The Front Porch

The Front Porch

I used to have this very nice, elderly neighbor named Bessie. When we met, she said she was 19 years old but she was really 91. I saw her through her 29th and 39th birthdays. She was a hoot. When the weather was 60 degrees or higher, she would sit outside and watch the neighborhood, when it was below 60 degrees, she would sit inside and watch the world via the television. I imagine that in some ways I will be like Bessie when I get old(er).

 The first time we met was the day I moved into the house. This was back before I was married and lived in a normal, non-home owners associated neighborhood. Oh yeah, and I had a fun job back then too. Bessie was sweeping the street the day that I moved in and my father urged me to be neighborly and introduce myself. So, I did. She was saddened to hear that because we had arrived in town so late the night before, we slept on the floor of the house instead of unpacking and assembling beds. She said, “Oh, you should have come over and knocked on the door. I have two empty beds”.

Welcome to the Midwest Kat.

Bessie and I would sit together every now and then. I took her grocery shopping and to a senior citizens dance. She couldn’t drive but I’m not too sure that getting into my Ford Explorer was much easier. Lucky for both of us, I had running boards and a strong back. One day, Bessie asked me if I would please sew some curtains to put in my front windows, she was tired of looking into the big, empty window. I explained that I didn’t sew. She asked if I cooked. I snickered and said, kind of. “How about cleaning?” she asked. I told her that I wasn’t too good at that either. She replied loudly, “Well, it’s no wonder you are not married!”

Now I clean, cook sometimes and I still can’t sew. I did however end up buying some really nice green curtains for that front window. I stopped by to see Bessie after I was married and had moved on to another curtain-less house. She was still sitting on the front porch. That was about 3 years ago. When I drove by there last time, it was 75 degrees, there were red and white curtains in the big window of my old house and Bessie was not on the front porch…

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