On the Front Porch With You

Please tell me you have seen the Hayley Mills movie Summer Magic? Sweet and wholesome, it stole my heart the first time I saw it. Especially when Burl Ives pulled out his guitar and started singing “On the Front Porch with You.”

All I wanna do-oo-oo, when the day is through-oo-oo, is linger here on the front porch with you…

In fact, I love that song so much, I included the scene in a classic movie musical numbers montage that was played on a big movie screen hung between two trees at our wedding reception. (did ya get that?…) When this particular song began to play, my new husband spontaneously grabbed my hand and pulled me into our first dance. (Or at least that’s the way I remember it. It is, however, highly likely that I coerced him to do so). Regardless here’s proof of our impromptu romantic moment:

Me, Mr. Gore, dusk, Burl Ives…talk about your Summer Magic! We danced to that same song several times in our tiny little seminary kitchen, and now I often find myself singing it to my children as I rock them to sleep.

Tonight, even though we are in the middle of another frigid Oklahoma winter, our family had a little front porch magic of our own. Sandwiched between what was a freezing week spent hibernating inside and a foreboding forecast of winter storms ahead, was a weekend out of heaven, coaxing all of us pasty-faced, fresh-air deprived Oklahomans out-of-doors.  We were away for the weekend, but managed to spend every spare minute soaking up the sun at Grandpa and Grandma’s house, playing t0y-free outdoor games and getting enough dirty fingernails and fresh air to hopefully last us the rest of the winter. When we returned to our own home as the sun was setting, I fully expected we would begin our Saturday night grind, the one I assume is typical of pastors and their families – bathing the kids, ironing and laying out church clothes, packing diaper bags and making last-minute tweaks to sermons.  But I was surprised and thrilled by what happened instead…

We lingered, on the front porch. Let me give you a glimpse of what it was like:

I looked down with delight at my little 19 month old girl, sitting in her white Cracker Barrel child-size rocking chair eating a jam sandwich. Her body is in that perfectly chubby stage, her cheeks, her fingers, her hands, her legs – they all beg to be squeezed, no longer infantile, but nowhere near slender and grown. And a jam sandwich! Does that not scream “tender years”?! I just about died as I watched her, grape jam oozing out of her sandwich, oblivious to all the cares of the world.

And there was Gideon across the way in his matching rocker, looking more and more like the four-year old he will soon become, but with the tiniest hint of the baby still left in his features. His napkin was laid neatly across his lap as he studiously and deliberately ate his peanut butter and jam sandwich and looked out across the yard, his curious mind taking in all the sights and sounds of the great outdoors.

Soon Papa brought two shiny red apples to Rebekah, who happily did his bidding of keeping one for herself and giving the other one to “Bubba.” “Sanks!” Gideon said, setting the apple next to him on his chair. Rebekah toddled over to crawl into my lap where she began to eat her apple to the core. There are days when a Mother like myself cringes and pulls away from messy baby hands, but tonight, there was something so delightful about the sticky fingers of my Sunday-girl as they took turns holding her juicy Red Delicious apple and my arms, my hands, and sometimes my face. I embraced the smell of her, the feel of her, even the sweet taste of her, kissing her sticky cheeks and hair at least a hundred times as I absently rocked her in my own Mommy-sized  rocking chair.

Papa soon joined us with his leftover pasta, sitting in the last available rocking chair, reserved just for him, and we lazily brought a weekend worth remembering to an end…

Just a glimpse, a tiny moment in Mrs. Gore’s life, but the kind that I like best. The sun went down, eventually ushering us inside to our duties, but the memory of this uncommon night in January will surely warm our hearts through February and March. For an uneventful evening, it sure was special.

How the hours fly as the moon drifts by, how sweet the air as we stare at the sky…oh how I love to linger here like this, hold your hand and steal a kiss or two…

On the front porch with you.

5 thoughts on “On the Front Porch With You

  1. I have not seen this movie! I can picture Gideon perfectly from your description. I find it ten kinds of awesome that you all have rocking chairs!!

  2. Now that one almost made me cry! It is so refreshing to know someone who realizes all the blessings of a quiet evening with family! To understand we don’t have to go anywhere or be doing something to have a wonderful memory! Love ya girl!

  3. OK…I just read it again, and again tears. I love you Lesley Ann(e) Jackson Gore. Could God have more perfectly timed everything (the picture, the song, your own front porch, husband and children, and a beautiful winter/spring day) to bring all together to make this (as Leslie said) wonderful mind picture to share with those of us who wish we could “put it into words” but just somehow can’t–quite. Lovely.

  4. Pingback: Simple. « Mrs. Gore's Diary

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