Sunday, April 13, 2008

Front porch sit'n

I spent the first day of summer temperatures and blazing sunshine attending a seminar. I also missed three soccer games and forgot about sunscreen. I realized that mistake when two bright red faces greeted my arrival home last night. I’ve obviously been dropped from mother-of-the-year consideration…

On a brighter note, the seminar—presented by the Oregon Association for Education of Young Children—was informative and well-presented. I bought a really cool basket too, which has nothing to do with anything, but it’s really cool.

Driving home last night, I detoured through a historic neighborhood, marveling at the huge front porches (ah, she’s finally getting to the point of her blog…). I’ve always wanted a front porch, an extension of my house, a warm greeting place, a sheltered spot to view the world. We’ve owned five homes, none had front porches—they’re not a common architectural feature anymore.

As these thoughts flashed through my mind, I had an epiphany…the demise of front porches and the invention of garage door openers destroyed the community of neighborhoods. We come and go without seeing our neighbors…we sit in the privacy of our backyards, fenced in from the world.

Don’t get me wrong, I truly value privacy—as the world becomes increasingly crowded and chaotic, we need peaceful sanctuaries. But I think it’s sad we’ve eliminated the welcoming atmosphere of front porches, the option to chat with neighbors and passersby, the chance to view neighborhood goings on.

We added a small patio in our front yard with a bistro table and chairs. It’s nice, but only useful during dry weather--you’ve heard me comment about the constant rain… Our saving grace? The fact that we can’t park cars in our overcrowded garage—at least I can wave to my neighbors as they pull in and out of theirs…

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