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Parents, You Are Not Alone! Join Us on The Front Porch

Little did I know when I moved to Kentucky, a simple front porch would change my life. Maybe it will change yours too. Pour yourself a glass of iced tea, and let’s find out.

When my husband and I moved into our little Louisville home, the simple brick building was almost 100 years old - and you could easily tell. The linoleum kitchen floor was slanted under the stove, which pretty much made it impossible to cook eggs over-easy with any success. The old wood floors creaked with every step you took. The house had three bedrooms, but only one functional bathroom. I say “functional” because the other bathroom was so tiny we called it the “toddler potty” - only my four-year-old niece could fit in it. The dishwasher was older than I was, and every time you ran it, it sounded like a semi-truck was rolling through the living room. But I loved that old house, not for what was inside its walls, but for what was outside them - the front porch. That front porch helped me to slow down, to see my neighbors and to be seen by them, and to find ways that we could encourage one another. That front porch built relationships. It built me.

That front porch built relationships. It built me.

At the time, my husband and I didn’t have a lot of spare cash, but I knew there was something special about that front porch. We put a fresh coat of paint on it, and I scoured Craigslist for a swing and chaise lounge. We found a used wicker set, which I brought back to life with a bottle of Clorox, and after buying cushions from an online discount store, I was ready to do some front porch reading. And I did . . . but the best stories I “read” were in the people I met.

Front porch-sitting, I slowed down. I noticed the neighbor across the street, her comings and goings, the artwork she carried and rotated in her windows. What started with simple hellos turned to deeper conversation. I complimented her work and learned she was an art teacher who lived alone, but whose kids came to visit from time to time. It became clear we had different life philosophies, an