Monday, July 11, 2011

Porch - a Love Story

Y'all!  (Oops, I'm totally reading "the Help" right now and it totally makes me talk Southern in my head.  Anyway.)  Y'all, I am a huge sucker for porches.  My husband lovingly says that if there was a completely condemned house that was falling down, if it had a wrap-around porch, I would love it.  He is totally correct.  I have been a sucker for porches as long as I can remember.  My grandparents' old house in Grinnell, Iowa had the world's best porch.  It was a wrap-around number that had a porch swing on the front porch, and a screened porch on the side.  It was my happy place for the endless summers of my youth.  I still remember the way it smelled.  You know what I mean?  My parents' house also has fabulous porches.  Their house is octagonal, so it literally has a porch that goes alllll the way around.  From their porch you can see Mt. Hood as if it were posing for a postcard.  Anyway, needless to say, I was raised on porches and I love me some porches.  I am a porch girl.

When we decided to move into this house, one thing that sold me were the porches.  There are three at this house, a front porch, a kitchen porch and a back porch.  None of them are much to look at now, but that's a lotta porches to woo a porch girl with.  Unfortunately, time had not been kind to said porches.  The back porch has most of the paint peeled off right now, and it looks out on a field of car parts.  The front porch and the kitchen porch had plywood floors covered in indoor/outdoor carpet (ugh.)  Before I even had the chance to move into this house, the back porch had to be removed so we could get to the underside of the house, and it seemed like an eternity before the weather was going to be nice enough to work on it again.  For a long time, the porch looked like this:
OMG, what a mess!  Finally spring rolled around and the weather was nice enough to start work.  We started with this:

And then we hosted a big ol' work party.  Our amazing friends came over and did us proud again.  At the end of the first day we had the frame lashed down to the existing foundation.  Yay!  (Unfortunately, I was so busy working, renting tools, driving around for the proper hardware and cooking for the crew that I forgot to take pictures!  But it was awesome.)  Fred and I worked on it for a couple more evenings and eventually it looked like this:
Yay porch frame!  Due to a kerfluffle involving the proper size of lumber, the real floor won't be down for another little bit.  But the adorable husband put down a temporary plywood floor (nice plywood!) so that we could drink on it for ladies slumber party.  Since the day that he put the floor on, I swear I have been on it every day.  In fact, I'm sitting out there writing this post right now.  Are you ready to see it?  Ta daaa!
Yum.  It makes me so happy.  It's only temporarily furnished, we'll need to upgrade at some point but for now we've got these super comfy foldable chairs that we got for our wedding paired with a little table from my old porch and a little glass hurricane lantern:
As well as this cute section of antique theatre seats.  I got these at an auction in my hometown, I think they were five dollars.  The hubs was doubtful, but he dutifully lugged them home.  Right before the sleepover, he got them out, cleaned them and lovingly oiled everything and they really look good as new!  I wish I knew where they came from, I'm sure they have some story involving our valley.
I finished off the decor with this pot of nicotiana, ground creeping thyme and chocolate mint.  I think I might have to invent a cocktail featuring chocolate mint!
The real reason to love the porch though, is clearly the view.  Summertime!
Its a little hard to tell from these pictures, but the porch is on the corner of the house, which makes it like an oasis surrounded by lushness.
So great!  Totally my new happy place.
So, imagine me sitting in one of those green chairs sipping something frosty.  In my little family we call this having porchtails, and it happens any time I get a spare minute.  I don't have any pictures of me being cute with a porchtail yet, but here's Stacy on jam-making day, demonstrating how great the porch is for cherry eating!
And if its a hot summer day and its after working hours and you feel like drinking something frosty outside, you give me a call.  You know where I'll be.

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