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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
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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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