Porch Sittin’


Last October the Redhead and I moved to the country.

Our homestead is a half-day’s hike on the double-time from Horseshoe Bend, a little spot  on the Tallapoosa River where Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek Indian Nation and acquired twenty-three million acres in the process.  Done a mere two years after he “caught the bloody British in the town of New Orleans.”

Old Sharp Knife went on to be the seventh President of the United States.  The remaining Creeks went to Florida.  I suppose neither felt they had been punished enough.

No wars on our plot.  Just an occasional skirmish between English and Irish.  Settled with words.  No muskets to date, but one never knows.

The nearest town is Jacksons Gap.  I know, there should be an apostrophe, but there isn’t.  Public schools in Alabama wasn’t to dadgum gud back in dem days.  Theys a hole lot better now.

The population in my zip code is listed at 808, but I have my doubts.  We have no traffic light, no store.  We have a church, small city hall and a volunteer fire department.  None do much business.

My nearest neighbors are just up the road a quarter-mile or so.  Both in their eighties, so we never call the High sheriff about the noise.

I sit on the porch at night in true darkness.  See the stars for the first time in years.

I hear the call of a Whip-poor-will.  Ol’ Hank thought they were lonesome and had lost the will to live.  Mine always gets an answer from somewhere down the hollow, so I reckon he’s okay.

Sometimes late at night I think I hear the war cries of the Creek off in the distance.

Probably just lonesome coyotes.


16 thoughts on “Porch Sittin’

    • I’m not all that social. Travel time to the former town is thirty minutes. The Redhead works there, and I go at least three times a week to see the grandchildren.

  1. Beautiful picture. Sentiments about porch sittin’ and night sounds strike a chord with me.Smiling about the year it was my turn to plan the field trip at school. I suggested a nice hike at Horseshoe Bend Park; that was the only time my teacher friend got angry with me(after the hike). I had fun!

  2. You gotta dawg to sit with yer on that there porch? Sounds peaceful and you won’t have to endur the sounds of upcoming fireworks.

  3. Nice writing Ray …
    I like being out in the country too but it always seems a little scary at night – no one to come save you if there’s trouble. It’s so isolated and quiet up north at our old cabin that you can hear the mousetraps snapping. Sometimes a mouse gets caught by the tail and starts dragging the trap down the hall towards the bedroom. Lying there in the dark, the imagination runs wild and it feels like the mouse is coming to murder us in our bed. If it was daylight, I’d just smack it with a rolled up newspaper.

    • My theory on trouble is that you’re actually safer being “out.” The bad guys know that a gun probably lives there. I also have a pit bull. He’s as sweet as sugar, but he looks pretty intimidating,

      As far as night noises, I have to wear a CPAP, so I usually don’t hear anything.

  4. If I could live deeper in the woods, I would. We cannot see our neighbors in any direction, and I feel quite safe for the same reasons you mentioned, except both of my dogs are protective. One is deaf and one listens. Our daily walks are on skid trails where we see evidence of wolf, coyote, bear, moose, fox, and deer. On my most recent walk, a deer charged us, snorting and kicking up her heels. We skipped our walk yesterday to give her the privacy she was demanding.

    I wish that I didn’t have to hear the cars going by on our little road. Unfortunately our road is a shortcut between two main routes. Once you live with the sounds of nature and a great view, you can never go back. I would live in a shack for a view…..as long as the shack has a porch!

  5. Our place has been in my wife’s family for at least fifty-years. The house is small, and I’ve used it for a hunting cabin for at least twenty-five.

    We lived in various towns since marriage, but I finally persuaded her her to sell our house (which was fine when we had our boys at home, but way too big for two). It was still a tough sell because she had always lived in a town. Afraid of being “out.”

    We almost never hear cars. During the day I hear the drum de-barker of a chip mill about three miles away as the crow flies, but that’s just music to my ears.

  6. So true Wendy. A few years ago our home backed up to a nature preserve and I spent daily hours in there walking the many trails. I found I resented fast riding bikers who came to explore but left behind water bottles, hair ties, car keys, broken pieces off of their bicycles’ and worst of all, human waste despite there were toilets along the way. But in return I became so connected with nature. Everything from listening to song birds to observing the growth on tree trunks. Although I now live high up on a bluff with a beautiful view of the Vermillion Valley, I miss those wooded nature walks and so do my two dogs. I too agree; I could live in a little shack in the woods but that sweet little porch would be an important part of my world.

  7. I enjoyed your view this morning as I savored my first cup of coffee. There is just something about a porch. They were so important for cooling ourselves back in the day when we had no air conditioner. We use them as a neutral spot to entertain our neighborly visitors. It is a good sleeping spot for our dogs. Yes, it is also a good spot for thinking and for inspiration! Yebbie

    • I do remember the days of no air condition, and my granny’s house with those high ceilings. Then we got a window unit, and one room became very popular.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you continue to enjoy your porch.

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