House and Home,  New Kensington,  Western Pennsylvania

Elegy to My Old Front Porch, c1930 – 2014

I am getting a new front porch for my birthday this year.

Jonthan and I planned and saved for this for years. We tweaked some of our career goals for this. We can’t wait to take our first steps on the new porch and invite people over to enjoy it with us.

The old porch slanted and sank into the ground since even before Jonathan bought the house. A few winters ago I slid from our front door, across the width of the porch, and down the steps. (Oh, my poor tailbone. Of course Jonathan got an earful about this.) Even the little neighbor girl recognized that the porch was “broken.”

Part of my old front porch currently sits in a dumpster in front of the house. However, we intend to save and re-use a significant part of it. In that way, the old front porch will always be with us. Still, I must say a few words about it.

The original owners built my current home in the 1890’s. They replaced the house’s original Victorian porch with what became my old front porch in the 1930’s.  Jonathan and I saw photos of our house, and this porch, in a local musuem exhibit on the flood of 1936. (Based on the photo, the ground floor of our house didn’t flood, though the intersection one house over did.)

I first walked upon the porch the very first time that I came into Parnassus. It was a warm, almost Indian summer-like Saturday in December 2003. This was a month after I met Jonathan, and I think that even then I had a hunch that this would someday become my porch.

Oh, the events that we celebrated on it! The last-minute spring cookout when I received the job offer in Pittsburgh. Several showers for our sisters. A baptism lunch for our nephew. We even took our wedding photos in front of it.

You will always have your own spot in my personal history, old front porch.