People are always asking me what I miss from the States while I am living in Ankara. My answers are always the same. Family. Friends. Food.
This week, I realized there are other things. I really miss the greenery everywhere. In Ankara, we have beautiful parks. And we can drive outside of the city to see lovely green pastures. But once the heat of July hits, the green turns to brown. Still pretty — but just not the same.
In the Philadelphia area, and especially in Chester County, the green stays green. There are trees everywhere, flowering in Spring and turning to bright vibrant colors in Fall. I can’t think of a prettier place than Chester County.
But even more than the greenery, I miss porches. A porch is not a deck, or a terrace, or a balcony. It’s sooooooo much more than that. A porch has a roof. It’s usually in the front of the house. Sometimes it wraps to the side. And every once in a while, there’s a porch on the back of a house.
Usually they are wrapped with a railing. Sometimes there are just columns on the corners. In the back of the house, you will often see a screened-in porch. And once in a while, they are closed with glass. I don’t like those so much.
There is something about the porch that just screams summer to me! Although, like my balcony in Ankara, you can find me sitting on the porch at any time of year, rain or shine or snow!
A porch brings great comfort. If gives a sense of security. We watch as people walk by and somehow feel that they can’t see or feel our glaring eyes.
We share stories of our lives there. We had bubble gum blowing contests there when Mr. Huber’s corner store closed – he gave me all of the Bazooka gum.
On the porch, my sister Mary taught me all of her girl scout songs that she learned at Camp Tweedale.
On the front porch, as a very young kid back when there weren’t many toys around, we made up the game of counting the cars that went by.
I spent many a summer afternoon on the porch sketching the houses, trees, and everything I could see around me.
Yes, the porch gives great comfort. It was on my mother’s porch that I learned my neighbor Buddy had been killed in a motorcycle accident. I cried and cried on that porch as I held on to the rail and on to my friend and his sister Sandy. It was where I learned about death and that old porch supported me.
I wish we had porches in Ankara. A place to sit and not burn in the sun. A place to share a glass of iced tea with friends. A place to whisper into the wee hours of the morning, as we listen to the birds chirp and the crickets doing their thing.
As I am writing this, I realize it is the perfect post for today! It is my dear friend Petra’s birthday. She and my cousins will be visiting the States and Chester County this Fall. Their favorite thing to do while visiting? Sit on Mom’s front porch!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETRA! Ich wuensche Dir alles Gutes zum Geburtstag! Bleib Gesund! And I will see you soon, my friend!