Porch-Sittin’ Weather by Valerie J. Patterson

The county courthouse I work in is practically older than dirt.  It has a large front porch–for lack of a better term.  It has massive, aged columns and a huge bell tower upon which stands a statue of the man the county is named after–Revolutionary War Major General Nathanael Greene.  The original courtroom is big with high archways and walls lined with portraits of the judges who’ve administered justice through the courthouse’s existence.  It’s a pretty impressive courthouse.  But it’s the front porch I want to talk about.

Greene County Courthouse

The courthouse is at the heart of town.  Anyone going anywhere has to pass the front of the courthouse in order to get where they’re going.  There are park benches on the front porch inviting folks to sit a while.  This is where I’ve come to spend my lunch breaks the past two months or so.

It’s not always easy to get out of the office and go to a restaurant for lunch, but it does occur.  Usually, when that happens, my hubby picks me up and whisks me away for an hour of quiet conversation and a sandwich or a salad.  I love those hours.  I covet those hours because it’s a small bit of time we get together in an otherwise busy day.

If I can’t get away, I head for the front porch.  I take a bottle of water, some protein biscuits, a pen and a tablet.  I head for the park bench farthest from the main doors and–after stealing a glance at the clock on the bank across the street–I settle in and start working on my manuscript.  I usually get half a bottle of water and two biscuits down before my mind pulls away from my work and my eyes begin to take in the sights and sounds.

One afternoon I watched a man stopped at a traffic light watch a woman cross the street.  So intent was he on watching her that he turned down a one-way street and the man in the car he cut off yelled loud enough that he stopped and backed out of the one-way street and scurried on his way.

I watched a bride and groom come rushing out the front doors after one of the judges married them and instantly pose for photos,  I’ve seen families pose for photos with the child they just adopted.  And I’ve seen divorcing couples argue all the way down the front steps, stopping on the sidewalk to continue the heated exchange.  Mostly, I watch folks hurry from one end of town to the next and back again.  After all, that hour tends to fly when you fill it with errands.

It seems that no matter the heat of the day, there’s always a lovely breeze coming across the front porch.  I enjoy that breeze.  It relaxes me and refreshes me and energizes me to finish my day.  My Dad was an accomplished porch-sitter.  In the evenings after dinner and whatever chores he had to complete, he’d grab a tall glass of my Mom’s homemade iced tea and head for the front porch.  He’d chat with whomever passed in front of the house, but mostly he sat quietly just soaking up the evening.

There are days when I’m sitting on the park bench and I think of him.  I just know he’d enjoy sitting on that front porch with me.  I hope it remains porch-sittin’ weather for a long while!

Until next time, I hope there’s a porch in your life where you can sit and recharge.  May it always be perfect porch-sittin’ weather for you, too!

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16 responses to “Porch-Sittin’ Weather by Valerie J. Patterson

  1. Your post is the perfect visual of an easier slower life. You bring a little mid west to my day. Loved it.

  2. Like Lavada, I love the visual you give us. And the reminder that slowing down to smell the figurative roses is important. I read recently in a magazine article that taking 5 minutes a few times a day to just sit in silence makes us all happier people. I don’t have a porch built for sitting, but I have a back deck that’s perfect for it. I’m off to sit and listen…to nothing…for a bit. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Definitely have to slow down. Life passes by too quickly. I believe taking time to sit a spell does make one a happier person. I usually go back to my office and the rest of the day passes on a higher note than when I went out to sit. Hope you enjoyed your time on the back deck, Laurie! Have a great weekend as well! Thank you for reading! 😛

  3. I grew up in rural TN, where, immediately after dinner, you went to sit on the large porch at my aunt’s house, to soak up the cool evening breeze, to sit and “digest”….to wait and see who stopped by to say hi and talk over the events of the day…I’ve always thought we don’t do enough “porch sitting” any more….

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Debbie, thank you for visiting and reading! I think you’re right, we don’t do enough porch-sitting anymore. We don’t know our neighbors well anymore because of it, don’t you think? One afternoon, you’ll have to join me on the front porch of the courthouse! 😛

  4. Reading your blog is a joy. You have a way of bringing everything to life with you descriptive words….

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Hi Billie! Thank you very much for your very kind comments. I appreciate that very much. I was just telling someone the other day that I miss seeing you in the county office building!! Hope you’re enjoying retirement! Thanks again for coming over to read. 😛

  5. Lovely Waynesburg. The heart of town hasn’t changed much. Shhh… I dated a girl from there 52 years ago. I remember the courthouse but can’t remember the girls name.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Well hello Harvey! Nope, uptown has not changed that much, but you’d be surprised at all the changes the county has gone through in the past several years. And your secret’s safe with me. If you can’t remember her name, she didn’t leave a mark upon your heart. I reckon that gal you’re married to has left an indelible mark upon your heart…Just as she should. 😛 Thanks for coming by and reading, Harvey! Good to hear from you. 😛

  6. Great post. I’m a great believer in taking time out to just sit and relax and watch the world go by and the courthouse porch sounds perfect to take in the sights and sounds and people watching. Great fun!

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Hi Kit! Absolutely agree with you in that we need to just take a time out. I enjoy watching the people around me because you just never know what’s going to happen. You have your very lovely garden as a place of refection and quiet peace. Thank you for reading! 😛

  7. What a lovely post. The great slices of life you get to see on that porch are awesome. I think it’s important to find time to do exactly what you do and I love that you are following a family tradition passed down from your dad.

    The building in beautiful as well.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Hi Jillian. Thanks, I think the courthouse is pretty great, too. And I wholeheartedly agree that it’s important to take time to just be still and watch and listen. Thank you for the comment about my dad. I really wish he were here to sit on that porch with me. We’d have a wonderful time. 😛 Hope your week is blessed!

  8. I’ve got a lovely visual of you sitting on that courthouse porch, Valerie. It sounds like an interesting place to be. Here in the UK we tend not to have front porches, but my place is a bench in the garden surveying my domain. Heavenly.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Too bad about the no porches thing, but lucky you to have a bench in the midst of natural beauty!! So glad you have a slice of heaven, Tricia. Hopefully it just transports you to your happy place!! Thank you for reading. 😛

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