Some folks have their Shang-ri-la.
Thoreau had his Walden Pond.
But I have my back porch.
How I love to sit in my back porch in the early morning drinking my one cup of coffee. It seems to be all the breakfast that I need since I am gown older. And especially after a night of thundershowers, such as we had last night, before I have the coffee, there is the chore of resetting the electric clocks that always lose time when there is a lot of lightening.
Each one has a personality of its own. There is the ornate leaf one in the dining room that has to be lifted down from its hook to get at the resetting button on the back. Why I did not look into that problem when I was buying I’ll never know, for the clock is an awkward thing to handle alone.
The one in the kitchen – now that one is a dilly. I have to hunt up a pair of pliers every time it rains in order to pull down on its resetting stem.
The radio clock is easy to correct, but the bedroom clock is another matter. You wind it each night, and it gains twenty minutes in every twelve hours. So I’d say that I am a pretty good clock watcher.
Back to the back porch. Now, I am ready to settle down with the coffee.
The porch is really a glassed in two rooms now, but it is always referred to as the back porch. I open the window on the south end and the larger one on the west side, which make it almost like being out doors.
I can see several homes of my friends across the streets in two directions, and sometimes I get to enjoy the aroma of their breakfast coffee and the frying bacon.
I see my lawn and all the large shade trees on this side of the yard that ring me in – almost like the young sleeping beauty – except I am no longer young. And I am wide awake.
Most of the fine trees are elms and have grown such heavy foliage that the yard is in perpetual shade. They will have to have a drastic trimming some day.
From the back porch I can see the red buds and the flowering crab, the pear tree and the walnut tree so straight and tall with limbs straight out, just right for a swing, if there is ever a need for one again.
The golden delicious apple tree that was Dad’s pride and joy is dead. He would be terribly disappointed if he were still here.
The trees add so much freshness to the morning air, and it’s an ever recurring joy to watch the birds going about their business, singing and happy.
The silver poplar that I just had to have a few years ago like the others has grown apace and has proven to be a pest. Unlike the others that only need trimming, this one has to be killed. It’s roots are running all over the yard, sending up young trees. We are painting the tree with something that is supposed to kill roots and all because I was told they would ruin the sewer line. So I am sacrificing a beautiful tree in the interest of modern necessity.
My back porch is now a lovely place to be. Its light walls and floor, green matchstick drapes, white wrought iron fern stands, TV table and chair make it quite comfortable. It was not always thus.
And thereby hangs a tale.
This essay was written by my grandmother, Lucile Ann Bigler, probably half a century ago. It was found, undated, in a small box of her manuscripts. Probable date is 1960-something.