I’ll be on the porch

Published 1:10 pm Friday, July 5, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Ah, an ocean breeze. The wind in your hair. Toes in the sand. Waves breaking in the distance. The blues of the water and the greens of the palmettoes and palms. 

Nothing like a beach vacation like I had last week. An oceanfront condo, pool just beneath the balcony. All very nice. All very restful. 

But hear me out. 

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

A brisk morning. The wind blowing through the field. Barefoot in the grass. Sprinklers spraying the vegetable garden in the distance. Farmhouse erect on the open land. The blues of the panoramic mountains and the greens of the pines and oaks. 

There’s nothing like a home in the mountains like I returned to on Friday night. A shaded front porch, Grandma just across the road. All very cozy. All very restful. And don’t even get me started on having a cup of coffee on the porch on a Saturday morning. 

I grew up going on an annual beach vacation with my family, and even this year, I found myself exclaiming, “I think I could spend every summer on an island and then come home to the mountains in September!”

Heck, I even wrote a novel based on an island in Florida. But I proved myself wrong last week. Around day 3 of the vacation, I felt a little homesick. Not for my dogs, not for even my house. There was just this deep-rooted part of me that longed for that southern lifestyle I wasn’t finding on the coast of our lovely state. 

In the same breath that I exclaim I could live at the beach every summer, I also express my love for the South and how––even though there’s also nothing like a precious colonial house in a little Connecticut town (I’m thinking of you, Mystic)––the southern lifestyle is unmatchable. I’m not sure I could even find that cozy charm in Charleston. I think I can only find it along the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Smokeys, the land of Dolly Parton and sweet tea in Mason Jars. 

On Friday, I left the island life and drove four hours back up to Landrum. The next morning, I woke up in a quiet house, walked out to the front lawn, and heard the rumble of Dad’s tractor coming up the hill. Just before me, Mom was trekking through the vegetable garden. Upon approaching her at the line of red dirt, she set down two huge buckets of jalapenos, squash, tomatoes, and green beans. 

“Gotta get the mower to get up that grass growing in here,” she told me. “See what happens to a garden when you leave for a week? Crazy.”

I leaned down and picked up the handles to the buckets to bring back to the garage, feeling really, really at home.

“Okay,” I called back to Mom. “I’ll be on the porch drinking coffee.”