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Old 10-19-2007, 04:23 PM   #21
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Me and my dog like to sit on my porch in the summer, throw down a few vodka/tonics, and watch all the weird people walk by.......well, the dog barks at them.
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Old 10-19-2007, 05:33 PM   #22
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As long as we're on the subject, here's a column I wrote some time ago:

GUY STUFF…by BUCK


BUCK 25


PORCH SETTIN’


Yep, the time has come. Summer weather is here and it’s finally time to get serious about American’s favorite rural tradition – Porch Settin’. For those few ignorant souls out there who don’t engage in this summertime inactivity, allow me to provide a brief refresher course on the accepted standards for this most popular pastime.

Porch Settin’ is a simple thing but, done right, it’s a perfect expression of grace, artistry and tranquil demeanor. As with any human undertaking, the experts make it look easy. But careful analysis reveals the wealth of training, discipline, careful study, and attention to detail that combine to create an artful “set.” Among the many elements blended to master the art are Environment, Equipment, Attitude, and Etiquette. We’ll examine them individually.

ENVIRONMENT – A proper settin’ porch is a carefully crafted stage upon which the true artist can maximize the opportunity of a stellar performance. The perfect porch is neither too small – you’ll be crowded – nor too large – you’ll get lost in the setting.

Think of your porch as a picture frame in which you are the prime element. Accessories are important. A few droopy ol’ hound dogs or sleeping cats are essential. The porch must have a roof. Railings are optional. Make sure the view from your porch is not obscured by too many old cars up on blocks or dead refrigerators.

EQUIPMENT – Obviously, you need a chair. Rockers are preferred. Either weathered wood with woven seats and backs or painted ones (white only) are accepted. A loose floorboard is a nice touch so you get a little “squeak” when you rock. Variations are at your own risk.

New oak rockers or anything upholstered are tacky and insincere. Used sofas or recliners are totally unsatisfactory unless you’re going for the Jeff Foxworthy/longneck beer/redneck look. Carved out sections of tree trunk work well for the Snuffy Smith/floppy hat/whisky jug/hillbilly genre.

ATTITUDE – All other aspects of Porch Settin’ are secondary to attitude. To produce a masterful performance you must get into the proper frame of mind. Old hands, who seem to come by it naturally, are exhibiting the fruits of long years of practice. For the novice, a few preparatory mental exercises are helpful.

Imagine you’ve been out in the fields all day cutting hay by hand under a hot sun. Returning home, you discover the hog pen roof has collapsed, mamma sow has developed an attitude, the chickens got out into the road, and the toilet is stopped up and overflowing. After fixing all these things, you deserve a rest.

You pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade, shuffle out to the porch, nudge aside a lazy ol’ hound dog, and finally settle down into the comfortable old rocker that has cradled your backside so long it’s become molded to your shape. You sit. You squint at the sun sinking slowly in the west. Your mind downshifts from high gear, to second gear, to low gear. You ease the throttle back to idle.
Slowly, ever so slowly, you begin a small comfortable rocking back and forth, at first almost imperceptible. Building gently over a period of minutes, you arrive at the perfect rocking chair rhythm that gentles your brain waves and caresses your whole body into a slow, comfortable cadence that proclaims peace with the world. Now you’re beginning your Porch Set.

ETIQUETTE – This is an aspect of Porch Settin’ that requires judgment and finesse. You’re in your own cocoon. All’s right with the world. How much do you allow the outside world to penetrate your peacefulness without destroying it? Some decisions are easy – a friend cruises by in his truck and honks a friendly “Hello.” Gently you raise your hand and perform a short friendly wave (it’s all in the wrist). Mission accomplished. What do you do when your bushy-tailed neighbor pops over the hill and says, “Hi! How’s your grass growing this year?”

You want to be cordial while conveying the message that you’re in your own mental relaxing-place and intend to stay there. Situations are best handled with one-syllable answers. You say, “Okay.”
He replies with, “That’s great! I put Scott’s Weed & Feed & Green & Clean on this spring. It really did a super job!”

After a studied silence you reply, “Okay.” If he ventures another attempt to start up a conversation, you wait even longer before saying, “Okay.” By this time he’ll get the point and turn and walk away. Situation handled.

Once you’ve mastered these few simple principles, you’re ready to enjoy many years of relaxing, fulfilling, soul-satisfying Porch Settin’. I could go on and on about refinements to this almost lost art, but I’d be robbing you of valuable time during which you could be out on the porch.

Happy summer. See ya around.

