyed and yearn for a front porch and a neighbor like Ann.I 'm sorry you never got to say goodbye.

 
At April 3, 2012 at 8:02 AM , Anonymous Jade said...

Just beautiful! I think I can imagine your sadness. We moved overseas about three years ago. I had a fabulous neighbour back home, and we spent a few hours every day together with our kids. Her husband worked really long hours and she felt kind of stuck in her house. I was sort of underhanded about our move - "Oh, we're just going for work, will be back within six months", which stretched to a year, two years, three years...and we also sold our house back home when it became clear we were staying here. Things are a little awkward between us now.
So I can kind of imagine a lower level of the remorse and sadness you feel. It's a great post though :)

 
At April 3, 2012 at 8:46 AM , Anonymous christina said...

i'm in tears now. this was truly so very touching, so very emotional for me. your descriptions of your first home, the porch, the summer evenings out front... all reminded me of my youth and wow, i'm in tears right now. it's been a long time since i've gone back in time- that far back. and then, of course, there's Anne. and the eggs in the bush, and your moving and ... just really an incredibly moving piece. thank you so much for sharing.

 
At April 3, 2012 at 9:00 AM , Anonymous raisingivy said...

What a lovely post. It's so hard to maintain friendships with women whose kids are at different stages than mine; I have a beloved friend whose children are grown and gone while mine are at the ages of peak activity. I know she's often disappointed in me for not spending more time with her. I'm going to think of Anne and see her more often; thank you for sharing your story.

 
At April 3, 2012 at 9:11 AM , Anonymous Tracy Cameron said...

I was totally and completely drawn into your world as I read. This is a wonderful post and an important reminder that we need to stop and look around once in awhile. Life moves so incredibly fast and sometimes we find ourselves barely keeping our heads above water. I think I'm going to make sure I take time to go for a leisurely swim with those I love just a little more often.
Thank you for this post.

 
At April 3, 2012 at 1:07 PM , Anonymous Delilah Love said...

What a wonderful post. A great reminder to remember what matters and to take time to enjoy it. Thanks for sharing it with us.

 
At April 3, 2012 at 1:27 PM , Anonymous Miranda said...

Sometimes it's crazy to me to see how much we've changed in neighborhoods. Growing up, we all knew each other and kids were always in and out of everybody's house. Today, I know 3 of my neighbors out of several....and that's actually more than many of my friends know in their own neighborhoods. Sometimes I do wish for the 'simpler' times.

 
At April 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM , Anonymous katieross83 said...

Great post. When my husband and I first moved into our neighborhood, visions of neighborly visits, casseroles and cakes delivered to the front door, and borrowed cups of sugar danced through my head. Growing up, I lived in a neighborhood where everyone was family; we all hung out together on weekends. We all loved each other.

Now, I realize that that past and those visions have all but vanished. We barely know our neighbors, and no one has ever come by to offer a friendly word or a fresh-baked pie.

I can't help but feel like we're missing something. Moving forward...yet, ultimately...going backwards.

 
At April 3, 2012 at 4:35 PM , Anonymous Sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms said...

What a lovely piece about not just neighbors but the ties that bind. There is so much here---happiness, regret, joy, disappointment---so much life. Great post, Erin

 
At April 3, 2012 at 6:51 PM , Anonymous Michelle Longo said...

This is an amazing post. You touched a nerve with me. I have an Anne. Sometimes I want to shut the door. Thank for this. Hopefully I will remember not to. Beautiful.

 
At April 3, 2012 at 6:52 PM , Anonymous Mayor Gia said...

Aww, I'm sorry you lost Anne. Very sad.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 6:44 AM , Anonymous Alison@Mama Wants This said...

Your memories are so vivid, beautifully described, poignant, sad and happy at the same time. I'm sorry you never got to say goodbye to Ann, but with your new porch, you can honor her memory in a way she would have loved.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 9:24 AM , Anonymous Kimberly said...

Being an almost-in-the-city girl, I dream of living in a "everyone knows everything about each other neighborhood" sometimes. Beautifully written.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:33 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Kimberly. I've been in the city, the suburbs and in the country. My heart belongs to the country.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:33 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Alison.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:34 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thank you for reading!

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:34 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Michelle. Sometimes it's too easy to shut the door, isn't it?

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:34 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Erin. Those ties that bind are the most important.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:35 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Yes! When we moved into our current house, nobody stopped by to introduce themselves. And when I bake cookies for new neighbors, people look at me like I'm a freak.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:35 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Yes, it's sad. We're all connected yet we're all so disconnected.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:36 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thank you for reading. I've wanted to write this for almost 18 years.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:36 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thank you for reading, Tracy. Life does move fast - I'm trying to slow down myself.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:37 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thank you for reading. It's hard to find that balance, isn't it?

