Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Porch furnishings can be as simple as a rustic 
table and an old rocking  chair. I've had this Mission style
 rocker for about 10 years now. It has lived on many of 
our porches.
Hey, Y'all! Summer is slowly slipping back into our lives. Hectic schedules are gearing down. Days are heating up and getting longer. Even the Earth celebrates in abundant beautiful, fresh produce. My earliest summer memories are of evenings spent with my family on our wrap-around deck. My brothers and I spent many hours trying to catch fireflies or discovering shooting stars in the warm summer night. I also have many memories of sitting next to my grandmother on her screened porch as she rocked the porch swing and shelled just-picked field peas for our lunch the next day. 
My brother, me, and our grandmother on the porch about 12 years ago.
While we lived in McKinney, I found a new fondness for porches. I met one of my best friends because she is an avid porch sitter and happened to call out to me 
They don't often build porches like they used to. 

This was my friend's house with its wonderful porch.  

She recently moved to 100 year old cottage 

on the same street--still with a great porch!
as I walked by with our newborn son. That friendship has thrived more than 20 years and counting! Through the years we spent endless hours 
My friend is a true Porch Master--her new porch is always welcoming and beautiful.
sitting by candlelight on her expansive, historic porch sharing stories and an occasional bottle of wine.

The southern porch is the quintessential place to visit with your neighbors. It is often the place of stolen 
kisses or the place to enjoy the morning's first cup of coffee. I have a true fondness for porches

Coleman Cottage was our home for ten years. A 100 year old Victorian, it had both a side porch and front porch complete with porch swings on both. One of my daughter's favorite memories is of us sitting cuddled up on the porch swing as a thunderstorm approached.  
We liked to listen to the thunder and watch the lightning dance across the sky. Sometimes, we simply sat together and watched a much needed rain soak into the parched ground in our north Texas yard. 
A wonderful porch on an old timey "dog trot"
style historic log house in Independence, TX.
There was no television, radio, phone, or computer. Simply our loved ones to share the moment with. It's such a simple thing, yet so difficult sometimes to unplug from the world and simply be together.
One of my favorite books, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells, captures southern porch culture so well,

"I want to lay up like that, to float unstructured, without ambition or anxiety. I want to inhabit my life like a porch."

This lovely passage is the basis for a design seminar I 

will be presenting from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m., Thursday, June 6 at Hermann Furniture. The presentation is free, but reservations are required. If you've ever wondered how to create an inviting porch or garden room, I'll be offering ideas on how to select and combine color and styles, repurpose vintage items, and inject tons of personality into this common space between the street and  your home. Following the design seminar, I'll be signing copies of First Monday Murder A Jimmie Rae Flea Market Mystery from noon to 1 p.m. By the way, 
 the early drafts of FMM were written on our porch! 
Until next time, 
Peace, love, and all the good stuff, sweet friends!


  1. Here in Portland we mostly sit on our patios, on the BACK of the house, and I envy the neighborhood interaction of sitting on the FRONT of the house. I wonder how that shift came to be. Things to ponder, as always....

    1. Hey, Kathy!! So wonderful to hear from you! Ya know I believe it has more to do with the age of the house than the location. I live in a "newish" suburban house now, and live mostly on the back patio too. The porches I describe in my blog are located in an historic neighborhood in a city north of Dallas. It boasts one of the largest historic neighborhoods in Texas. I have noticed there are some new houses being built all over the place that are going back to welcoming, larger sized front porches--with the intent of creating a better neighborly community. Hope to get to see ya in July! I'll be signing books at The Cottage in Vancouver, July 7. As always, peace, love, and all the best stuff to you, Kathy!

  2. I have always turned my porch into an outdoor room. There is nothing like fresh air and nature to calm ones soul and no better place to enjoy than on a comfy porch. Heard you are coming to Vancouver for a Cottage flea in July and am so sorry I will be out of town and not get to say Hi.

    1. Hey, sweet friend--The fact you have always had an outdoor room does not surprise me one little bit, Ms. Annette. I think you nailed it--"there is nothing like fresh air and nature to calm one's soul"--so true!! Yes, I'll be there at the Cottage in July--so sorry to miss seeing you. I'll be back though. :) Peace, love, and happy porch sitting!

  3. Lisa, I so wish I could come to Brenham next Thursday, I would love to see what you are going to do. Have a great weekend, T

    1. Oh, Sweet T--I wish you could too, but I totally understand. I had to smile because YOU inspire me so much! I'm just going to give everyone ideas about how to dress up their porch and personalize it--You do your magic every time you set up!! Peace, love, and all the best stuff to ya!