Verandahs

The real estate shows on TV have something that happens in each episode; the potential buyers say they MUST have a view. The hosts/realtors then show them a home with a verandah or deck, looking out on an incredible landscape. The buyers then say, "I can see us having our morning coffee here, or maybe a glass of wine in the evening..."

They forget about real life and how rushed each day is. We are barely awake, yet plunk ourselves at the kitchen table before heading out the door to get somewhere on time. Folks with kids on the way to school watch the clock in constant panic mode.

While the current "slow living" advice sounds great, there are few that can say they are truly adopting that lifestyle, even in small increments. Most slowing down is only accomplished during a two week holiday. The first week is fraught with having to BE somewhere and DO some activity mentioned in the brochures. The restful time only arrives during the second week, then almost as soon as the quiet reaches their souls, it's time to head home.

The verandahs wrapped around old Victorian farmhouses in Quebec have that magical invitation to sit and stare, especially at the autumn leaves. (However...)

An elderly lady, a dear friend, mentioned to me how she had rarely enjoyed sitting AT ALL, as there was so much work to do in her life. Her busy farm meant feeding horses and cows, tending the garden and cooking for her large family. When I knew her, the house echoed with voices from the past, but it was only she and her husband who lived there. He would putter on the property, painting worn spots on the verandah in fresh paint, creating bright polka dots on the otherwise tired, peeling wood.

In my April 2023 blogpost, "Wedgwood or a Washing Machine: A Tale of a Farm Wife", I wrote about hard farm work and the toll it took on that woman's life. I remember her telling me about the day that she sat in her chair on the verandah and watched black clouds approach. The hail destroyed that year's crop of apples and with it, the family's income. She remained in her chair as tears streamed down her face.

If you own a verandah, or a porch, or a bench, now is the time to sit and breathe, even for only a few moments. Stare at your view, whatever it is, because for right now, you have quiet. Life will rush in with its chaos soon enough, so don't wait for holiday time; give yourself that gift of reflection right now. It can be your armour when the world is out to battle you.

Thank you for spending this time with me,

Lori   xx


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