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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
Healthy living noteables
Front porches
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About this blog
By Valerie Brandt
I was born and raised a farm girl in rural Minnesota where I met and married the adoration of my lifetime! Our family currently lives in a rural community in Iowa where we frequently trade stories with the family \x34back home\x34 of the likeness ...
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A Healthy Dose of Spice
I was born and raised a farm girl in rural Minnesota where I met and married the adoration of my lifetime! Our family currently lives in a rural community in Iowa where we frequently trade stories with the family \x34back home\x34 of the likeness and differences of the slower life from one state to the next. My husband and I own our own business where we provide for our three growing daughters who are the light of our world. Writing has always been an outlet for me, starting a diary as young as 4th grade and continuing for each of my daughters currently. Writing clears my mind and my heart of things that I would rather say but don't (due to my impeccable manners) or did say and wished I hadn't (sometimes those manners fail). I am clearly outspoken and am working on being filled with grace and compassion. In my spare time my family and I enjoy reading, biking and cooking. We do NOT enjoy cold snowy weather.
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By Valerie Brandt
May 18, 2013 7:07 a.m.



My husband and I love this time of year.  The morning air is crisp, cool, inviting.  The birds are in tune with nature around us!  At this very moment I can hear at least four different types of bird calls and while I listen, I gaze at the tulips, daffodils, iris' and cherry blossom trees that are all fully awake to this season of Spring!  God is calling, "wake up from your slumber and amaze my beloveds" and the flowers and trees don't disappoint!  

On mornings like this we grab our robes and our steaming cups of coffee and we head out to the front porch.  Our home is 101 years old this year, a beautiful example of a Sears Robuck catalog Arts and Crafts style home.  Inside we have gorgeous woodwork including dark stained yellow pine mopboards, collinades and built-in books cases.  Outside we have this covered porch that covers the whole front of our house.  One recent Christmas my parents bought us a porch swing and it was utilized to the max last summer.  Our porch has two giant snowball bushes to give a little privacy and this year a Mama Robin has made a nest and three sweet little babies there.  

My porch is my place of respite.  If I need a break from life I go there.  If my soul needs quiet time with God, I go there.  If I am in the mood to spy on my neighbors or the people walking by, I go there.  It is my favorite room in the house even though it isn't even in the house!  

How old fashioned is a porch?  Covered porches went by the wayside, it seems.  They became enclosed, shut off, part of the house.  Decks then sprung up as an easier option then building a connected front porch.  I remember seeing three photos in our local library showing friends and neighbors standing and sitting and visiting on their porches.  Who needed coffee shops back then?  No one!  They all had porches!  There is a great book called, "Sunday Afternoon on the Porch: Reflections of a Small Town in Iowa" that you should check out if you have an opportunity.  It shows photos of small town life in all the reality of it.

I hope that some day people begin to realize how important PEOPLE are, and that the tradition of sitting and visiting on a porch is brought back.  I hope that families and neighbors can again begin to greet each other with respect and hospitality and get to know  the ins and outs of those people, form RELATIONSHIPS again.  It is a lost art to be hospitable.  May you find time in your life this week for a nice visit, maybe on your own front porch.

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