Front stoop


This post was prompted by Patry's post over at Simply Wait about Front porches; it got me thinking about my childhood home sans porch. I've always liked stoops tho. That's what we called the steps in front of our house when you were sitting on them - sitting on the front stoop, not steps. It has a better ring to it - like they are special. We would sit there when we were bored - nothing to do on a hot summer day or after a long bike ride or the favorite - when waiting for the ice cream truck.

It's funny this house has a deck in the back which the recluse in me likes - privacy- can only see my plants and animals(wild birds, my dog and cat, occasional deer and rabbit) and my kid. The previous house had a patio out back - same situation and it suited me just fine, cause my neighbors were crazy. But when family came to visit - where did we take the picture? - yup out front on the stoop - which was brick but didn't really qualify as we never hung out there; they really were front steps.

Our first house also had a deck, that we enjoyed but which wasn't private at all. I can remember hearing my new neighbor, directly behind me, ordering pizza and telling someone of his wild escapades of the night before. This was the house that put my friend (my other neighbor behind me to the side) into a tizzy/ and tree planting phase. The once empty lot behind us that we thought was not buildable was my friends new neighbor also. We spent alot of time bemoaning the fact, commisserating and planting trees. I had already put up a fence but then added a piece of lattice (covered by wisteria) to help until the tree grew. I guess i do like my privacy more than intimacy with the neighbors. However, Mary and I did wish that we had made a secret opening panel in the fence so we could get to each others places when we wanted to visit or to feed each other's cats when away. But the walk around the block didn't hurt. This same house did have a wood landing and steps in the front. I remember when friends of ours ,with their 4 kids, visited and I took a picture of all the kids on the "stoop". Here once again, we never hung out here, tho our old dog Sam did (but then he was a Golden Retriever and very much a front porch kinda guy). I think to really qualify as a stoop it has to be cement or brick or maybe it has to be NJ. Who knows?


Jona said...

I always imagine American homes with decks, steps and people sitting on them - but I thought it was probably because of shows I've watched, glad to hear it's not :o)

Mary said...

It's amazing the richness of the memories simple physical structures can evoke. You have linked them together here quite beautifully.

Mary said...

.. and I meant to say - the photo is totally delightful.

Cate said...

Oh, I just enjoyed this piece of writing--moving, reflective, funny (about NJ possibly being a pre-requisite for steps to qualify as a "stoop!"). And I can imagine Sam, a "front porch kinda guy!"

Beautiful picture, as well!

Lulabelle said...

I read your post last night and recalled, quite fondly, two homes from my childhood that classified as having a "stoop", which we frequented often. The only two I would refer to as homes, versus the multitude of places we lived. Perhaps because of the stoop?

Sadie was our "Sam" at at both places.

The "Barn" house in Marshfield center - right on the corner of an access road to the beach.

The other was on Masonic Place in P-Town. Our road was a well traveled route between the public parking on Bradford Street and Commercial Street, the main drag. Speaking of drag, there was a gay bar/hotel (Atlantic Club). Talk about non-stop stoop-view!

Then, this evening, as I was leaving mom's, I saw something that made me smile... two men sitting on their "stoop", one reading the paper, the other just watching the comings and goings on the street. Technically, they were sitting under a covered cement pad that spanned the front of their duplex, but it was a stoop all the same (if you get my drift).

Such a simple act brings you back to a simpler time... or maybe just a simpler frame of mind. I instantly thought of your post.

I loved your pic and your thoughts. Thanks for the happy thoughts. PS I hope I'm not breaking blog etiquette with such a long comment.

rdl said...

Jona, Mary and Cate so glad you stopped by my stoop.
lulabelle - always glad to see you here and I loved your comments, no time limits here, tho it coulda been a post on yr. blog - feel free too and let me know if you do.Was just talking to yr. Aunt Mary last nite and she told me a very funny family story about a song you sang at school when you were in 2nd grade, when i told her about the Mamas and Papas post and yr. stoppin by.

Marewheeee said...

Gotta go look for the name of that song.
It was by Ringo Starr circa 1975 ish?