If the world had a front porch like we did back then
we'd still have our problems but we'd all be friends
Treating your neighbor like he's your next of kin
Wouldn't be gone like the wind
If the World had a front porch, like we did back then
In the 1990s my husband relinquished his job in Oklahoma to move to Kansas and take care of his ailing mother who suffered from Parkinson's Disease. Below is what he wrote in his journal from that time. I found it particularly appealing, and use it here (again) with his permission - a guest post of sorts.
Sunday, July 27, 1997
After mother finished pushing her dinner around on her plate, spilling her water and dropping her pills, I ushered her in two cycles around the kitchen table for exercise and returned her to her TV launching chair.
Then I went out, with all necessary accessories to stay in contact, including beeper and telephone, to sit in the front porch glider. A couple small pillows from the couch and an icy bottle of tea went with me too. And a book to run competition with the busy activity on the street and sidewalks that pass my line of vision in the apron of the front yard.
Across the street, little Desiree was at work schooling her invisible playmate in the fine art of ballet and cheer leading. The new neighbor on the east kept to the house mostly, and the stout pair on the west did their usual, arrived and left, arrived and left. Nothing much new in the front yard world so the book had little competition for my thoughts. I read until nearly nine.
"The highest function of love is that it makes the loved one a unique and irreplaceable being. The difference between love and logic is that in the eyes of a lover, a toad can be a prince, whereas in the analysis of a logistician, the lover would have to prove that the toad was a prince, an enterprise destined to dull the shine of many a passion." Tom Robbins in “Jitterbug Perfume”
Proving a toad is a prince or a prince is a toad.... Ponderings that take my mind. All the interactions of humans, luring, flirting, leading, flashing, feeding the mind, grooming the hair, daring to judge what's fault and what's fair, move only to a conclusion. A conclusion as certain as the last stop on the bus line, as illuminating as an eclipse and as dreaded and elusive as a cherry pit in a hot cherry pie. Nothing is certain. Everything changes. Toads are toads. Princes are princes. Fools are fools.
Of course to a cynic, the looming sunset of life can produce little beauty and not much comment except "I told you so!" But to a romantic a toad is a prince. The ends are merely a part of the beginning and all the pudding in-between. Life to the cynic is a clanking chain of events that prove everything is related, everything is temporary and everything is eventually as worthless as the inevitable last link.
But the romantic knows a secret. Life is the memories you make. Nothing more, nothing less. If you plant nightshade, as Mr. Nightingale quoted, you get nightshade...
The conclusion for the day is, I shouldn't sit for long periods in the glider by myself. In only a short time, so many thoughts float like dumplings in my brain soup that the bowl expands and the scalp stretches and separates the strands of hair across even greater expanses of bald. Sitting in the front porch glider is one of the known causes of baldness. In men.
Women have to go to the bathroom more often. Women think in little concise thoughts that mean something useful. They dispense their considered wisdom to the summer air around a glider and then go to the bathroom. Women perform their magic daily. They run the world and all of humanity and make it seem as if they don't know the first thing about it. Magic. Daily magic.