When I first began sanding the front porch, I had to do some heavy duty work. I began on the west side which is where the patio table and chair set normally sit. Because the table and chairs act as protection, there was a great deal of stain to be removed. The western end of the porch took forever (or, so it seems!) to sand.
As I worked my way across to the east, most of the sanding was just to “brighten” up the boards….they had been pretty well “self-sanded” by feet with gritty dirt and gravel! Perhaps it was because I wasn’t concentrating so intensely upon the task at hand that my mind began to stray….
I remember when we built this house. Mark, my father, and my brother, Randy, were the main players in the build. Mark and I designed the house and although he had second thoughts at first, Mark went full-bore building every evening after work. We were living in the city in a house he had purchased a few years before. The house was in a neighborhood that was less than desirable for raising a family. (When Mark bought the house, he had thought the great emphasis on city revitalization meant the area would be improving…Because home-ownership seemed so fantastic to a young twenty-something man, he failed to notice that many of the homes surrounding his were rental properties. This, unfortunately, meant there were a great number of drug dealings and the sordid accompanying activities involved surrounding his home at all hours of the day. The year we moved to our new little home-in-the-woods, Mark’s dad told us there had been, *I think*, five shooting deaths within a two mile radius of our home in the city. One can thus understand my haste in moving from the city!)
When Mark became unsure of himself, he would arrive home a little later than usual in the evening, arms loaded with books from the library! It was so funny seeing him glean through the books and the light going off in his mind. He would mainly look at the diagrams and his formal education as a mechanical engineer would kick in….he would smile and then advance to the task at hand. In the end, Mark became so enamored by the entire building process that he seriously thought he might one day enjoy becoming a general contractor! (Having stated this, it was about five years after the completion of our home that he built our very large garage!)
After building the house in the Cape Cod style I had long dreamed about, Mark decided that a fine country porch would be a very nice addition. Before the outside of the house was finished, Mark had begun the work on the porch. Although it “detracted” from the Cape Cod styling, Mark convinced me this would be a good idea. It turned out to be better than good. Maybe even great!
As I sanded yesterday, my mind was flooded with memories of little feet pattering across that porch. The kids and I played, read, ate, and napped on that porch for many years. That porch has been the site used for many celebrations and parties as well as a place to wind down after a hard day’s work.
I remember when Michelle was a toddler, we bought her a tiny wagon that had a handle at her shoulder height. She could push the wagon as she walked and when Ben was born (she was two years and three month old) she insisted the new baby be placed in the wagon so she could take him for a walk. Up and down the porch little Baby Ben would ride, compliments of Big Sister Michelle!
As the kids got a little bigger, we would snuggle in a blanket on the porch, reading books until I couldn’t read any more! I remember when I told the kids to “get a book”, they would each return with several in their tiny hands. I never told them “no”, so we would spend endless hours, snuggling and reading. They especially liked the fact that I would change my voice for the various characters in the books. Ah, the memories.
I think the kids and I lived on that porch for their first four or five years before they graduated to playing in the woods. On rainy days, however, they could indeed be found playing, once again, on the porch.
Well, I shan’t continue on rehashing old stories and memories. Suffice it to say, the porch is a place that has hosted a good many times and has been a valuable asset to our family. I certainly appreciate that porch and am glad Mark did have the foresight to include it when he did!
This morning, when I took the Scotties out, I looked back at the porch. I had turned on the light to look at my sanding job and forgot to turn it back off. As soon as the Scotties were back inside, I went in and got my camera to show my readers just how “cozy” and inviting that porch is!
I spent about eight or nine hours, total, sanding the floor. Not too bad. I can’t stain today, as the weather report is calling for a slight chance of rain today. The thought of rain splattering on the freshly stained floor does not appeal!
One thing I have resolved….I will never let that porch get so worn before I restain again!