The porch is seasoned

Well, it’s three-season porch time again.

I was tempted to write “it’s three-season porch season again” but I felt that would be too many seasons in one sentence.

I don’t think that’s a writing rule so much as it is a personal preference. Actually, most of my takes on writing are based more on personal preferences than rules.

Sort of explains why I was never very popular with editors when I worked at a newspaper. Also sort of explains why I’m glad I no longer work at a newspaper.

I much prefer personal preference to rules.

Now, where was I?

Oh, right. Three-season porch time.

I’m writing this while sitting on our three-season porch listening to music on my cellphone via a blue tooth speaker.

It’s not a bad place to write a column.

Of course, it’s not the best place to write a column. I’ve written columns poolside in Key West, Florida, on the beach in the Turks and Caicos Islands and in the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago, Illinois.

But still the three-season porch isn’t bad.

The three-season porch is really a two-and-a-half-season porch. We use our three-season porch throughout most of the spring and most of the fall but only about half of the summer. It gets hot in the summer here in Missouri.

But let’s face it, a two-and-a-half-season porch sounds kind of stupid.

When we bought our house nearly 20 years ago our three-season porch was mostly a slab of concrete on the side of house wrapped in slowly deteriorating wooden screens.

The porch, as we called it back then, had clearly seen better days. So, converting the slab of concrete into something else was one of our first priorities.

And by “our” I mean my wife and the guy we hired to help us renovate our house. And by “hired to help” I mean hired to renovate our house while doling out just enough things for me to do to make me feel like I was helping but without getting in the way and screwing things up.

It was a delicate balance is what it was.

Basically what we did was tear the porch down from the roof to the slab of concrete and built it back up and when we were finished a couple of months later, we had ourselves a three-season porch.

this picture is a before shot of our three-season porch
Here is a picture of me helping to tear off the roof of our porch before it became a three-season porch. I’m proud to say I only fell off it four times.

Over the years we’ve spent a lot of time on our three-season porch. For several years we kept a small child-size chair on the three-season porch for our now 23-year-old daughter Emma to sit while she watched TV.

Sometimes Emma and her friend Katie would sit out on the three-season porch watch TV and talk about whatever little girls talk about.

In the evening I would sit on the porch, watch baseball by myself, drink beer and talk to myself about whatever guys talk to themselves about when they’re watching baseball and drinking beer.

About 10 years after we renovated our house my wife decided we needed to renovate it again and our three-season porched received a substantial upgrade.

By the way, I’ve been told by other veteran husbands that 10 years is about the amount of time most veteran wives wait until they decided to completely redo a house that they redid 10 years earlier.

I liked the upgrade we gave our three-season porch. Mainly, I liked the upgrade because I didn’t have to help. Sure I offered.

Me: Hey, I would love to help you guys upgrade the three-season porch.

Brian (Who was in charge of the upgrade): HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Good one, Mike.

The only problem with our three-season porch is every spring someone has to spend most of a day taking everything out of the porch wiping it off, cleaning the floors, walls and windows and putting the stuff can be put back inside.

Raise your hand if you think my wife and Emma are the ones who spend most of a day cleaning the three-season porch.

Wow. Not one hand raised.

One of the things I learned over the years I’ve spent cleaning out the three-season porch was the fewer things we kept on the porch the less time it took me to clean it. So, gradually the amount of stuff on our three-season porch has slowly decreased.

I suppose our three-season porch is some sort of metaphor (or analogy I can’t ever remember which). A symbol, if you will, for our lives together. But I’m not a deep enough thinker to figure that out.

All I know is we like spending time on our three-season porch. It’s nice. It’s peaceful. And sometimes it lends itself to quiet reflection.

Oh, and watching baseball and drinking beer.

an after picture of our three-season porch.
Here is the three-season porch shortly after we opened it earlier this spring. Now, imagine it with baseball and a beer.