BUCK
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Old 10-19-2007, 06:00 PM   #23
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ITK, we live in a very rural area, but our house is in the city. Less than a half mile from our shop on Front Street (read that as Main Street most places). It's not unusual for me to walk to the shop on nice days.
Sounds wonderful, like a wish come true! What kind of shop you have? Food store? Bet you know everybody.
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Old 10-19-2007, 06:03 PM   #24
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Sounds wonderful, like a wish come true! What kind of shop you have? Food store? Bet you know everybody.
In the front showroom of the shop, we sell antiques of all sorts, including furniture.

In the back, I have my work area where I do my interior design work and in the far back, Buck restores antiques (furniture mostly) and builds custom furniture.
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Old 10-19-2007, 06:05 PM   #25
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Yep, nothing like a front porch to soothe the nerves and get in touch with one's self. My aunt had a huge front porch and this was back before air conditioning but it was always cool out there and caught the breezes. At dusk and evening we kids would catch fireflies using old jars and the adults would sit on the porch yakking. Ever so often someone would drive by and stop for awhile----and we always had relatives dropping in. And talk about a haven for the cats!!!!! Thanks for the memories, Katie E, and glad that there is a new el Presidente to take over. Hope that you have an extra wine glass and a jar for catching fireflies!! :)
Oh my gosh, I haven't seen fireflies in years! But I remember as a kid when my dad was stationed in Maryland, we had the most wonderful evenings catching fireflies in jars. I had totally forgotten that, expatgirl. Thanks for reminding me!
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Old 10-19-2007, 06:58 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post
As long as we're on the subject, here's a column I wrote some time ago:

GUY STUFF…by BUCK


BUCK 25


PORCH SETTIN’


Yep, the time has come. Summer weather is here and it’s finally time to get serious about American’s favorite rural tradition – Porch Settin’. For those few ignorant souls out there who don’t engage in this summertime inactivity, allow me to provide a brief refresher course on the accepted standards for this most popular pastime.

Porch Settin’ is a simple thing but, done right, it’s a perfect expression of grace, artistry and tranquil demeanor. As with any human undertaking, the experts make it look easy. But careful analysis reveals the wealth of training, discipline, careful study, and attention to detail that combine to create an artful “set.” Among the many elements blended to master the art are Environment, Equipment, Attitude, and Etiquette. We’ll examine them individually.

ENVIRONMENT – A proper settin’ porch is a carefully crafted stage upon which the true artist can maximize the opportunity of a stellar performance. The perfect porch is neither too small – you’ll be crowded – nor too large – you’ll get lost in the setting.

Think of your porch as a picture frame in which you are the prime element. Accessories are important. A few droopy ol’ hound dogs or sleeping cats are essential. The porch must have a roof. Railings are optional. Make sure the view from your porch is not obscured by too many old cars up on blocks or dead refrigerators.

EQUIPMENT – Obviously, you need a chair. Rockers are preferred. Either weathered wood with woven seats and backs or painted ones (white only) are accepted. A loose floorboard is a nice touch so you get a little “squeak” when you rock. Variations are at your own risk.

New oak rockers or anything upholstered are tacky and insincere. Used sofas or recliners are totally unsatisfactory unless you’re going for the Jeff Foxworthy/longneck beer/redneck look. Carved out sections of tree trunk work well for the Snuffy Smith/floppy hat/whisky jug/hillbilly genre.

ATTITUDE – All other aspects of Porch Settin’ are secondary to attitude. To produce a masterful performance you must get into the proper frame of mind. Old hands, who seem to come by it naturally, are exhibiting the fruits of long years of practice. For the novice, a few preparatory mental exercises are helpful.

Imagine you’ve been out in the fields all day cutting hay by hand under a hot sun. Returning home, you discover the hog pen roof has collapsed, mamma sow has developed an attitude, the chickens got out into the road, and the toilet is stopped up and overflowing. After fixing all these things, you deserve a rest.

You pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade, shuffle out to the porch, nudge aside a lazy ol’ hound dog, and finally settle down into the comfortable old rocker that has cradled your backside so long it’s become molded to your shape. You sit. You squint at the sun sinking slowly in the west. Your mind downshifts from high gear, to second gear, to low gear. You ease the throttle back to idle.
Slowly, ever so slowly, you begin a small comfortable rocking back and forth, at first almost imperceptible. Building gently over a period of minutes, you arrive at the perfect rocking chair rhythm that gentles your brain waves and caresses your whole body into a slow, comfortable cadence that proclaims peace with the world. Now you’re beginning your Porch Set.

ETIQUETTE – This is an aspect of Porch Settin’ that requires judgment and finesse. You’re in your own cocoon. All’s right with the world. How much do you allow the outside world to penetrate your peacefulness without destroying it? Some decisions are easy – a friend cruises by in his truck and honks a friendly “Hello.” Gently you raise your hand and perform a short friendly wave (it’s all in the wrist). Mission accomplished. What do you do when your bushy-tailed neighbor pops over the hill and says, “Hi! How’s your grass growing this year?”