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:37 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks so much for reading, Christina. I'm glad you liked it!

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:39 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I've been on that end of things, too. Those international moves are the hardest. Moving back and breaking that relationship with good friends was really difficult.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:39 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:39 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading, Jenn.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:40 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Perhaps, with time, we all will follow through with our promises
Hopefully...Thanks for reading!

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:40 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:40 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thank you - I appreciate your reading and commenting.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 10:45 AM , Anonymous Sarcasm Goddess said...

Wow. This is just, wow. This is an amazing story. You should enter it in a contest. I'm so sorry you never got to say goodbye to Anne. I actually said, "no" outloud when I read that she died. I'm sure she knew how much she meant to you. Incredible writing.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 11:07 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Oh, thank you! I may just submit this somewhere. The problem is, with limited space, most papers, etc. want to limit your words. But I'll keep looking! And thanks for the follow!

 
At April 4, 2012 at 2:52 PM , Anonymous Ben said...

What a memorable post. Your eye for detail is truly remarkable - the history of the monkey being raised in the house, the ceiling hooks - these are so vivid, they bring your story even more to life. What a sad story, beautifully told.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 4:45 PM , Anonymous Tara_pohlkottepress said...

oh my. what a great reminder! beautifully laid out.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 5:06 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At April 4, 2012 at 5:06 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Ben. I appreciate your comments.

 
At April 4, 2012 at 7:40 PM , Anonymous kdwald said...

So beautiful. So bittersweet with memory and regret. I love the dream of a porch...I have that same dream. :)

 
At April 5, 2012 at 7:35 AM , Anonymous Stephanie Brennan said...

Beautifully written. What a reminder to appreciate the moment, no matter how frazzled we might be. And to not make promises we may not keep. The nostalgia was lovingly invoked. Really enjoyed it!

 
At April 5, 2012 at 2:23 PM , Anonymous Jackie said...

What a beautiful post. I love the chronological order of events that brought you to the present.

 
At April 9, 2012 at 8:11 PM , Anonymous Morgan Dragonwillow said...

Thank you for sharing this. I could see the neighborhood. I could feel the conflict. I could feel the anguish of goodbyes unsaid.

 
At April 10, 2012 at 2:47 AM , Anonymous Mrsp1985 said...

Beautiful. Going to call my friend now, have been putting it off too long!

 
At April 10, 2012 at 3:03 PM , Anonymous Mom-on-a-Budget said...

Lovely piece about friendship, it inspires me to write about friendship, and growing older, and moving on.

 
At April 10, 2012 at 7:23 PM , Anonymous Tara R. said...

Beautifully written, and a heartfelt reminder to cherish our friends as much as our families.

 
At April 16, 2012 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Jennifer Worrell said...

WOW! Beautifully done! My heart broke just a little...perfect...

 
At April 18, 2012 at 10:04 AM , Anonymous Patty said...

Beautiful!

This touched me so very deeply, having lost a best friend a few years ago; someone I made a promise to and did not keep. He was very ill and when I rushed him to the hospital, he begged me not to let him die alone. Along with my family, and his, I sat by his bedside until the hospital staff pressured us to leave. I knew better and I refused to say good-bye, holding out hope.

He passed shortly after.

Our front porch will never be the same without him.

 
At April 18, 2012 at 10:23 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thank you for reading, Stephanie. I appreciate your comments.

 
At April 18, 2012 at 10:24 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I'm sorry that happened to you, Patty. So sad.

 
At April 18, 2012 at 10:24 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading, Jennifer. It took me almost 15 years to finally write this.

 
At April 18, 2012 at 10:24 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Tara.

 
At April 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading! Looking forward to reading you.

 
At April 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At April 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Morgan. I really loved that place.

 
At April 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Jackie!

 
At April 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Soon...

 
At April 26, 2012 at 7:27 AM , Anonymous Barbara Kelly said...

I love it! My first stab at serious writing was titled, "Whatever Happened to the Front Porch" and I have been a lover of old,well-porched houses all my life. Four years ago, when we retired, we rebuilt a pathetic house, not old enough to be called 'an old house,' just old enough to warrent demolition. But the site was beautiful - trees, mountains, and a running brook. So we did it. The new version of the house has five porches - one on every side and a utility porch upstairs for hanging laundry. Love your writing, hope you find your porch

 
At March 14, 2013 at 9:33 PM , Anonymous Kimberly said...

I hang my head in shame to say that while I know my neighbors names, we've never shared a social moment. It's definitely something that gets lost in translation from city living and sprawling suburbia.

 
At March 16, 2013 at 1:20 PM , Blogger Joe said...

Beautiful, and vividly written!

 
At March 18, 2013 at 1:07 PM , Blogger Heather O said...

This is beautiful, Kelly, really beautiful.

 

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