Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Slice

          I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community today. It's always a pleasure to read what everyone writes about their lives.
            

     Happy Summer! When walking around my neighborhood, I see great porches, and comfy furniture on them, but not one porch swing. It makes me wonder why not? And it also takes me back to memories of my childhood and those swings. My husband and I had a swing at our home, and I miss sitting there, remember good times with him, with neighbors and especially my oldest grandson, Carter. 
           One of my grandmothers had two.  One was on the front small porch that was rarely used; visitors always came into the house by the side door, through the mudroom, into the kitchen.  But as that porch’s swing backed into a clematis vine on a trellis, purple skirts blooming up and down, I could read there on summer afternoons with privacy. It was cool there, and I dragged pillows out so I could sit sideways with my legs propped up, ready to give the swing a small push now and then. Her other swing was glorious swinging for kids.  It was hung from a high limb on a large oak by the side of the house, and my cousins and I managed huge arcs of swinging two on at a time, then jumping out onto soft grass.  It was a competition to see how far we could go before we landed.  Other times, I sat there more sedately with my grandmother as we drank sweet tea late afternoons before time to start supper.


        I lived close to the other grandmother who lived in our little town on Main Street. She was a town leader and an extravert, loved to sit after supper on her swing to greet those who strolled by on their evening walks.  I can hear the voices calling: “How do, Miz Coleman, keeping as cool as possible?  How’re the kids?  I see Linda up there with you, visiting again?”  We sat and greeted and finally my grandfather would join us, but sit on the steps leading off the porch, talking about his day. He shared what customers had come and what they had said about their crops and animals. When he retired from farming, he ran a feed store in town. We’d always sit long enough to see the fireflies come out of the grass, to light our way into the darker night.
       My mother and stepfather retired to a small town from the city long after I was married and gone, and their last house had a lovely swing on the front porch.  It was their first in a long while for they mostly had patios and lawn chairs in the city. When I traveled back to visit we sat there on summer evenings too, talking of our family members mostly flung all over the country now, and how everyone used to live so close, how much fun the big summer gatherings had been.
       And now on my swing in my last home, I laid a quilt when the grandchildren were babies, and rocked them to sleep.  I’ve shown how high the swing could go when my grandson was younger, but it didn't impress him for long. When no one else was there, my husband and I sat and swung, talking of past times with other family members who are gone, and what fun it was to sit on their porches, and swing. His mother had a wonderful screened-in porch, with a swing and rockers, too. 


Happy times! Good slices of my past life! 

31 comments:

  1. You paint such wonderful pictures. We don't have many porches here, but I thought this still existed in some communities. Sad such a lovely thing may be history.

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    1. Thanks, Julieanne. I will keep looking.

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  2. I have a porch swing on my front porch and it is one of my favorite places to sit and escape. There is a crabapple tree that has grown to shade it from the hot afternoon sun, creating the perfect hollow for reading, writing, and resting. I'm glad you shared your memories of your porch swings, Linda. They are iconic!

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    1. Love hearing that you have a swing, Jennifer! I know you have a beautiful setting because I remember you posting different views. Sounds lovely.

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  3. Thanks for sharing wonderful memories of porch swings! We have a fairly new, larger front porch that I am desperate to spend more time on...but we have to battle the mosquitos here to do so. For now, I'll have to be happy sitting vicariously through your post.

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    1. Sorry about the mosquitoes-ugh! Hope you can find a way to do some porch sitting, Chris!

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  4. Oh, you brought back memories of sitting on my friend's porch swing. All the secrets we shared along with all the giggles. Thanks for bringing back such happy memories!

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    1. You're welcome, Lisa. Thanks to you for sharing your memories. Love hearing about them!

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  5. I had a swing under a grape arbor in my front yard. It was a wonderful place to read and watch the neighborhood.

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    1. Love hearing about your swing, Adrienne, sounds lovely!

