Like all good Southerner ladies I picked up the August edition of Southern Living today. I love that magazine- saying anything negative about it would, in my opinion, be blasphemy.
My fondness of the magazine stems largely from my memories of looking at them growing up. My Mimi always got Southern Living in the mail. We would go to the post office and pick up the mail on Saturdays and the first thing I did was thumb through looking at the beautiful homes and tasty looking recipes. Looking at the magazine today is a bit of nostalgia for me. It brings back that familiar feeling. I love it.

This month’s addition has an article called The Porch written by Rick Bragg that gave me that old feeling and brought memories to light that had began to fade. While reading Mr. Bragg’s memories of his childhood porch, I was compelled to share memories I have of sitting on front porches as a child.

I was blessed enough to grow up knowing my great-grandparents. We visited them every single Sunday from the time I was born until they passed away when I was about 14. We may have missed one every now and then, but in my mind’s eye and memory, it seems like literally every Sunday the entire family would gather for lunch.
When I think back on those days I remember several things, but I wish I could recall every single detail. It’s funny how things don’t seem that important until they don’t happen anymore. I long to hold on to some of those traditions because they were fun. They were simple. And they made me who I am.

Blue Cream Soda
One of my great-uncles always brought a cooler full of these that sat on the porch for the day. I don’t know that he particularly like them- I’m assuming he must have- but who knows??? When I see one now I HAVE to have it. It’s no longer a drink to me- it’s an experience.

Home Made Ice Cream
Vanilla, strawberry, and peach. I don’t remember any other flavors ever being made. Who needs anything else when you have Heaven in a bowl? I made my own this year for July 4th. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time and it made me think- I am now the age that the old generation was when they started doing the exact thing for their families. That is a special feeling.

Porch Swings
They are the most therapeutic thing in existence. If more people had them, more therapists would be out of work! We use to swing like our life depended on it. The kids would get into arguments over “whose turn” it was! On a hilarious note- some cousins and I were swinging, and I guess there were too many of us or we were too heavy, or maybe someone just did a really crappy job of hanging the swing, but it fell while we were mid-swing! I barely remember that now- but it still makes me chuckle! Typing this now make me realize how much I want a swing!

If you know what it is- you rock! If you don’t, I’m sorry, you have truly missed out!
42 is a domino game. Usually people play on teams of two. I haven’t played on for-ev-er… So I can’t remember all the rules. I’m going to have to re-learn! Anyway, the “old people” always played when I was growing up- very loudly! I’m talking slamming dominoes on the table, keeping score, raising voices. Thinking back, that was kind of extreme.

We must have walked thousands of miles. For no good reason, we just walked to walk…and talk. Granny and Paw Paw lived about 150 yards from my Mimi and Papa and about 100 yards from the cemetery where most of our family is buried. We walked to the cemetery all the time (yep, kinda creepy!) Granny would tell us stories about the different people who were buried there. I don’t really know how that got started- but it was nice.

I have 11 first cousins and got to see all of them on a regular basis. I didn’t realize it then but that is special. Not many kids get the chance to have those close relationships. Not all of us went to school together- but we knew on Sundays everyone would be there telling tales, playing hide and go seek, and just plain having fun.

Go sit on your porch. Or your neighbor’s porch. Or, for that matter, anyone’s porch who will let you sit with them a spell. Listen to the cicadas sing. Swat mosquitos. Take it all in.


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