A Pocketful of Musings

Pat Fish

At this moment I shall begin to share with you some musings, thoughts, opinions, gossip, and wonderful wisdom, which I have randomly and haphazardly scribbled as they came irregularly to mind . . .

This is an ode to a porch and a porch swing. First-the porch.

What's the deal here...people don't have porches anymore? I can't imagine a life on earth without a front porch.

It is because this was my childhood home that the thing had a porch. In fact, every home in which I had ever lived as a child--and there were many--always...but always...had a front porch. This is mostly because my father, a carpenter, actually built every home in which I lived and my father also could not conceive of a home without a front porch.

This place, Critter Cove, has the porch to end all porches. The thing does, in a weird configuration, circle the ENTIRE house.

Since the house sits on a sloped lot, it used to be that to exit out onto the back deck required one of two ways to reach the front porch from that spot. One was to go back into the house to exit the front door onto the porch. The other was to climb down the stairs from the deck and walk around and up the slope to the front of the house where, naturally, there was the front porch.

My father didn't like this setup, so he built the most bizarre deck that now circles the entire house. From the river below, the setup resembles a roller coaster frame. I can now go onto the back deck, and via a long "pier" traversing the side of the house, walk to the front porch.

The amazing thing here, is the "pier" passes directly at eye level with several trees on the lot. Even more remarkable, this circular porch arrangement allows me to view all the gardens on the considerable lot, as well as gaze directly into the trees to see what my bird buddies are up to.

The front porch itself spans the entire width of the house. Of course, it is full of hanging plants, garden tools, and container plantings. The front door is guarded by a goofy pelican statue.

For over eight years I had considered that this beautiful porch needed -- what else? -- a porch swing. The only problem with this plan is that the house is falling apart. This is not an exaggeration. Each year, some bit or piece of the house falls off. It is because of the delicate nature of the porch that I hesitated to hang anything from the ceiling that might fall and pull the entire porch down with it.

In the garden catalogues, each and every year, I regard a porch swing that hangs from its own sturdy metal holder. All that would be required is to set the thing up on the porch. Voila! A porch swing with no strain on an aging house.

This year I showed the catalog to my husband and requested this hammock type of porch swing for a combined anniversary and birthday present. Since both of these dates occur in June, I thought it a method to obtain, finally, my cherished porch swing.

This past weekend my husband assembled the thing and now I have everything a person could need on a front porch.

It's a neat arrangement. The swing hangs from a sturdy bolt. The rope of the hammock seat is threaded through a wooden crossbar to spread out as a macrame type chair. It is possible to sit straight and solid in the chair, or to throw back your feet and swing gently. A person could even pull her legs up under her and sit as if in a rope bucket, swinging gently and enjoying the garden views.

I am now trying different positions on my new swing. I have placed a small TV type tray next to the swing for sodas and such.

May the gods always be with me that I should never live in a house without a front porch.