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8 Signs You’re on a Southern Porch
Mar 26/17

8 Signs You’re on a Southern Porch Posted by: Aaron Stearns | 0 Comments

For reasons I don’t entirely understand (mostly, because I don’t care to), Americans other than Southerners think they know what a porch is. In my experience, however, nothing could be further from the truth. A concrete square outside the backdoor where the trashcan resides is just that – a concrete spot. Three steps up to the front and/or backdoor is a stoop, not a porch. Similarly, a covered balcony as wide as my hips with tastefully-selected foliage and multi-thousand-dollar furnishings is, well, just ostentatious.

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So just what is a proper porch? Well, the Internet – that source of all knowledge – says the word “porch” is derived from the Latin word for “passage.” Fitting, since you pass the time, seasons, moods and memories of your life there. The makeup of a porch is an external area of the main structure. It may or may not be enclosed by screening, lattice or windows, but they all have some sort of roof to keep the sun, rain and leaves off of you.

Like most other things intrinsically Southern, you know a porch when you see one. Or have one. Or are on one. For those who aren’t quite sure, or who think they do but don’t really, here are some signs to let you know if you are, in fact, on the real thing. (All apologies to Jeff Foxworthy for this.)


1. If you have utilized folding chairs or your old sofa, dining room chairs, lawn furniture or patio bench to furnish your outdoor living space, you’re on a Southern porch.

2. If, as a form of entertainment, you’ve challenged your guests to see how many flies they can swat, you’re on a Southern porch.

3. If whatever you are eating and/or drinking tastes infinitely better once you step outside, sit down and put your feet up, you’re on a Southern porch.

4. If you look forward to spending summer months outside, you’re on a Southern porch.

5. If the kids (or rambunctious adults) track dirt, dogs or other detritus in front of you, and all you do is laugh, you’re on a Southern porch.

6. If your daughter lingers a bit too long on her date, but you aren’t worried because you know she’s back home but just outside, she’s on a Southern porch.

7. If you hang your most outrageous art, stack old-school board games across the floor and eschew footwear whenever you’re in the area, you’re on a Southern porch.

8. If everyone you know and love wants to come to your house and hang out outside, you’re on a Southern porch. Why? Because fellowship is the reason for a porch. Sitting together, watching children play, chatting with neighbors, communing with your spirit. The porch is where you can do all these things. Perhaps that is the best way to tell if you are on one.

Are there any we forgot?


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