FRONT PORCH NEIGHBORS  By Lori A Alicea

Call me an old fashioned girl.
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Call me a keeper of memories,
Fondly looking back to remember my blessings.

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Call me someone cherishing life back in the day, my day;
holding tight to the treasures and things of old.
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Call me a morning person, retreating to the porch of my dreams to savor that first cup of hot coffee.
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Call me out for my love of the simple,
The wild heart of God displayed through his creations.

USE - flowersCall me a Front Porch Neighbor,
Watching from the lawn chair outside my house,
Longing for you to leave your yard and enjoy a cup of coffee beside me.

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Call me back from my memories of neighborhoods gone by.

I recalled such a neighborhood in a former piece of mine titled
WHERE’S THE WELCOME WAGON.
PORCH - welcome

WHERE‘S THE WELCOME WAGON
By Lori A Alicea

As the curtains of summer begin to draw to a close, it’s been a lifelong comfort when the scattering of summer draws the neighbors back home by fall.

Maybe the piling up of newspapers next door or overgrown grass at the house down the road reminds me that someone in my life is missing, even if it’s a neighbor I’ve probably never met.

Neighbors are a part of your everyday routine, whether you choose them to be or not.  You begin to notice their “comings and goings” by the coincidence of sharing a street.

Once upon a town in places just like Mayberry, neighbors knew their neighbors well.  So well that wives borrowed sugar and milk and watched each other’s kids, while men lent their tools and a hand.

Neighbors introduced themselves to new comers before the U-Haul ever got unloaded, with welcome mats rolled out and homemade soup delivered before nightfall.

Houses back then were never locked and neighbors spontaneously gathered at the loudest porch.

Driving to grandmas in the hills of Kentucky, you’d bet money to catch her shelling peas in her everyday apron, singing hymns on her favorite porch.

Passerby’s” would honk at grandma as she gestured back with a wave, some stopping for conversation and a piece of pie to go with.

House’s today though have pristine landscaping in front with lawns meticulously manicured, no friend would dare walk on his neighbor’s grass, much less invite himself to the deck secluded in back.

Long gone is morning coffee on the porch joined by “cup-toting-neighbors” needing a refill; now it’s coffee served for a few behind the lonely walls of a privacy fence.

Thinking back to a block party a few summers ago, I’m embarrassed to admit meeting some of my neighbors after living there twenty years.  Oh, I’d wave when driving by, but to know the ticking of my neighbor’s clock, I’d need to leave my own yard to hear their alarms; but I didn’t.

That summer afternoon the breeze of winter day chilled my bones for the opportunities I missed to be a good neighbor.

Meals I could have made, lawns we could have cut and snow we should have shoveled when I learned one neighbor became a widow.

Then another family I met that would have benefited from long distance encouragement, while they risked their lives on the mission field overseas.

Stories told.  Details revealed.  Information I should have known and acted on, had I been neighborly.

Addresses are not an accident.  Neither are our neighbors.  As big as the earth is, it’s really a small world of neighborhoods, people needing to get mixed up in each other’s lives, as the mail does in their mailboxes.