One of the things that I regret about the house where we live is that we don’t have a big front porch. The house I grew up in has a porch, but it’s not super big. But my grandparents had a porch that ran the length of the house.
We spent a lot of time there, sitting with Mama Camp on the glider. Dad Camp in a rocking chair and the rest of the family in various other chairs that have slipped from my memory. We kids would escape sometimes, spilling from the blue-gray expanse of the porch to play in the green grass or to kick through the brown leaves.
There’d be peas to shell or beans to snap. Sometimes we’d be underneath the old oak tree instead, maybe picking fresh plums from the trees that grew nearby, maybe husking and silking corn fresh from the garden.
As the youngest of three children, I spent a lot of my time with older folks: the sibs barely older, my parents and grandparents and Aunt Libby and Uncle Gus being the main people to populate my childhood memories. There were church friends and school friends, but mainly family is what sticks in my mind of those early years.
My mind is running over those memories, sifting them for details I haven’t thought of in years. It’s like tasting sweet fruit that I’ve missed since its last season in full bloom.