Today’s Front Porch ~Five Minute Friday

Today I’m late in getting to this Five Minute Friday with Kate and the gang.  I’m still nursing sick people in our house and trying to keep the healthy from going stir crazy… but enough of that.  Here’s our word prompt for today: VISIT

Five-Minute-Friday-4

I lived in the same house until I left for college, and in fact, my dad lived in that home until just a few years ago. I love that house with its wrap-around porch and shady front yard.

I have many memories of sitting on the front steps, talking of the neighbor news and all those who drove by. The front porch stairs were the “home-free” for our late night kick-the-can games and in the hot summer months, mom would sit in her folding lawn chair snappin’ beans and swattin’ flies.

We had a neighbor across the street who would sit on her front porch as well.

She’d rock in her chair with a damp dishtowel draped across her shoulder. She’d wipe sweat from her brow and over the years she would holler to us yonder, “I see you’re home visiting your mom! How long ya back for?” And Mom would say, “Go talk to Betty… she wants to see you.”

Countless times through the years, Mom and Betty would wander across to one another’s front porch visiting and sharing the news of the day.

There’s a solid bridge that can be built from one front porch to another. In my growing up years, Betty was a solid friend to my mom across the street.

Nowadays, we might miss that front porch feel. I don’t live on a quiet street in a residential neighborhood and my neighbors have no front porch with chairs for visiting. But even though those days are gone, a new front porch has taken its place. It’s this keyboard I tap away on.

I connect with more neighbors from all different walks of life, living in different states and even different countries with a click of a few keys and a Wi-Fi connection.  My front porch is now more than a simple wrap-around.  My world is wider and my ability to build a strong bridge with many neighbors is easier than ever.

Some might say it’s impersonal but I have found it quite personal. I write emails, texts, private messages and comments to many throughout the week. I’m encouraging and sharing life, love and Truth through the tapping out of the keys. It’s the way we connect now and build those bridges to our neighbors far and near.

One of my favorite all-time movies is “You’ve Got Mail.”   There’s so much in that movie that I love, and today’s applicable quote is when Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) is talking about email and she says this wonderful line:

“The odd thing about this form of communication is that you are more likely to talk about nothing than something but I just want to say that all of this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.”

And when you think about the front porch of yesteryear wasn’t it just that — a bunch of nothings that you chitchatted about for snippets of moments over many-a-days. Yet you knew when the tough times came and you needed a friend that neighbor would step out and over to your front porch, bringing a cup of coffee and a warm smile. All those nothings turned into a beautiful something of friendship and community; building a bridge and spanning the years.

So today, I encourage you to visit with those neighbors near and far. Connect and reach out to old friends and new acquaintances, build bridges and open up to community. You never know the life giving connections you’ll find on the front porch of life.

13 thoughts on “Today’s Front Porch ~Five Minute Friday

  1. Wow I can relate, my parents have a porch that stretches across there home. It is awesome that you can find meaning in the relationships that you’ve created on line. People look at me crazy when I say some of my greatest friends live inside the internet. A few I have meet in the real world.

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  2. Our “Betty” growing up was next door. Mrs. Corea. And yes, when she saw I’d come home, she always wanted a visit, a hello. I love that whole front porch bit. We try to recreate it on our street–but it is harder in today’s world. Love that there are others like you out there who get it!

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  3. Rachel, I’m so encouraged by your post. What a wonderful warm story! And, also, I am so thankful for your front porch being open to so many of us! You are very welcoming, indeed. I hope to visit with you again sometime. (Visiting-ha!-from FMF, just a couple after you in the line-up today)
    ~Tammy

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  4. I moved a lot as a kid, so I didn’t have too many get-to-know-my-neighbor-front-porch experiences. We did live in one place for 11 years after we got married, and our kids knew everyone on our block and we knew our neighbors and it was wonderful. I’m glad I have the virtual front porch to sustain me now!

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  5. Rachel, even though I lived in NYC, we had a front porch and we played “kick the can,” and johnny on the pony. My house was what we called the “Kool Aid House” all the kids spent many hours sitting and playing there, drinking iced tea (mom did not like to sugar children up with real kool aid but you get the point. The boys (rather sexist but normally boys) would play wiffle ball between our stoop and the driveway across the street. I did like those days of togetherness and I also like this new global porch, where we greet friends in UK, in Africa, people I have met in real life but can always thanks to the internet keep in touch with. Thank you once again for the memories I can look back on and for your wisdom in writing.

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  6. Rachel, you hit the nail on the head. I love connecting and reconnecting with friends old and new from near and far. Through social media, I have reconnected with friends I grew up with in Alaska, made new friends in many places whom I’ve never met in person, and keep a connection with people I love but seldom get to see.

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