About a year ago one of our neighbors did something totally and utterly bizarre. He removed the ugly tan vinyl railings on his front porch. I gasped in shock and awe. What?! That shakes up the Stepford look!
Last night in a bold move, Dave and I copied him. We need a high powered saw - the kind you can rent from Home Depot - to finish the job. But, I LOVE IT. Dave sort of shrugged and said, "I liked it better the other way." Why do I love it? Because now I can sit on my front porch and SEE. I can sit on my front porch and look at my (non-existent for the moment) landscaping once I can start planting again. I can leap over the flower bed to haul my small children out of the street when they ignore my Mommy yell. I can reach the hose without walking all the way around the railing.
But really, I love it because I spent all of my summers in Utah at my dad and step-mom's house and some of my best memories with my dad include sitting out on the front porch swing, looking at Mt. Timpanogos, and talking. Particularly in the evenings. It's where 90% of our summer bonding went on. So I picture the front porch as a place where Dave and I can rock the summer evenings away while chatting with neighbors. Having the railing gone gives us more space, and the whole reason why I wanted this house was to have a front porch.
Years ago my friend Doug Pennock said, "The downfall of society was when we went from front porch people to backyard people. Front porch people allow us to keep tabs on each other and keeps us more honest." I agree with that!