The front porch was a place grandma welcomed everyone to “sit a spell” to talk and he neighborly. Those neighborly visits encouraged family and community subjects openly discussed. I term those talks, “front porch philosophy,” as a child I loved listening to grownups talk. Even if neighbors shared different opinions it only added flavor to conversation. The term “there is always two sides to any story,” I heard for the first time on grandma’s porch.

We were a close community; there were no strangers on the lane, everyone knew their neighbor, many were like kinfolk. The lane was the main route traveled by everyone as a daily routine. If anyone stopped long enough to ask how are you folks faring was a good time to come in a sit a spell. There were no formal invitations; everyone was always welcome, there were many community problems discussed and problems solved across grandma’ whitewashed picket fence. The more serious ones we brought to the front porch. This gave opportunity to solve such problems over a glass of Southern sweet tea. As I think back the ladies on the lane informed each other of families that needed a helping hand passing the information on. This news was especially true at bean picking time.

As a child my young ears were filled with all that was happening in each household. I remember delivering my grandmas fried apple pies to families that had illnesses, with specific instructions to never go inside the home, to only go as far as the front porch to leave the friendship basket. Later grandma would go herself to sit or help out with any need she could help the family with. This was a pure and simple way to lend a helping hand to a neighbor. Anyone who grew up with the same culture will relate and understand the value of lessons learned from grandmas, “front porch philosophy.”

Lessons I learned on grandma’s porch: “treat every person with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you. Remember that you show compassion to others not because of who they are, but because of who you are.”

“There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

“Strive for perfection, but live at peace when it isn’t achieved.”

“Your temper is like a fire, its gets very destructive when it gets out of control.”

“A persons true character is revealed by what he does when no one is looking.”

“The first step to wisdom is silence; the second is listening.”

“The heart is the happiest when it beats for others.”

“Those that deserve love the least need it most.”

“Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of the heart.”

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”

My thought for today: Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life, not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”