Definition: noun. a structure consisting of a roof supported by columns at regular intervals, typically attached as a porch to a building.
My porticos (past and present):
I’ve only lived in two houses that had a porch. The first was a nice covered porch. The full length of the house. 7 white columns which upheld the covered roofing of the porch (I always hated that there was an uneven number). No railings between the columns but definitely a 1’ drop from the porch to the ground. On occasion porch sitting, after a long day of work, with kids playing in the front yard would happen. I’d try to gulp down a steaming hot cup of coffee. I say “try” because… Well. Because. I hate coffee. There, I said it! I have tried over and over to like it but I just Do Not! Anyway, at that time I didn’t realize how much I’d grow to love porch sitting.
Fast forward 3 years or so…And I now have the second home with a covered porch. I call it a home; it’s an apartment. An apartment which is the basement of a home. A split level home, where the top floor has tenants as does the bottom. Confusing I know. Anyway, what is considered my “front” porch, is actually below the top floor tenants’ covered back porch. Further confusion. …but it’s absolutely lovely. It’s tiled flooring, which I love, because no fear of splinters if you’re without shoes. It has 4 circular columns, which line the edge of the porch to the yard. Parallel to the columns is the exterior of the red brick home, with a large 2-panel window with white shutters. Then a full glass wall / door into the “entry way” of my home. I’ve added a rug, a couch, and a fire pit (which I’ve wanted for a while and finally bought for myself this last year). And to top it all off, I’ve lined the white ceiling with outdoor bulb lights for evening time porch-sitting. Side Note: I’m still trying to outsource the work of hanging a TV for music or even movie watching but have yet to find anyone willing to do this task. Anyway, this home, this porch, is by far probably my most favorite place on earth. Aside from the beach (keep that in mind, as you’ll want to remember that for later in this post). One of my favorite humans even calls it “The Happy Place.”
Why? Why do I enjoy the portico?
So, now that you can picture the porch you’re sitting within, in your mind, I can actually write the post I set out to write. Whew! Like I mentioned, I didn’t realize that those initial porch moments would grow into my porch now being my favorite spot in my entire home. Growing up, I was never, and still am not, an outdoorsy person. I don’t love to hike or bike. I don’t like to camp. I don’t like to fish or play sports outdoors. I have allergies which make me crazy if I’m outside for too long. Really, the closest thing to me enjoying being outside is riding in a convertible with the top down. (Sad, I know). However, as I moved into this home, I knew something special had to come of this porch; hence adding the rug and couch.
When I first moved in, and still now, I sweep the porch. At least weekly, sometimes more pending the dirt build up, etc… Keep in mind it’s actually a long porch, and therefore takes some time to sweep. However, I love to sweep it. I own a leaf blower which would be so fast and efficient, especially with 3 kids, but I’ve never used it. Not once in the 8 months I’ve lived there. Sweeping, Ive discovered, on my porch, helps clear my head. And…I get to be in my favorite spot a little longer. Sometimes just me and my thoughts. And sometimes, if it’s been an icky day, I can escape and sweep away all the negativity. And breathe.
And today. Today I spent ALL day out there. In “the happy place.”
Not sweeping all day. Ha! I’d be a crazy person if I did that. I mean, I did sweep at the end of the day, but the morning, I simply started off my “work from home” day, in the crisp spring air, laptop in hand and sunshine glistening off the freshly mowed (from the day before-otherwise I’d been sneezing up a storm) grass. My kids got there and we continued to just stay on the porch/yard. Not necessarily on purpose. It just, happened.
We ate lunch, snacks, and dinner out there. I finished my work day out there. They climbed trees and ran races and jumped in the “rain-made” creek I now have in the back yard. And even after dinner and after creek-jumping, as bath-time rotation started, we stayed. And we cranked up the fire pit and plugged in the bulb lights and roasted marshmallows. And I swept.
And as I was sweeping, my daughter said “oh I love this, it’s like the beach!” (And remember from earlier, I love the beach). I stopped. I smiled. I said, “yes dear, it is!” And just like that, I’ve definitely created a “happy place.” It’s freeing and simple and warm and refreshing. Just like the “beach” vibes give to us when we are there.
So, my conclusion: our portico is our “portal” to our “beach” (mindset at least). I LOVE that. And I love even more, that my kids sense and feel and love it as much as mom!