Sunday, March 13, 2011


     Spring is here and this brings out “stoop sitting.”  You are probably asking yourself, “What in the world is stoop sitting?”  Well, it is sitting on the front steps in the evening, chatting with your neighbors.  When I was very young, (many, many years ago) Mom and Dad sat on the steps of our house and the neighbors gravitated toward them like a magnet.  Why they sat on the steps, when there was a perfectly good porch with chairs, I don’t know.  Maybe it was more personal on the steps.
     But that was long ago and now, if you sit on the porch at all, you probably call it a deck and it is the place to barbecue and entertain your friends.  Backyard barbecues are popular these days, but 60 years ago no one had a deck or a barbecue, so the steps had to do.
     Many a tall tale was spun on the steps of our home back in Berkley, Michigan, and many friendships blossomed with the words, “Sit down awhile.”
     The front stoop was where you kissed your boyfriend goodnight, before he walked you to the door, under the bright porch light where everyone could see you.  There was always a front porch swing where you could swing and spoon with your boyfriend, while mom and dad waited patiently for you to come indoors.  The front porch was the perfect place to sit with your sweetheart and dream about your future together; planning your dream wedding, while sharing a cold lemonade on a warm evening.
     We sat on the front porch and churned our homemade ice cream and the sound of the tub grating against the ice always attracted the neighbors.  Ice cream was not complete without fresh wild strawberries that we picked in the afternoon in the woods behind grandma’s house.  Sometimes mom served a hot apple pie, fresh from the oven, to compliment the rich, smooth ice cream.  
     It’s been a long time since I turned the crank on the old ice cream freezer.  We used to make all different flavors, including chocolate, strawberry, raspberry, and peanut butter, which was remarkably good even though it doesn’t sound very appetizing.  Maybe it was the company that surrounded the freezer that made the ice cream taste so wonderful.  I miss those special times with our long-forgotten neighbors from the past.
     In those days most of our get-togethers were spontaneous, which made it even more fun.  When ‘stoop sitting’ and your friends passed by on their evening constitutional, all you had to say was “Hello” and they would stop to chat awhile.  We children played hide and seek or kick the can, out in the road, and some summer evenings we chased fireflies, while the parents talked.  
     Of course, there was no television in those days, just the radio, so you made your own fun.  Kids played outdoors most evenings until the familiar cry from mom, “Children, come in now, it’s time for bed.”  Times were simpler then.
     Today’s children, miss some of the fun of “Let’s Pretend,” like when we chased the bad guys and fantasized we were the Lone Ranger.  
     On a summer’s day the sandlot was filled with kids playing baseball and pretending to be Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, or Jackie Robinson.  I got quite a few jammed fingers playing baseball with the boys, but I could hit with the best of them. (I was a real Tomboy.)  
     Oh, how I love reminiscing about the “good ole’ days” when life was simple and I sat on the front porch dreaming of my happily ever after future.  Do you remember?

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