Right neighbourly

What I did on my summer vacation: I sat on the front porch.

Our house came with a front porch, but we didn't use it much, especially after the glider broke. We had the back deck added in an early reno that included the removal of a derelict detached garage and the addition of an attached carport with a deck over top, or a deck with a carport underneath, depending on how you look at it. The lot slopes away, so in the previous configuration, there were stairs from the kitchen to the yard, and the car was parked down a short, open walkway. After the reno, we could walk out to the deck from the main floor and walk out to our car from the basement.

The deck gets a lot of sun with some tree-induced breaks. It has a two-person hammock, a table and chairs with umbrella, a blueberry bush, and a succulent. It's close to the kitchen. Yellow-jackets-willing, we can have meals out there in warm weather. We used to have a gas grill, and we've hosted lots of company back there. I've also had many a nice snooze in the hammock.

This summer, and probably in recent years, we haven't used the deck as much. In the afternoon on a warm, sunny day (not so much this summer but the last few), it can get too hot out there for a few hours. We've had some meals on the deck this summer, but we haven't been hosting much, and the yellow-jacket problem is real (although the trap seems to work).

I like that the deck is higher than its surroundings, but it's also above most of the garden. The deck of my dreams (which exists) is surrounded by forest, but we don't live in a forest. The deck is also noisier than the garden below because its elevation gives it more exposure to the nearby arterial street.

This summer, a bit late, I got inspired by some friends who live across town. They were making good use of their front porch which, like ours, is fairly close to the street, in that old-fashioned, neighbourly, non-suburban way.

There was nothing to sit on, only a small round table. I moved a folding chair out to the front porch and set it by the table. Before long, I finished an Adirondack chair from a kit that my sweetie had mostly assembled many years ago. I set it next to the table. And I built and deployed the second Adirondack chair.

The porch faces northwest, with a huge boulevard tree that keeps it shady even from afternoon sun. There are often birds in the nearby trees and shrubs. Sweetie has a lovely hanging basket on one side. I like sitting in one of the Adirondack chairs and reading, maybe with a beverage on the table nearby. It's easy to relax out there.

From the back deck, you can see people go by in the side lane at the end of the driveway below. From the front porch, you can see people only a few metres away and almost at the same level. Neighbours walking their dogs. People with kids going to the nearby swimming pool. It's a nice street to walk on, and it's good to see and say hi to and occasionally chat with people who walk by. So far I haven't had anyone want to spend time in the other Adirondack chair—not even Sweetie!—but it's good to have an inviting chair just in case.

The weather is turning cooler, but I'll probably wrap up in a hoodie and keep front porch season going a while longer.