An enchanted hour

My friend Darla's porch, seen here in May 2013, is a favorite spot, always decorated for the season!

My friend Darla’s porch, seen here in May 2013, is a favorite spot.
It’s always decorated for the season, including a big Christmas tree in December!

“An enchanted hour was filched from the hereafter and tossed into the lap of the present, as a foretaste of what is to come…A mystic world, into which we step as soon as we cross the threshold of the porch.” Ethelind Fearon (1946)

I don’t know why I have such a love of porches.  Perhaps it’s because of the screened porch of my childhood home, where we spent many happy hours eating watermelon and chatting.  Its metallic roof made such a wonderfully cozy sound during summer rains.

Or maybe it’s the mysteriously appealing “sleeping porch” of my Granny’s old house, the home where she was born sometime before 1900, and in which my father was also born.  That “sleeping porch,” which was actually more of a spare bedroom, seemed to be full of delightfully exotic trinkets from the past. Large screened windows that looked out on the back lawn ran the length of the walls.

Or maybe it’s the swing on the front porch of the home where Jeff grew up in rural Tennessee, where he and I spent many treasured hours in the quiet evenings, with only the sound of crickets and an occasional car passing by on the highway.

Whatever the reasons, I find porches irresistible.  I hope you have at least one to enjoy at present, or in memory.  Save me a glass of iced tea and a seat in the swing!

This post was first published seven years ago today. Since then (actually for two years now) I’m happy to report that, for the first time in my life, I now have front porch with a swing. Matt loves it as much as I do, and though we don’t spend nearly as much time there as we would like, just knowing it is there is a joy.

The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Judy from Pennsylvania

    I’m loving Darla’s charming porch in this photo. It speaks of warm and gracious welcomes to all who stop by. Your post takes me back to my own grandmother’s porch swing where many wonderful childhood hours were spent playing or gently swinging while we watched summer rains. And now you have your very own porch swing — what a rare treasure these days! I’m so happy for you and Matt being able to have that. Is it the kind that hangs from a porch ceiling or is one that has its own metal frame?

    • Judy, it hangs from the porch ceiling. I can’t wait until the weather is cool enough to enjoy it again. It’s a great place to wait with Matt for his Uber ride or for Nishchal or Vonda to pick him up. By a remarkable coincidence, on the very day this blog post published I spent the afternoon at Darla’s home. It was too hot to sit on the porch but she has a lovely little tea room (in a relatively large butler’s pantry in her historic home) and we sat and sipped and chatted as her parrot, Lola, joined in the fun, sitting on Darla’s shoulder listening to us intently, and even taking “sips” of tea!

  2. Good morning, from my sleeping porch, Julia! There’s nothing like fresh air for a good night’s sleep. It’s lovely when the weather is in a comfortable range, but even when it’s a bit warm at night, I still might opt for the porch over air conditioning.
    I just snapped some shots with my phone, to send you.
    I sometimes do that, when reading an especially relevant blog post of yours, but I rarely get around to actually sending you the photos.
    So far, most of the photos you’ve missed have been flowers!

    • I was just about to say “hey! I didn’t get those photos!” and then I read on and understood why. I much prefer cool natural breezes (or one of those wonderful whole-house attic fans they don’t make any more) to air conditioning, in all but the hottest weather. One can emerge from the shower with wet hair and never get too cold if it’s just a breeze blowing in an open window. Air conditioning can feel so refrigerated. But I am SO thankful for it in this hot, humid weather. I keep the thermostat higher than most people could tolerate, though. Luckily any overnight guests I have normally stay on the ground floor where it’s always several degrees cooler.

  3. Susan

    Julia, I adore porches! Like you I am so nostalgic for the screened-in porch of my childhood. My grandparents’ house is still in the family and when a cousin posted a picture of sitting on the porch in a rainstorm, several of us cousins chimed in about our memories of it.
    Last spring I stayed at a Vermont inn and chose the room for the sleeping porch. Unfortunately it turned out to be a night of driving rain and gale-force winds, but even though I didn’t sleep in the porch room, I stayed up late enjoying the storm! I hope to go back another time when sleeping out there will be a treat!

    • Susan, that sounds totally wonderful. If I head back to Vermont any time soon, you’ll have to give me the name of that inn. When I think of the sorts of memories people of our generation have of childhood, I wonder (a bit sadly) what today’s young people will remember when they get older. Even the most thrilling amusement park ride or computer game or gadget feels so cold and robotic compared to the days before people spent so much time with machines. Maybe they’ll be lucky enough to have a few family vacations or summer camp memories that don’t involve technology. I’ve said it dozens of times, but I am really so glad to have lived when I did/do.

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

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