A tale of two houses…

So, the other night, Kristin and I decided to call up Kristin’s sister and her husband to see if we could swing by and shoot the breeze and see their two kids. And it so happened that it worked for them, so we swung on down. Has anyone else noticed besides me how spur-of-the-moment get-togethers usually seem to be more meaningful and so much less stressful? It goes against my planning and logistical personality, but I think for these types of events it’s so much better to be spur-of-the-moment.

Anyways, not the point of this blog, but the real point that I was getting at was that instead of sitting inside we decided to go outside and sit in front of their house. They don’t have a front porch, so we just sat outside on the front step and in some chairs in the yard. But this got me thinking about something that all of us have probably heard about, and that is how houses in the last 50 years or so have lost all their front porches and have gone to backyard decks. (Houses have largely also lost their good looks with that big ol’ three car garage sticking out and taking up most of the front yard view of the house!) Some of this makes sense to me in that a backyard deck is usually more peaceful, private and might have a better view than just the street and the house across the street. But backyard decks do not allow for what happened last night, which was that some of Tim and Amy’s friend’s were driving by and stopped to chat because they saw us all sitting out in the front yard enjoying the evening. Yet another example of how spur-of-the-moment-enabled conversations are better and more meaningful.

Even though I am an introvert, last night got me thinking how it is sad that we have all become such backyard dwellers and not front porch, step, or stoop dwellers. We have become such a culture of privacy, individualism and have lost a lot of our community. We never sat on our little front porch really growing up. This might have been that our house was not really in a neighborhood conducive to such things (our neighbors were a Laundromat, a bar, an auto body and an apartment for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics). Here is the Google street view of our white house if you want to take a little tour of my neighborhood growing up from ages 5-15 years old.

But all that to say, I encourage you to sit out in front of your house sometime and see who stops by. I tried it today (mostly because I was waiting for the FedEx guy), but I did like it and it was a nice place to read!

2 responses to “A tale of two houses…

  1. Agree 100 percent Derek! To go even further than that, we’ve lost the art of simply visiting. It seems like we have to have a reason to get together with someone, rather than just popping in or calling to ask if we can stop in. We’ve had the opportunity several times in the last few months to visit with various family members for no good reason except that we wanted to. It’s wonderful and something I personally want to do a lot more of!

  2. This was the first time I’ve read your news, and it was fun to read about your visit to Tim and Amy’s! I know how excited their little Hannah gets, too, in having her aunt and uncle there!
    You are both in our prayers for wisdom, patience and provision as you wait to leave for Zambia.

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