Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August Porch

Here it is...the August Featured Porch! It is the home of my neighbor. She'll be 92 in just a few days. Mrs. SSS is such an interesting person and spends much time on her porch. She has lived in this house for about 35 years after living right next door for approximately 35 years also. Mrs. SSS loves the trees and vines growing so cozily all around. However this grand porch wraps around 2 sides of her home. When she turned 90, my little girl and I went down and took everything off her porch and scrubbed the ceiling, wall and floor for her with a broom and the water hose. We cleaned the furniture then put everything back. It was her 90th birthday gift from us. She was thrilled.
Our neighbor was very close friends with the lady (her next door neighbor) who lived in this home before she and her husband bought it. It was built in 1900 by the lady's grandfather. She can remember her grandfather cutting trees from the woods and taking the logs to the sawmill to be made into lumber to build this home.
My 92 year old neighbor doesn't read my blog. She doesn't have a computer. She was fine with the fact that I was going to post photos and write about it though. Many days when I drive past her home to make sure she's OK, she'll be sitting on the porch reading or writing letters. She writes me the most interesting letters...sort of like continuing conversations of questions that I asked her when I was down there talking to her. Such as what life was like during the Great Depression and what our town was like when she was a child. Her latest letter to me mailed from just 3 blocks down the street was filled with interesting information about homes around town and 2 photocopied pages of black and white pictures of how our courthouse and several main buildings looked years ago.
My neighbor has never driven a car. When she walks past my home I have to run to catch up to her. She retired from a lifetime of teaching in elementary school. Yet she has traveled the world, written two books, and owns a two acre island one mile off the coast. She has spent every summer there for years and years. This summer she's only going when her children can stay with her. That is the way they will let her go now.
A few days ago she called. "Rachel" her voice came through loud and clear, "I'm just checking on you," I heard her say. Ah, she's 92! I thought she was at the island.
And so I took her a bowl of chili and listened to some more great stories. We talked about the end of life and the love of life and the joy she finds in living.
She said we'd had several days where it was too cold to sit on the porch. That's true. We have. I suggested she could wear her fur coat! She laughed her hearty fiesty laugh. Life is good on my neighbor's romantic porch.
Love, Rachel


Stella said...

She is an inspiration as are you. Thanks for sharing.


What a wonderful story. I keep thinking of "Driving Miss Daisy" reading this. You are lucky to have such a wonderful friend! I'm sure her family appreciates the contact that you have with her. I love to get letters - it is something that has been lost in this busy world. I'm sure you and your family must really treasure them.

Have a great day!


P.S. Keep us posted on this wonderful lady.

pamperedgirl38 said...

What a beautiful story! She sounds like an amazing woman! I love chatting with the older generation they have so many stories to tell. My grandfather will be turning 95 next month and still lives with my gma 88 in ther own home on they're own! They amaze me! Thanks for brightening my day!

TattingChic said...

Your friend sounds like a lovely lady! That is a beautiful story behind her porch (owned by her friend previously who remembered her grandfather building it). What a delightful experience it must be to have her in your life!

salmagundi said...

What a wonderful porch story! It is heartwarming that you both take care of each other. Sally

Rebecca said...

What a JOY TO READ THIS POST! I want to be just like your neighbor when I'm 92.

My Grammy passed last November at almost 92. She was my inspiration...huge heart and loved by all.

Thanks for sharing girly...

Love, Rebecca

Amy@TheLemonCottage said...

What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing your a little bit of your lovely neighbor with us!

skoots1mom said...

what a blessing
she sounds like a very neat lady and how cool is it that she writes you letters...what treasures!
would love to see a picture of her
this so reminds me of my grandmother...i wish she was still here to share her stories
golden stories indeed
you are smart not to waste a single moment getting to be with her :)

Apple Tree Cottage said...

What a sweet story.... thanks for sharing!


Claudia said...

What an amazing neighbor! She sounds inspirational. You are a great friend to her, Rachel, as she is to you. I hope I am that together and energetic at that age!

Loved your porch story!

Bobbi said...

Hi, aww, what a wonderful and touching story, thank you so much for sharing it!
God Bless and hugs to you and your neighbor...

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

What a treasure you have in your neighbor and all those letters she writes! I'm sure you save them all, what a trove of history you can hand to your town museum someday! I'm so glad you told us the story of your neighbor!

Ronda said...

I want to be like her when I grow up! :) What a neat person....AND I just love her porch! :)Thanks for sharing this life story...
P.S. So glad that you liked my "hiking" shoes! LOL!

Vicki said...

Hi, Rachel,
I am glad to meet you and your neighbor. It sounds like she is living a full life. I hope I can be going strong and loving life at 92. I am new to blogging. I am glad I discovered your blog. Come visit me some time at Bunny Cottage. Vicki

Esther said...

What a beautiful porch and fun story! How different things are now than when she was a little girl! It is neat hearing the background of her house!

Have a great day!

Love, Esther

Donnie said...

Dear Rachel,
The story of Mrs. SSS is so interesting. I'm glad we got to walk around on it and see it in person last summer. She is so spry! I hope I am at 92!
Have a wonderful evening.

Love you, Donnie

Dawn said...

What a lovely story. She sounds like a very intersting lady. It's wonderful that you can spend time "checking" on her and visiting.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Skoots1mom sent me a link to this post.

What a lovely story and an even lovelier ladie.


kayleeg2005 said...

thanks rachel, your story made my day. what a treasure you have!

KEITH said...


Gretchen said...


Thank you so much for the story about your neighbor. I live in a subdivision where people come and go without a thought. She sounds like an incredible person and a great neighbor.


Marina Capano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marina Capano said...

Rachel! What a wonderful story!! I love it!
she is so nice persons! and you are so good person.

I would love see you speak with her on the porch!


from far away!!!

Shirley said...

Loved hearing a little about your neighbors life. It's really good that she wants to keep her own house. My Mom did too and I think that really helps at that age.

Volunteer abroad India said...

Love your story. she sure is an inspiration. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story to everyone. God bless!!!

Romantique Junk ~ Brenda said...

I think you and your neighbor are blessings to each other. Thanks for sharing with us the story of your friendship with her and her beautiful porch.

Rose Garden Romantic said...

What a beautiful porch! This was such a lovely, well written post. Your neighbor sounds like a very special lady!!