Porches need to make a comeback

Even spending a few minutes this time of year, sitting on a patio sure helps the spirits.

The sunshine can brighten you day immensely. So can a breeze of less than frigid air. The sight of a honey bee out looking for early spring flowers etc, there is nothing like feeling the sun on your face after the cold of winter.

I grew up in a house with a front porch. We also had no air conditioning so the porch in the 50’s and 60’s was a necessity, However, being a Kansan, I learned it was a great place to watch thunderstorms. Our front porch faced south with a house wall to the west. I would go out with my Dad and survey the clouds as they grouped together in their attempts to rain or unleash lightening.

When the tornado sirens went off here in town, the front porch and the front yard were the place to be. Dad would look at the clouds and determine whether or not it was time to go to the basement. He wasn’t foolish, but had seen a storm or two in his days. We then tuned the TV on to Topeka or if we could get it the Ottawa radio station.

I can remember seeing menacing green clouds and fierce lightning. The train of thought was if it hit Ottawa, you needed to take cover.

I also remember standing back in the shelter of the wall and watching the rain come down sideways. You were protected right there, but you could see and smell and feel the power of the storms. I have always liked the smell and sounds of thunderstorms. They leave everything cleaner and renewed.

I also learned to respect the lightning and the wind. Taking note of what is happening around you is never a lost idea. We stood in the sunshine one day after a storm and watched a tornado west of town. We could see it out on Edgerton road. Long before things were built up here.

I can stand protected in my garage now and watch the snow fall or the rain or even hail and lightening. But it isn’t the same. Porches were our protected places to stay cool, watch the world go by, visit with neighbors. They provided a place to learn about the nature of storms and how to react to them.

I think porches need to make a comeback. They served many good purposes. We all need a porch to sit on.