Where is everyone?

blogIMG_6207Call me old-fashioned or call me too nostalgic but often times I really do wish for the so-called good ol’ days.

Picture this. 

It’s a Sunday afternoon.  Summer time, late August. The morning spent worshipping God in a little country church.  Stomachs full from a hearty home-cooked lunch.  And Dad says, “Let’s go for a Sunday drive.” 

We all jump in the car, wind down the windows, and let the rushing air hit our faces, blowing our hair dos willy nilly as Dad heads out on the blue highways – those two-lane roads that meander up and down hills, around curves, and through farmlands and woods.  

It’s a beautiful day – sunshine filled, blue skies with a scattering of fluffy white clouds, temperatures hovering around 80 degrees, not unbearably hot with low humidity.   We feel the difference, the coolness in the air, when we drive through wooded areas where the sun peeks through spots in the leafy covering that tall trees provide on the road and we say, “Ah, it feels a few degrees cooler here.”

As we drive along, we pass houses clustered on both sides of the road, houses with windows thrown wide open and front doors standing ajar with only a screen door between the inside and outside.  And situated on those houses are front porches.  And on those porches are people.  Swaying on the porch swing.  Gathered for conversation on porch chairs.  Children are running, laughing, and playing in the yard.  Friendly folks wave to us as we pass by even though we don’t know them at all.

Now flash forward a few decades and picture this.

It’s a Sunday afternoon.  Summer time, late August.  The morning spent worshipping God in a little country church.  Stomachs full from a hearty home-cooked lunch.  And Papa says, “Let’s go for a Sunday drive.”  

We all jump in the car, push the electronic buttons to lower the car windows, and let the rushing air hit our faces, blowing our hair dos willy nilly as Papa heads out not on the four-lane expressway but on the blue highways – those two-lane, less traveled roads that still meander up and down hills, around curves, through the farmlands and woods.  

It’s a beautiful day – sunshine filled, blue skies with a scattering of fluffy white clouds, temperatures hovering around 80 degrees, not unbearably hot with low humidity.   We feel the difference, the coolness in the air, when we drive through wooded areas where the sun peeks through spots in the leafy covering that tall trees provide on the road and we glance at the digital temperature on the car dashboard and comment, “Ah, it’s only 76 degrees here.”  

As we drive along, we pass houses clustered on both sides of the road, closed up tight, almost looking devoid of people.  No open windows, no open doors.  If there weren’t cars in the driveways and hanging baskets or pots of flowers decorating the homes, you would surmise the houses were vacant.  

Situated on those houses are front porches.  And on those porches are…empty outdoor furniture.  Lots of it.  Nice patio sets.  Porch swings.  Chairs of all descriptions including pretty rockers lined up in rows.  All empty.  Decorations galore but not a living soul in sight on any of those porches…or in the yard…front or back.

There are no children outside either.  No running barefoot in the grass, no laughing, no playing tag or chasing the dog.  We drive for miles and miles and it’s the same.  No people outside anywhere.  

We are more than an hour away from our home in a rural area where there are still plenty of homes but we see only a handful of people outside – two mowing their lawns and the rest either getting into or out of their parked vehicles.  Finally, after an hour of driving, we spy one young girl, blond pony-tail flying behind her, running around her front yard with her dog.  One child.  One dog.

We drive through a small town with a lovely town square which includes a shady park.  There are only a couple of people walking through the sun-dappled area. Inviting benches, sheltered under grand old trees providing cool spots to rest, sit vacant. 

There’s plenty of traffic hustling down the main street of the town but hardly any foot traffic.  We easily locate a spot to park our car, get out to stretch our legs, take in a few sights here in this quaint little town, and take a stroll through the park and down the street.  We don’t meet a soul on the sidewalk.

Where is everyone?  Where have all the children gone?  Does everyone hole up inside their air-conditioned home on a beautiful summer Sunday afternoon?  To do what?  Watch television?  Play video games?  Be chained to the laptop, the tablet, or the smart phone?  While away time on social media, succumb to the lure of the internet?

Doesn’t anyone go outside anymore to partake of God’s beautiful creation on a glorious day?  Doesn’t anyone take an afternoon walk in the park?  Or soak up a little sunshine or lounge on a hammock under the shade of a tree? Or just enjoy a peaceful moment sitting on the front porch catching the breeze, conversing with the neighbor, or just waving at folks as they drive by?

Don’t children play outside on a beautiful summer day anymore?  Don’t they run and jump or play yard games?  Or chase butterflies?  Or lie down in the warm, soft grass staring up at the sky and finding shapes in the clouds?

Call me old-fashioned or call me too nostalgic but I really do wish for the good ol’ days.  And our Sunday drive just the other day reminded me of that all too well.  If you need me, I’ll be sitting on my front porch.

“If the world had a front porch like we did back then
We’d still have our problems but we’d all be friends
Treatin’ your neighbor like he’s your next of kin
Wouldn’t be gone with the wind
If the world had a front porch like we did back then.” 

~  lyrics by Tracy Lawrence, country singer

©2015 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Advertisements

11 responses

  1. I’ve been thinking about this all morning, and I think the sad truth is, it’s gone. Lost for the moment in the ever streaming cell phones, tablets and football games. Not just for Sundays either, as texting and Facebook have taken communication and face to face dialog to a remote place that requires nothing more than a few symbols, shortened acronyms, and the use of a keyboard.

    But I’m with you 100%, and long for those simpler days. ♡

    Like

  2. Cindy, I so agree with you. Where I grew up we didn’t even have front porches, and it’s the same today. We do meet people when we go for walks in our neighborhood or around a big lake with a walking path. Many blessings to you ❤️

    Like

    • I grew up with porches on both the front and the back of the house, so porch sitting was a given in the summer time. Also we had no air conditioning, so we would catch a breeze of air on the porch. We even got the garden vegetables ready for eating (shelling peas, snapping beans, husking corn) on the porch. I can understand you not having porches down there in Florida…too hot and humid…but up here in the North, porches were/are a staple. Thanks for reading and commenting, sweet friend!

      Like

  3. Pingback: Front porch musings | Mama's Empty Nest

So...what do you think? Tell me. I appreciate your feedback and read each comment. Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s