The Screen Porch


Jack sharing Barb's morning space on the screen porch
Jack sharing my morning space

I love screened in porches.

Good morning world!  View from my porch.

Good morning world!

As a child I remember a friend of mine had what was called a sleeping porch at her house. This was a second floor screened in porch with beds on it. Her family slept out there all summer. On those hot humid nights where the inside of the house remained stuffy and hot, the porch was a clear aired relief. (It was also much less expensive than air conditioning.)

This concept fascinated me.

Sleeping outside is something we should all do from time to time. Our modern life separates us from the energy of the earth. We are the only being on this planet that considers living separate from all it offers a good idea. This was driven home to me when I went off to Boston University for college.

Streetlights and cement everywhere!

While I did not have a sleeping porch growing up, I did spend many nights sleeping outside. In a tent or under the stars, primarily with my best friend Suzanne. Grammy and Grampy Higgins took us camping a few times as well. They had a VW Bus! It was green and could magically transform into a camper. In spite of this, we still pitched a tent and slept outside.

It is noisy outside at night.

Crickets and cicadas fill the air with their music. Frogs and Bats, up high and down low so busy at night. Skunks out gathering what ever it is they gather. As dawn approaches and the night sky turns from black to purple the skunks go home to the sudden serenade of the birds. Before any modern technology humans listened closely to the songs of the birds. They warned of danger and heralded joy. Wake up world, they would sing just prior to daybreak, and look out world just before the sky darkened and a storm hit.

When did we stop listening to the birds?

In my adult life I yearn for readily available outside spaces. Hotel rooms with windows that do not open and no balcony are my vacation nightmare. I feel trapped inside a contrived environment. When those hotels exist on a buy freeway surrounded by parking lots my anxiety skyrockets! Not only am I trapped inside with no fresh air, there is no nearby outside space to walk.

My favorite “room” in my house is the back porch. We lived in our house for several years before we found the screens under the barn. Prior to that we sat on our front porch when we wanted outside space. It was not quiet or convenient. We had to go out onto the open porch to then enter the screened in portion.

We leave our kitchen door open all day all summer long. The porch becomes an extension of the kitchen, an “eating porch” so to speak. It never stops being a porch. In our upcoming kitchen re-do, the porch will receive some loving care. It will have floor repairs and insulation underneath. New screens, fresh paint, and plexiglass for the winter. It will have our old kitchen table on it. There will be the usual kitchen TV and Coach Luti’s recliner. “But you’re getting a new kitchen!” you’re thinking, “why not make it a room?”

Because it’s a porch.

I am writing this from the screened in porch here at our current Orlando home. It is a time share resort and during the month of September numbers are low, which makes room rates low. We have an apartment style room. A bedroom, huge bath tub, two sinks for morning preparations, a separate toilet and shower spot, a full kitchen, dining area and living room. But the best part of this “room”?

It has a screened in porch.

Jack sharing Barb's morning space on the screen porch
Jack sharing my morning space

I ponder my love for this spot. Where does this come from? I am claustrophobic by nature. I always need an escape plan. Perhaps this stems from my early childhood experiences. Perhaps I am a “born this way: wild child. I also have a deep affinity for ice cold water. And jumping off high places into that water below.

So, greetings from Florida! We are embracing the hot summer weather that, sadly, we are missing out on in NH. I would much prefer to see my friends back home wearing sweaters while I bask in the summer heat. Alas, I will join the sweater wearing upon my return home, my weather app reassures me of this!

So right now, this minute, I will enjoy “the screen porch”!

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