My patio is ready. I spent most of yesterday and some of today sweeping, cleaning, carrying and rearranging getting my patio just the way I like it. I love sitting out there each evening. It’s my go to spot. So peaceful…easy to read or look through a magazine and a perfect place to entertain guests. I’ve got cozy lanterns and patio lights strung for evening ambiance. The swimming pool has a fountain so all summer long there is the sound of water splashing. There are trees for privacy and it’s quiet for the most part.
I’ve purposely planted berry bushes and fruit trees through out my yard for grandchildren to explore and nibble when they come to visit. I haven’t planted my vegetable garden yet this year, but when I do…it’s theirs to explore.
I want my home to be a haven to them…a place they love to visit. A place where they will always find love and forgiveness and peace.
Even on the hottest of summer nights, my grandmother’s front porch offered the slightest of breezes. It was the place to be. Neighbor greeted neighbor. Everyone was outside as no one had air-conditioning in those days. My grandfather would pick up Krispy Kreme donuts. My favorites were what we called “long johns”. They had a white cream in the middle that I can taste to this day just thinking about it.
There always seemed to be fresh donuts and a pot of coffee…lots of coffee!
When my grandfather passed away, I remember getting a lump in my throat pulling into the driveway and not seeing him sitting there on his front porch.
My own children had that same lump in their throats when my dad, their grandfather passed on as well. He too would often be sitting in a wicker rocking chair on his front porch and greet us as we pulled in from our six hour drive to see him. His eyes would sparkle and his smile would beam. I knew he was thankful that we had arrived safely from our long trip. He then would hug and kiss everyone and start offering a lineup of snacks from ice cream to watermelon. It always made us smile. We knew we could count on this.
Porches have a way of encouraging people to talk. I’d sit on grandma’s porch swing and listen for as long as she’d allow to all of her stories of how she grew up. The steady swing, the steady creak, her arm around me…all seemed right in my world.
I’m thankful my children have similar memories on their grandparents’ porch. Their porch was a back porch and it had a sign hung that read “a little bit of heaven”. My mom would light the citronella candles, my dad would light his cigarette or cigar (whichever he was into at the time) and we’d listen to their stories and laugh.
It would be dark all around us, but we were safe on the back porch. Together.
I look forward to creating memories on my patio with my grandchildren. I want to tell them stories of how it was when I was little and growing up. I want to tell them funny stories about raising their parents. I want to tell them silly things that we did as a family together. I want them to know that they belong. They belong to this family. They belong and are loved. There is nothing that they will ever do that will make me love them less.
I will always greet them with that same smile that once greeted my children and me. My eyes will sparkle just a little bit more because they are here. They truly make my life brighter just by being in it.
God is so good. Let’s not waste the precious days that He gives us. Let’s use them to the fullest and embrace those He has given us to love. Let’s love with the beautiful love of Christ.
Let’s make memories. Laughter and tears…whatever the season.
Life is a gift.
So…create that special spot and invite those you love over.
“Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.”