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Guest Blogger … Cousin Gene … 2nd Edition

My Sweetheart had another heart attack this week. She had a heart-cath Tuesday and received her third heart stint. Twice, her condition was touch and go … It will be a while before I will be publishing original content of my own.

Cousin Gene returns for his 2nd Edition. Now, I have a better understanding why he enjoys sitting out on my front porch, weather permitting. jem

Today is Friday, the 10th day of October, 2014

My Front Porch

My porch is located in front of my house, but is not like other porches. It is not above ground level, but, instead, it is at ground level (no stepping up or down required). I have a wooden bench toward one end, that can sit two adults comfortably, or three if packed in like sardines. I have a table of sorts at either end, so that I will always have a place for my precious fluid of life, Mountain Dew. Behind the bench, on the porch, on the house, is a double window. I call it “my window to the world.”

At the other end of the porch, I have a water hose reel, for those times I need to drag out the hose. You never know when you might need a drink of water, wash the ole pickum-up truck, water the weeds, take a bath, put out a fire, or spray some bratty neighbor kid! Right handy to have, it is.



People have kidded me for years about sitting on the bench on the porch so much. They say I will die and my skeleton will still be sitting there, with a can of “Dew” to quench my bony thirst. (Told you that Mountain Dew would do me in.) Numerous people have sat on the bench on the porch with me at various times. Men, women, girls, boys, teenagers, tweens, kids, very young kids, a baby or two, and a few dogs.  Nobody famous, not yet anyway! I returned home from a trip one Saturday evening and found two guys on the bench on the porch waiting for me. (Not mafia types, fortunately.)

Friends, neighbors, strangers are all welcome. One of my favorite songs is called “I’d Rather Live By The Side Of The Road,” by Mac Wiseman. Bluegrass gospel music. Look it up and listen sometime.  While on my porch, I have always waved at or spoken to people when they pass, whether they are walking, driving, or whatever. They usually respond in kind. A female relative who was visiting me one day noticed that I waved at a few people when they passed. As we prepared to go out, she asked me how much I paid those people to come by, so she could see me waving at them! (The nerve of that young lady, to think that I would do something like that!)

Once there were four females talking on the porch when I came out to join them. I was immediately told to leave, since it was “women’s talk”. (Kicked off my on porch!!! Oh, the pain! The pain!) There have been many, many sessions of retired old men sitting there, shooting the breeze! Many sessions of people of various ages shooting the bull, also.

Two of my female neighbors yell at each other when one sees the other on the bench on the porch with me. You see, they both consider me their man!!! Ahh, to be fought over!!! (But the nagging, the constant nagging!) Once, I received a lecture from one of those females when she saw me with yet a third female neighbor on the bench on the porch.

One time, I was sitting on the bench on the porch alone, but was talking to my neighbor, who was sitting at his dining room window. (Duplexes are real close together.) He was invisible from the outside due to the tall evergreens in front of the window. Another neighbor from across the street came home. When she exited her car, she asked me if I was talking to myself. I replied that I was talking to my neighbor. Of course, the neighbor chose that moment to be as quiet as a mouse. This made me look and sound a little crazier than normal, since I was unable to convince my across-the-street neighbor that I was talking to someone.

Neighborhood kids (me first, me first!) have eaten pizza and ice cream and cookies and other foods on the porch. I have eaten countless meals there myself. I especially like to eat breakfast on the bench on the porch. Weather permitting, of course. I read the paper while eating, as well as wave at neighbors as they go to work. (They are jealous!) This must all be accomplished before our solar system’s only star tops the trees that are east of my house. When it becomes completely unobstructed by the trees, the solar system’s only star SHINES down unmercifully on my front porch. So I must abandon it until the shade returns and the concrete has cooled down some. Shade all afternoon and evening, though.  Perfect!!