You want to be cordial while conveying the message that you’re in your own mental relaxing-place and intend to stay there. Situations are best handled with one-syllable answers. You say, “Okay.”
He replies with, “That’s great! I put Scott’s Weed & Feed & Green & Clean on this spring. It really did a super job!”

After a studied silence you reply, “Okay.” If he ventures another attempt to start up a conversation, you wait even longer before saying, “Okay.” By this time he’ll get the point and turn and walk away. Situation handled.

Once you’ve mastered these few simple principles, you’re ready to enjoy many years of relaxing, fulfilling, soul-satisfying Porch Settin’. I could go on and on about refinements to this almost lost art, but I’d be robbing you of valuable time during which you could be out on the porch.

Happy summer. See ya around.

BUCK
Buck, I enjoyed that so very much - thanks for sharing, you should write a book ! I love how you write ! I'd be your first buyer for sure !!
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:44 PM   #27
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This post is what country life is all about, or even small town life. Sadly, though I live at small town outskirts, with woods very close by, I can hear the highway not too far away, and I have only a small porch, steps, really, with a covered landing to keep the rain and snow off while opening the front door.

When things get too rough, or stressfull, I hike through a path to the nearby woods, and then to an unused sand-pit, and sit by myself, letting the wind, and wildlife sounds lift my spirits. I'd love to have a porch, but zoning laws state that I'm too close to the subdivision roads. The house was built before the zoning laws were in place. I removed a cracked but strong concrete porch when I put the second story on the house, thinking that I could put a semi-enclosed porch in its place. The construction company had everything built, but failed to pull permits for it and had to tear it down, leaving the minimal steps. I wasn't even allowed to put a roof over it.

Snow and ice, falling from the roof was a hazard though, and I put a strong roof over the landing to protect us as we entered the house. I had a major bruise on my right fore-arm one year from a chunk of ice that fell from the two-story roof. The next spring, the porch roof went up, zoning laws or not.

We've been getting a lot of rain from about the middle of September, which is badly needed. The Great Lakes are way-low and a lot of the areas I used to fish as a teen are now jsut mud-flats. I would like to see heavy snow and rain for the next year, to help raise the water levels again.

Don't get me wrong. It's not like Lake Superior is going to dry up or anything. I just like it the way it was rather than the way it is.

Well, back to the original topic: I wish I had a porch too. I'm envious, though my house is pretty good and comfortable. A porch would be so great.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:37 AM   #28
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Minds?

Minds? I wonder if I have one sometimes! Isn't there a quote somewhere that states,'great minds think alike'. Or did I imagine that too? Sometimes I think I am in my OWN world. Guess in fact, we all are. But just reading your comments Katie E really agrees with me. Kind of like a warm soothing drink. A place where you can just allow the world to calm your mind and soul. Having someone with you makes it so much better.

Are you by any chance born in the same month as your husband? You both do everything together. During my lifetime I have introduced many couples who got married. To this day they are all together but I notice the ones who I have to send birthday cards to are born in the same month. I think this may have something to do with compatibility, (getting along). You work together, sit on the porch together, how many couples can agree with this?

As I said, your minds are on the same track. I enjoyed both of you sharing a part of your thoughts. Sounds like a book i read where this is the way it should be!

Thanks
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:56 AM   #29
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No, ITK, we don't share the same birth month. Mine is May, his is June. We're not even the same sign of the Zodiac. However, we've been together over 30 years and have spent the last almost 13 together 24/7. Haven't killed each other yet either.

I think our success comes from the fact that, first, we're best friends. Beyond that, we share soooooooooo many of the same interests and goals, that maintaining our relationship is quite easy most of the time.

Don't misunderstand...we do have our disagreements. Even fights occasionally, but those are very rare. By nature I'm a very even-tempered person and so is Buck. Neither of us is fond of conflict so we try to find ways to resolve issues non-combatively.

We discovered very early on what works for us and just keep doing it.
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Old 10-20-2007, 12:12 PM   #30
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Katie E

Think of me sitting on the porch with you. I sure hope i didn't get too personal. Just appreciate it so much when people get along. Maybe the porch is what keeps things together for you two. Whatever i hope you two continue and wish you both to keep enjoying the porch no matter what the weather. Like you said you want to try to avoid conflict topics. Being together isn't perfect but better than alone. Trouble with me is sometimes I wonder how I get along with myself?

Thanks Katie E for your response. I apologize if I said something none of my business.
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