Sunday, September 4, 2011

MEMORY: FRONT PORCH SWING...april 19, 2003

N.Cherry St. Florence, AL..swing was on right side of porch
Our large gray painted concrete front porch was open all the way around except for low wooden flower boxes that usually had fern- like plants growing in them. There were large forsythia shrubs on each side of the steps below the porch. Daddy had made two light hangers from steel bars that he salvaged from the tennis court across the street when it was torn up to build Coffee High School about 1950. The two lamps looked like metal kerosene lamps that had been electrified. At the north end of the porch was a an unpainted wooden slat porch swing. It had room for two people to sit comfortably. I enjoyed the swing in several ways. During the day and possibly early evening I could swing it to see just what its limits were. I could also swing it end to end and imagine it was a train, but care had to be taken to not let it crash into the house wall more than once or twice. I was aware that when you got it swinging high enough that the chain links would get slack in them and for a moment you and the swing were suspended freely in the air without any connection. On at least one occasion, on the back stroke the swing chains left their moorings in the ceiling beams of the porch and I and the swing became airborne. I landed in a very large crepe myrtle shrub that grew at the end of the porch. It was quite a fall but not enough that I thought I needed to tell anyone about it. On some summer evenings I recall a totally different swing experience. Mother and Daddy would swing gently and cause that soothing squeaking sound. They would converse in sounds and manners that gave me the feeling that they really enjoyed each others company. They were frequently touching each other in soft nearly unnoticeable ways. Occasionally I would end up between them on the swing and listen to their conversation and feel secure. I can recall being carried nearly asleep into the house and laid in my bed after one of those peaceful times on the front porch swing.

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