I went to Beth’s for lunch today, and we ate on her porch. I went for lunch a month ago, right after all kids were sprung from school, and we ate in the dining room. Today she put our plates of BLT’s on a tray. (First Ohio tomatoes; free range bacon from the oven; fresh Romaine; organic mayo [eat your heart out if your daughter does not own a restaurant!].)
“I can carry a plate to the table,” I protested. She added drinks and napkins, and we went to the porch. Beth lives in an old, ethnic pocket of Cleveland. Slovenia, Ukraine, some such. She married a Welsh man whose mother is German and a Ukraine dash. They live in a comfortable old home that housed laborers at the turn of another century. My mother approved her purchase, and as I remember, she bought Beth towels for her bathroom, one of the last things I recall happening in Moms life.
The porch had a standard half wall and obligatory support columns. When we went to visit the new homeowner, we’d wind up on her porch. Jan and I were in an antique store once, and spotted a turn of the century recliner. Wood slats, and a rod to hold the reclining back at different angles. We bought it at once and took it to Cleveland for the front porch. Beth found another one with a very similar back at a yard sale, and so there is a pair of comfy old chairs on the front porch.
Beth bought a farmhouse screen door at an auction in Wisconsin, and probably brought it home when she drove that little red truck. In a remodeling the porch went from half walled to screened, with an old Wisconsin farmhouse screen door. So, we ate lunch and chatted. Beth’s two, Francis and Caroline, are in South Carolina this week, with Grandma Ruth, visiting their cousins at Uncle Ben and Aunt Maureen’s house.
All those new names in the mix. Grandma Ruth is an amazing woman; I may get permission to tell you her story, which I've heard but was not part of. Uncle Ben is my son in law’s younger brother, a handsome young surgeon when I first met him, who took assignments at hospitals where pretty women abounded. The Bahamas. Vegas. Oh, the exotic girlfriends he worried his parents about. The he married a lovely nurse named Maureen, and made his mother very happy. His father, too.
Beth was waiting for Bill to come home, hopefully soon, otherwise at six. Sans kids, they intend to camp in the Alleghenies for a night or two. Bill is a bank executive who came home from a company picnic recently, happily waving a piece of paper. How many people work for a major bank, and he had won an extra day of vacation. Or, two half days, if his schedule worked out.
At one o’clock Bill parked on the street, in deference to my car in the one car drive, so I hugged everyone goodbye and left with a bag of my favorites, oatmeal raisin cookies. With no further preliminaries (haha), Beth’s porch, from my visit a month ago.
The chair from the antique store
The chair from the yard sale
Francis, toute cute in my mechanism close up
A cat heaven front porch
The other side of the screen door from Wisconsin