When Helen is sitting on the porch, I know summer has arrived in my town. The weather turns warm and suddenly, everyone is outside. People I have not see for six months, other than to wave at or say hello as I run from the car to the house, are now mowing their lawns, weeding their gardens, and sitting on the porch.
All winter my neighbors and I are stuck in our individual houses. Oh, there are greetings when the weekly garbage goes to the curb, and when the driveway needs to be snow blown. We see each other at the holidays to exchange pies and cookies, but generally, there is not much interaction.
Nevertheless, when the warm southwest winds blow the balmy air into town, I am afforded the luxury of actually interacting with my neighbors. A few of us gather around Helen’s porch, she is the oldest neighbor; she turned 80 just a few weeks ago. Helen always has her famous homemade chocolate chip cookies waiting for us as we sit on her swing and catch up on the happenings. I learn that Jackie had a bout of the flu that lasted forever, Sharon’s daughter had a baby girl in February, and Pat’s son is getting married in October. Now, on warm evenings, instead of watching “The Voice” on TV, I will sit on Helen’s porch and revive the friendships that have been put on hold.
It is comforting to know that no matter what has occurred over the long winter, I can relax on Helen’s porch and share my life with these beloved people. I know that in our world, it is not often that we find such good neighbors to share our ups and downs with, even if it is only for a few months. Therefore, I am going to soak up the sun, slap at mosquitoes, and enjoy my neighbors until it is too cold to sit on the porch.