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  6. I've always wanted a porch swing. Maybe I'll get one someday. I love hearing the stories from the swing. I wonder if there's more to write here. :)

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    1. I've written a lot about my time with my grandparents, Michelle, not always sharing, but I had such a wonderful childhood with them. Hope you do get your swing someday!

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  7. This post makes me grin. I don't have a porch swing but I feel like I've been swinging along with you my friend. :)
    Bonnie K.

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    1. Yes indeed, swinging along, singing our song, right? Thanks, Bonnie!

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  8. When we built our house I "demanded" several things, a basement to hide from tornadoes, a fireplace, and big porches (front and back) with swings and rockers. I got all of those! Our porches and swings bring back many special memories just like yours. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of your special memories.

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    1. You're welcome, Leigh Anne. I love hearing about your own porches and swings, too!

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  9. My grandmother had a swing on her front porch. It was the place to sit after dinner and just watch the world go by. As kids, we also would jump from swings at the top of its arc to see who could jump the farthest. I haven't thought of that swing in a long time. Thanks for the memory, Linda.

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    1. As I wrote, in that one swing, we jumped too, Bob. Thanks for telling me about your memory, too. Such sweet memories.

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  10. You have such lovely summer memories. What could be better than swinging on the porch and fireflies unless it was a popsicle and running through the sprinkler.

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    1. Not one sprinkler remembered, Bernadette. In Missouri there was usually plenty of rain I guess. But we did play in the hose spraying each other. It was a happy time for sure.

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  11. The porch swing that my husband built and my children posed on for years is now in our garage because we just haven't found a good spot to put it. We've been in this house 11 years. There isn't a porch, but we have some huge trees we may hang it from. One of these days...

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    1. I know how those projects are delayed, Margaret. Maybe with grandchildren someday? Love that your husband made a swing!

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  12. My sister in law (and family) has the most beautiful porch in a small town. I love it. We spend so much time there when we visit. I try to recreate it here in the suburbs. It's not quite the same. :) I do have seating on my "porch" to encourage sitting. It's been my recent project. Seating and living spaces outside to encourage just more outside. Thanks for sharing the memories. Here's to more porch time.

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  13. What a lovely slice. The front porch swing at my grandmother's house was one of my favorite things about visiting. It's one of the things I miss. There's a bench outside where she lives now, but there is something to be said for that swinging action. Thanks for helping me to step into some memories.

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  14. Oh, I just loved this slice. I could keep reading, I wanted more of those wonderful times of old. Such a beautiful thing the porch swing. We have verandahs here in Australia with various seating and hammocks ,but oh how I would have loved a porch swing and wonderful memories as you described. Thank you! :)

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  15. This is lovely. It brought back memories of my grandmother's screened in porch and the swing that was on the porch. I now live in that house and still have a screened in porch, but no swing. Maybe, I should get one!

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  16. We've had a porch swing wherever we've lived - because a porch was always a BIG consideration for me. Love the slices of your porch swing lives, Linda!

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  17. Yes, you are recounting some very happy times, Linda. This post was delightful and it makes me think of the beautiful swing on my daughter's porch that the first owners left for her and her husband. I was very impressed with its easy swing back and forth and the beautiful view into her garden. Life is good when you view it from a swing.

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  18. Our first house as newlyweds had a porch swing. Happy memories sitting there with Blake as a baby and now, we're waiting for the arrival of his firstborn. The kitchen (at the front of the house) looked out at that porch swing. I loved it!

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  19. Thanks everyone. I love hearing everyone's memories of a swing. I had to sub at the bookstore today suddenly, then take care of the older granddaughter this evening. Imi, the youngest broke her arm! Oh those laid plans do oft go awry! Will try to catch up in the next few days!

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  20. What a lovely nostalgic post. I can just picture you reading in your clematis bower! You captured the peaceful ease of those swinging days along with the many connections inspired by moments sitting and relating. Your post was a breath of fresh air--a respite from hurly-burly days and a reminder of the sweet rewards of taking time to be--on a swing or elsewhere. Lovely.

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