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!