Wednesday, June 19, 2013


At long last, I'm cleaning my screened porch for the summer season. You might be thinking I'm a bit behind in this springtime chore, but things got in the way. First, I always have to wait for the trees that surround our house (acres of them) to finish or at least nearly finish putting out pollen. If I clean the porch too soon, it just gets covered in the yellow fuzzy dust all over again and my work is in vain. The trees were late this year.

 Then, I was waiting on my husband to "Jomax" the house. If you've never tried Jomax on your vinyl siding, you must. Mix it with bleach and water according to the directions and spray it on with a garden sprayer. Then wash off with a pressure washer or garden hose with good pressure. The first year we used it, our siding hadn't been cleaned since we put it on the house. Robin had to scrub some spots, especially in the back, above the screened porch. That side of the house faces the north and doesn't get much sun. Consequently it was almost black with mold. Thank goodness no one ever sees it! Jomax came to the rescue and wah-la! Our siding looked like new and the house almost glowed. Now we use Jomax every spring, and no more scrubbing is needed. Anyway, Robin didn't want to Jomax until his brother got our roof painted. So, we had to wait on brother John to get around to us, which he finally did late last week. He finished up Monday, and Robin tackled the Jomax job that same evening.

Monday was a rare sunny day here, so bright and kind of early, I started cleaning the porch in anticipation of the painting and Jomaxing being completed by evening. This year, the porch floor needs a fresh coat of water-resistant stain and my plan was to push all the furniture to one end and have the other two thirds ready for stain early Tuesday morning. I did my part and got all the cleaning done, but yesterday dawned dark and cloudy and it rained almost all day. Not a good day for applying the stain, according to the instructions on the can. So, I went to plan B for yesterday, hoping for better weather today.

This part is NOT clean yet.
I did get the stain on this morning: the temperature was perfect and a mix of clouds and sun kept the porch from getting too hot. We did have a couple of showers, but no rain blew in on my newly treated floor, thank goodness. Now I have to let it dry for 24-48 hours before I can move the furniture and clean and stain the other end, which I hope to finish up on Saturday, at the latest.

Alas, it will be Sunday at best before my lovely porch is clean and ready for summer living. I can't wait to plop down out there with a good book! We enjoy eating our meals there, too, from the time I get it clean in the spring until well into September. In fact, we usually can't wait until the porch is clean. As soon as the weather is warm enough, I clean the pollen off the table and two chairs, and sweep a path from the door to the table. We've discovered our food tastes just as good amid all the dirt! Here are some pictures the clean and furnished porch from last year. I had a "porch" post all written in my head back then, but it became another one of the many posts that never make it from my brain to the computer.

We have a nice front porch, too, but it isn't screened and it gets the hot afternoon and evening sun. It's great for flowers, but not so good for sitting unless it's really early in the morning on a day when the bugs sleep in. (Whatever it is about humans that biting insects love, I have a lot of it!) How about your house? Do you have porches? Do you sit on them? Or have you closed them in to create needed and/or more useful space?

It seems that our 21st century society has lost the art of porch-sitting, by and large. Folks, myself included, have a hard time making time to relax on the porch. There are some chores that can be done there, such as shelling peas or stinging beans. But taking time to just sit and rest is hard to do in this day and time. It seems that when I was a kid, the grownups sat on the porch most summer evenings after supper, at least for a little while. They didn't park in front of the TV, but instead took a favorite seat on the porch to rest, or maybe visit with a neighbor who dropped by. I remember being one of a gang of kids playing hide-and-go-seek until it was too dark to see while the grownups worked through the cares of the day with laughter and good conversation.

I enjoy looking at houses when I'm out and about. I find I always prefer those with porches over those without them. Porches make a house cozier, acting as a buffer between the whims and chaos of the world and the familiar stability of home. Porches are places where I can have some indoor comforts while I relish in the great outdoors. Porches say, "You are welcome here! Come sit a while!" Porches are great places to share a glass of iced tea and a have a good talk. When folks leave our porch, I hope they go with a sweet memory or two that will bring a bit of comfort someday. I'm always looking for a reason to spend time on my screened porch. Now that I have a laptop and a new wireless router, maybe I can write my next blog post...on the porch!


  1. Our society has lost the art of porch sitting and it's a shame. So many good times are had on the porch.

    Your porch is lovely. Inviting. And you are wise to wait until the pollen is done before cleaning it. I've never thought of this!

    1. But the down side is that it's the end of June and I'm still cleaning! It's taking the stain a looong time to dry. I remember a lovely post you did that included photos of your porch...I'm sure you're enjoying it! Thanks for reading!

  2. Your porch is absolutely lovely! I have a small porch, but it's filled with flowers and I enjoy sitting out there in the mornings with a hot cup of coffee and my Bible :) Thank you for sharing and enjoy your day.


    1. I, too, like to spend my abiding time on the porch. It's easy to feel His presence there, don't you think? Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

  3. Hi Nancy--I'm a porch-sitter too. We have a small porch on our house and a too-big back deck. I prefer the porch. It faces east, the James River, and the narrow street so favored by local walkers, runners, and cyclists. I like to wave and say hello.

    On the Fourth of July we made a day trip to Nelson County. Driving along a man waved to me from his porch. With the pink fly swatter in his hand! It made my day.

    Look forward to sitting on your guest house porch before this year is out!

    Laura Greenleaf

    1. Hi Laura! I am indeed enjoying my porch! Hope you and the family are having a nice summer. We've had a wet one so far. Robin is having trouble getting the hay made. Glad you're dreaming of Highland!!


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