The porch, with associated bench, has been used as a reading room, a puzzle solving room, a homework room, a computer room, a repair shop, a telephone booth, a music room (usually Bluegrass or Celtic), a bicycle shop, a clothes dryer, and other uses that escape me now.  Occasionally, a cat nap has occurred there, as well, even though the bench is a hard bed! Sometimes, the wild flowers that I plant in the spring grow so well in the flower bed in front of the porch that I can sit on the bench on the porch without being seen. Also, the porch has magically turned many gallons of water into sun tea. Add a little sugar, ummm good!

I have seen a lot of changes in my neighborhood since I first sat on the bench on the porch. Some good, some not so good. Some lives ended while others began. People moving in, others moving out. Kids growing up.  Ambulances drop by sometimes. Occasionally the law has had to pay a visit. One time there was a chimney fire. (That hook-and-ladder truck was longer than the street!) Some neighbors always waving, while others may not even look up. Even some not-so-neighborly feuds and divorces have occurred. But, through it all, here I am, still sitting on the bench on the porch. It is a wonderful place to relax and watch the world go by! I think I’ll have a Mountain Dew!



Guest Blogger … Cousin Gene …

Today is Thursday, the 2nd day of October, in the year of our Lord, 2014. I am the “guest” bloggist, since the Bloggist-N-Residence, Mr John Moss, is off today. (More off than usual.)

This blog is about a week in a town where I do not live. There was a lot of driving, not only to get there, but while I was there. There was some yard work. There were some repairs done. There was visiting, a lot of eating, and wonderful porch sitting.


Cousins Enjoying A Fall Day

I started out on a Saturday in September, early before sun-up for my trip. There in the seat next to me was a cooler of Mountain Dew, the wonderful beverage that sustains me (and will eventually do me in). I stopped for breakfast at a Hardee’s, in a town with my name in it. I enjoyed the Hardee’s sausage biscuit, with milk and OJ (not Simpson, either). And the drugs I take daily. Then I was off on the road again. About half way, I stop for fuel for my truck and a large chocolate milk shake at the Dairy Queen for me. That shake is deeee-licious! There rest of the trip was uneventful. Eventually, after about 11 hours and 30 minutes, I make it to my destination.

The River Birch tree in the front yard was in need of a trimming, even though the Bloggist-N-Residence usually trims it. With the assistance of my cousin and her husband, we were able to cut the tree back to a manageable size (for now) and hauled off a sizable load of tree limbs. Their car looked like a bush going down the road, if you happened to be behind them.

Another day, we attacked the bushes in front of the residence. They trimmed up nicely and another load of clippings was on its way to visit the tree limbs from the previous yard work day. (Next time, the back yard!)

The big repair job was the replacement of the very old hot water heater, which was no longer heating anything. It did manage to flip off the main breaker to the entire house. That was fun, all alone, in the dark, after dark, curtains drawn! Anyway the heater was replaced by a company with the same name as Maverick, and all is well now.

Three mornings were eat-out-breakfast days. And was it goooood!!!! Of course, one day was a long tour of the country side to see we were too early and had to return to the usual watering hole. It was still soooo gooood! The fried eggs and toast and pancakes and whatever they ate was wonderful. Can’t wait until next time!

Pie was called for on one day, which was ok, but we miss our special eating establishment, which closed a while back. The hot fudge sundaes were out of this world!

One day my cousin cooked spaghetti. It was great and is my usual request for her to cook me just one home cooked meal. Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches were the order one evening, cooked by both hosts. It is a good thing that I don’t visit all the time. My waist would be considerably larger!!

During all this time here, my favorite activity is the porch-sitting. Whether sitting in the swing or in a chair, it doesn’t matter because they both work well. Watching the grass grow (or the weeds), watching the blue jays snatch up peanuts, watching the traffic go by at various speeds and noise levels, watching the old man sleeping, watching the little bundle of energy called Gretchen run wild (within the leash constraints, that is). All that and more! It is fun to sit on a porch!

The day of my departure arrived, putting an end to all the fun. Get up early, load the truck, turn out the lights, off I go. Mountain Dew at my side, Hardee’s for breakfast in a couple of hours, and 300 mile up the road was a chocolate milkshake waiting for me!

My parting words, to any one who may care, are to find a porch and sit on it a while. It is well worth it.