Front porch cousins 

My cousins were my first best friends. We spent many a day on this front porch. From drumming up mischief, making fun of one another and taking turns seeing who was going to ask grandpa for a trip to the ice cream store…it all happened in this front porch. 

How manu conversations did we have while we waited THE FULL HOUR our parents told is we had to wait to go swimming after eating? Longest hour of my life! 

Bare footed, often clad in only bathing suits, mouths sticky with rivlets of sugar from long melted popsicles…we must have looked a sight hanging it like banshees on the front stoop of this ancient antebellum home. 

Screen doors slamming, the pitter patter of bare feet on hard word floors, occasional sounds of “your it”; the clink of silver ware, the muted sounds of adults talking in the distance and the sporadic outburst of innocent laughter…it all made up the sounds of our childhood. 

At some point the conversations shifted from cooties and buggers to dating and holding hands. We watched as one by one-one of us would leave the porch in an old bettle bug or a bright yellow Nissan headed out to a football game or a date. 

Not long after that the conversations were about potential husbands or wives. More than one of us started our married life right here on the front porch. Some leaped off the porch-put his new wife on his motorcycle roared off into the night. He wasn’t the only one. More than one tuxedo clad gent and white gowned bride shared a kiss or held a hand right here on this front porch. 

This Easter we gathered back. It’s not Nanny’s house any longer. Now it’s nanny/Danny’s. We gathered together for the first time in a very long time to share a Sunday meal. And a tradition would have it we had warm, homemade banana pudding, baked from scratch cakes, mashed potatoes and spinach casserole. There were 3 kinds of beans-pretty from the garden outback. Gelatin salad and deviled eggs; mac-a-man-cheese, rolls and more than one kind of meat. It was a feast-just like it’s always been. 

And just like years passed after the meal we all made our way to the front porch–hiding from dish duty even after all these years. We took out spots. Kids jumped out of every door. They were in trees, running in the yard, standing on the gravel admiring their first cars and sneaking candy. Only this time we weren’t the ones with sticky hands and blue colored lips. This time it was out children and we were the ones yelling,”don’t climb too high” or “you are going to put someone’s eye out with that things!” 

I wanted to get a picture to capture us back on the front porch-where we belong. Very typically..

I am bossing eveyone around. Slick was laughing at me trying to be the boss. Sandi with a I was reminding me she was older and Jeff was about to say something to make is all laugh. 

We try again. This time Jeff did say something funny-and probably inappropriate judging from Sandi’s face. Slick was egging him on while I remained determined to get my picture. 

Finally I got one.

Somthing special happened on the front porch. Another generation of cousins, and best friends, was there to take on the tradition of making one anther laugh, sharing dreams and making plans. As life is supposed to be a cycle started again–right there on the front porch. 

There next to the slamming screen door 4 more cousins smiles-arms entwined-genuinely liking one another. 

One by one the screen door slammed and someone came out say goodbye. One by one the family peeled off…and when there are more than 50 of you…that’s a lot of screen door-slamming-front -porch-hugging! One by one we called goodbye just like we’d always done. 

Front porch cousins …those are the best kind!


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