She has a gate up to keep the kids contained. “I don’t want the little ones to run out and run into the street,” Diane said. “But I believe kids need to get out and get fresh air.”
Diane is used to her porch being on display. “We’re used to everyone coming by and looking,” she said. “We have people drive by and watch us. We have a little boy here, and his papaw drives by every day to say hi. The neighbor kids go by and they have to check out the fairy garden and my whirly gigs.”
Along with the playthings for her young charges, Diane’s porch also has wind chimes — about 15. She started collecting them after seeing a movie years ago where the chimes blowing in the wind alerted that the aliens were coming.
“I collected them over the years. I have some from my mom when she passed away, and when my brother passed away. My husband thinks the neighbors will run us off if I get another one,” Diane said with a laugh.
Cook wrote that the American front porch documents the history of American life, as it connects people to nature.
“For a majority of our nation’s history, America did exist as an agrarian nation, and it praised its ‘purple mountain majesties’ and endless forests,” he wrote. “Yet along with the idealization of nature came an ideal to control it. Americans’ ‘manifest destiny’ induced them to conquer nature, by building towns and cities, clearing forests, and otherwise civilizing the land. The front porch provided a compromise for these two opposing American ideals and connected human control, in the form of the house, to nature and the wilderness outside it.”
Jim likes to watch nature from his porch.
“During a nice rain, I like to sit out and smell the freshness of the rain and look at the beauty you got around you, of what He gave us,” Jim said. “You sit there and get some of that fresh air and sunshine, there’s nothing like it.”
He knows his neighbors, but not many are often out on their porches. “Most people just kinda stay in, and get out when they have to mow the yard or something like that,” Jim said. “Some neighbors have front porches. But it doesn’t seem to be too many people who use them like they did years ago.”