The lost art of porch sitting...

By
Real Estate Agent with Real Estate One

This article originally was written for my July-August Newsletter, which I print and send out to abourt 350 past customers and people whom I’ve met one way or another in my real estate career. Although lots of people like to read blogs on-line many of my Newsletter readers tell me they prefer to have a paper newsletter that they can put on the nightstand and read a little at a time.

My house We are fortunate to live in a house with porches. I have a big, wrap-around porch on the front of the house and a smaller “sun porch” on the back side. My historic home was built in 1885, but the porches were likely added later. There was a time when sitting out on your front porch and watching people go by was considered a nice pastime, especially on lazy summer afternoons.

As a society, we’ve sort of lost touch with that pastime it seems. Perhaps the pace of our lives has become such that we don’t feel that we have time for such an indulgence; but I suspect that air conditioning is mainly to blame. People move inside, close up the house and turn on the air when it gets too warm. I’ll admit that I do, too. Big front porches sort of fell out of favor as a design feature sometime in the 60’s. There have been a few "retro-look" developments that brought back the front porch in an attempt to recreate the look and feel of old neighborhoods. There's one in Novi that I drive past occasionally and another down in Plymouth that I've shewed houses in.

On those days in the Spring and Fall (and on occasion in the summer) when it’s not too hot, it’s still great to be able to go out to the front porch (which is screened-in to keep the bugs away) and just sit there and read or watch the world go by. I’ll admit also that I installed an overhead fan on my porch, so I can create a breeze when none exists.

Our porch is big enough to entertain on, with room for both of our children and all of the grandchildren when they come tomy front porch visit. We have to drag a few chairs out for those occasions, but everybody has a place to sit and the grandkids still have lots of room to play. There’s even an old fashion porch swing on which we keep a large stuffed teddy bear.

On the south side of the front porch we’ve put a nice little table where the grandkids can sit and color or maybe have a snack. In the corner by the front door is our little menagerie—two giraffes, a camel, a hippo and an elephant. The grandkids love those, too.

So, if you happen to be strolling by my house and see me out there, wave and say hi. I might even invite you up to “sit a spell”; maybe even have a beer; just don’t feed the animals.

Posted by

 

 Norm Werner

Real Estate One

 

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Location:
Michigan Oakland County Milford
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Diary of a Realtor
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Rainmaker
295,441
Bud & Beth McKinney
Cary/Raleigh/Apex NC - The Team That Cares, RE/MAX United
RE/MAX UNITED

Porch-sitting. It really is a lost art. Nice to be reminded that every so often, we should get out and just enjoy the outdoors. Thanks for sharing.

July 23, 2012 12:22 PM
Rainmaker
240,024
Norm Werner
Real Estate One

I suppose the porch is somewhat metaphoric. The point is, whether you have a porch, a patio, a deck , a lanai or a garage to sit on or in, get out and sit a spell. And sit without the iPhone pressed to your ear or the iPad in your lap. No texting allowed. Just sit and watch the world go by. There is great, refreshing power in just doing nothing for a while and possibly having the opportunity to connect with a neighbor or a passer-by.

 

July 23, 2012 01:13 PM
Ambassador
775,395
John McCormack
AlbuquerqueHomes.com
Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com

Norm... Ah the memories of my Grandparents front porch. Many good times there. Wife Debbie says she misses her southern porch more than anything else.  She enjoyed a 14 x 62 front porch for 30 years.  Now that's a real porch!  In the southwest we don't really have porches we have courtyards with a small covered area at the front door.

July 23, 2012 09:04 PM
Rainmaker
529,070
Gary Frimann
California Broker and REALTOR
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates

Ah, the porch...  I think kids in the neighborhood were better behaved when everyone had a front posrch.  Just a thought...

July 24, 2012 10:17 AM
Rainmaker
571,007
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate
Hallmark Realtors

Good morning, Norm - I just had the same thought this morning as I sat at the computer to drink my coffee. My porch is lovely - and I've been ignoring it. Until right now :) See ya!

July 28, 2012 05:31 AM
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Norm Werner

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Posts about things going on in Real Estate in Milford, Michigan; Highland, Michigan; White Lake, Michigan; Commerce Twp, Michigan,; West Bloomfield, Michigan; South Lyon, Michigan; Birghton, Michigan and HArtland, Michigan in Oakland and Livingston Counties of Michigan