Wednesday, July 30, 2008

THE FRONT PORCH SWING

Since my father was serving in WWII, my mother lived with her parents when I was born. They had a front porch, but I don’t remember whether or not it had a swing. When I was around three years old, Grandpa had to close in the front porch to make a new living room, adding space to their small house. They had already raised five children and their home was always open to all who stopped by, so it could get crowded at times.

At sometime Gramps had built a small, two-person glider. After being dressed up for the day with our hair tightly twisted into girly-curls, my cousin, Billie Jean, and I would sit on that glider and pretend we were uptown ladies. But as wonderful as that glider was, it wasn’t a front porch swing.

Carol & Billie Jean


But I was blessed. Immediately next door to my grandparents lived Grandma’s older sister, Jessie Violet Blossom. Don’t you just love that name? Some called her Jess; some called her Bloss. To me, she was Aunt Bloss, and she, along with her husband, Uncle Onel, had only one child and one grandchild, so their front porch remained unscathed. And they had a front porch swing!


Aunt Bloss wasn’t necessarily a tolerant, child-friendly lady, but she was generous in sharing her front porch swing with obedient nieces and nephews who followed her rules; we couldn’t swing too hard or too high, and only so many of us could be on it at one time. And, of course, we had to keep the noise down so as not to disturb her. That front porch swing became my personal retreat, where dreams could be dreamed and whimsical fantasies fanaticized.

The Capps Sisters
Jessie Violet Blossom, Joseph Myrtle, Marguerite Marie Louise


When one of our sons had to undergo major surgery, we bought him a glider swing for his porch. There were actually times he could sleep there when he couldn’t sleep in bed. There’s something relaxing about the quiet motion of a porch swing, and when I happen upon one that is being enjoyed, I recognize there are dreams being dreamed and fantasies contemplated; and fully understand how memories can be made in such a special haven. Such magic moments from my own childhood inspired the following poem:


The Front Porch Swing

Did you know there is magic
On every front porch swing;
Where your soul can rest
While your dreams take wing?

At times it becomes a cradle
To rock a sleepless child;
A sanctum of peace and quiet,
When life's hectic and wild.

To a child with no cares
It’s just an air blown toy;
Then, a romantic setting,
Holding hands with a girl or boy.

From indoors the magic’s heard
From the front porch swing;
The giggles of the children,
Oh, the memories they bring!

Then, we lay awake and welcome
The sounds of a closing car door,
And creaking of the porch swing,
As sweet romance visits once more.

And so soon there’s just us two,
In the cool autumn of our life;
Slowly gliding and reminiscing;
Cherished husband, devoted wife.

In the evenings we sit and talk,
And a neighbor or two comes by;
Sometimes they’ll sit and visit,
Often they just stop to say, “Hi!”

The cold winter of life approaches,
And there all alone we sit and sway;
Remembering times on the porch swing,
Before our loved one was taken away.

But with the spring, warmth arrives,
Little footsteps and giggles at the door;
Our old spirit reconnects to the magic;
The porch swing will be busy once more.

© CAB Hampton

I wish each and every one of you the memory of a front porch swing somewhere in your life!

4 comments:

Kate said...

This little girl has a BEAUTIFUL voice, how did you find her??? I really enjoyed your story, and photos. Ok, should we mention the music, WOW!

Carol Hampton said...

Isn't she a little miracle? She was on 'Britain's Got Talent' and was beat out on the final show. Sony didn't sign her because of her age, but Rainbow Recordings did and the rest is history. She will be 8 years old in November, attends school and lives at home with her family.

The first time I heard her, I lost my heart! You may be able to find her on YouTube.

Carol Hampton said...

BTW: Simon Cowell idolizes her!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, made me cry. Absolutely beautiful!