When we were moving in and unpacking, my father-in-law was pretty intent on tracking down our welcome mat and wreath hanger. Our wreath had been unpacked and was just sitting on its own in a box, but with all the cleaning and furniture arranging and repairs and cleaning, it just was not on my radar. A mat to wipe our feet on made sense, but beyond that, it seems frivolous. I just wanted to let it go and focus.
(Besides all this, I have to wonder–why were the wreath and wreath hanger not in the same box?)
Still, my mom and I came back from running errands that first day to find the mat out and wreath up, and I was so happy to see it! My dad had also super generously surprised us with adirondack chairs, and this would all now be my first piece of advice to anyone making a big move: create one clean, semi-comfortable place to sit as soon as you possible can. The welcome mat and wreath added something pretty in the midst of all the chaos, and I didn’t realize how much I needed it until I walked up to the door. It brought me so much peace of mind to have one spot that seemed put together when the rest of our life was up in the air. (Perhaps the moral of this story is, “Listen to your father-in-law.”)
Even now, our front porch is my favorite spot in the house. We ate dinner out there on Memorial Day, and Ian and I spend many afternoons out there pushing cars around and scribbling with sidewalk chalk. This afternoon, Ian pushed around his toys and our neighbors walked over to talk and play, and I just love it. To be honest, I never spent much time outside in Florida. We didn’t have a good outdoor space in either of our previous apartments, and not to mention the fact that is was SO. HOT. all the time. And the weather here has been just amazing: we’ve only broken into the 80’s twice. Most days are sunny and breezy, and it feels wonderful to be outside.
The porch still needs some sprucing: a bigger mailbox (the current only barely holds a standard-sized envelope), new house numbers (hopefully red to match the door), and we’re waiting on our landlord to replace the stair railings, which are rusty and loose. Not to mention, we really need to scrub the whole thing down (as I’m sure you can see in some of the pictures).
Still, I love it, and I think that whenever we are hunting for a place to live in the future, a front porch will be at the top of my wish list.
When I walk up the steps, I still feel the same way I felt on that first day: like I can take a deep breath, because things are coming together. It doesn’t even matter what’s on the other side of the door. All is at peace on the porch.