By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi
Having retrieved the Sunday New York Times from the front yard, I decided to sit on the porch and thumb through the Magazine section. Perched on the weather-resistant rattan settee, I glanced at the PVC porch railing. After the numerous storms that have blown through lately, the dirt accumulation on the railings was noteworthy. As I wiped off the railings, I could not help but cringe at the filth covering the outside windowsills overlooking the porch. Egregious back problems not withstanding, I believed I could at least manage to swab down the sills and railings. Armed with numerous moist paper towels and determination, I set about the task at hand. My meager efforts were rewarded: the PVC whiteness shone through once more on the porch.
The front porch is dear to my heart. During the warm weather months, it functions as another room. On one side, hanging baskets of ferns over the blooming Rose of Sharon, next to the porch, add privacy on the north side. On the west side, a pot holding a twisted orange-blooming hibiscus tree, and a prolific hanging basket of lavender geraniums, face the white Dogwood tree in the front yard. Several months ago I purchased a large outdoor rug to place under the porch chairs, side tables, and settee. A square pot holds mixed greenery atop the larger side table. A miniature rose that continues to bear pale pink flowers adorns the smaller mosaic side table.
Our small, square front porch is a haven from the cacophony of daily life. It is a sanctuary in which to heal and envision life during the spring, summer, and early autumn. On these long, languid days of summer, I am to be frequently found on the front porch. It is my answer to those days of yore when I lounged, swinging back and forth on the swing on the large, screened in porch of our family’s lake cottage. Overlooking the lake and the pier, I watched the world go by, envisioning my future. I thought those expansive days would go on forever. Though it has been fourteen years since my mother and her sisters sold the family’s lake headquarters, I have managed to capture the spirit of those lake days, albeit minus the water and paddleboat, from my front porch. I cherish my porch window on the world.
Ciao for now.