Lessons: Front Porch Edition

Spring is finally here. I apprehensively declare that it will not snow again. Which means when I get home from work, wake up early in the morning, or finish adulting on any given Saturday, you’ll find me on my front porch with a beer in one hand and a pen in the other. It didn’t take long for the April porch lessons to pour in.

  1. Sit far enough away from the house, that it’s harder for the birds to poop on your head.
  2. Invest in professional bug destroyers.
  3. If you get balloons on your birthday, you should celebrate your birthday every day those suckers are still floating.
  4. Use the neon notecards when writing outside at dusk.
  5. Put your leaves in piles. The birds will go nuts nest building.
  6. Reread your notes.
  7. Do not overstuff the burrito on taco night.

Sit far enough away from the house, that it’s harder for the birds to poop on your head.

The edge of my roof is where the cool birds hang out. This is where they gather, I can only assume, to talk about the other birds in the neighborhood, sing super loud to try and attract a mate, and relieve themselves. This last part is important because my patio is right below the edge of the roof line. The most recent incident occurred inches from my beer. Lesson: Sit farther away from the house. Middle of the yard is acceptable. It matters less if your neighbors think you’re weird, as long as you don’t get bird poop in your hair, on your bible, or in your beer.

Invest in professional bug destroyers.

Spring just got here. Super recent. Hardly any time has passed at all. How in the world have the wasps already figured out their campground behind my shutters? How have the “no-see-ums” already decided that they like patio beer, too? How did my husband already get bit by a mosquito?! It’s time to invest in professional bug destroyers or summer is going to be a battle ground on the front porch.

If you get balloons on your birthday, you should celebrate your birthday every day those suckers are still floating.

Disclaimer: The balloons are not on my front porch. They are flying high in my living room.

It’s been 3 weeks and these guys won’t quit. They are determined to remind me of my age each time I walk back inside. So I’ve decided we should come up with a new rule. Buy helium filled balloons on your birthday. You are allowed to celebrate your momentous occasion of successfully orbiting the sun as long as the balloons are on a string and still floating. By all accounts I could have had 21 birthday dinners, more birthday cakes, and gifts galore by this new rule alone. So we’re taking a vote. Everyone who agrees with the new birthday balloon celebration rule, say aye in the comments. If you say nay, you can keep that negativity to yourself.

3 helium filled balloons on strings floating in a living room

Use the neon notecards when writing outside at dusk.

Hand written notes need a revival. Raise your hand if all you receive via snail mail are bills, advertisements, and political fodder… We have a chance to bring a little joy into one another’s lives, one real handwritten note at a time. We can make each other laugh. We can tell people how much they mean to us. We can prank one another. If you get surprise Amazon boxes on your porch from stuff you don’t remember ordering, getting an unexpected positive handwritten note from a friend is 10 times better. But it you’re going to write these on your porch as the sun goes down… and you don’t want to turn on the lights because the bugs have descended on your porch sanctuary perfectly placed away from the pooping birds… then be sure to buy neon colored notecards.

neon orange notecard with the handwritten words Thank You in the foreground, grassy yard in the background

Put your leaves in piles. The birds will go nuts nest building.

I’m not sure when I really started to notice and appreciate the birds. It feels like it’s an old lady thing but I don’t care. I find them joyful and fascinating. Quite the little builders honestly, and I can hear them on the other side of my porch, rustling in the leaves I never cleaned up, looking for the right piece to build their nest. Then I get to watch them awkwardly fly past me trying to carry something bigger than themselves. If my leaf piles help them with their little home improvement projects, then there will always be leaves in my yard.

Reread your notes.

I finished reading the Old Testament of the Bible. I started January 1, 2020 in Genesis 1 and took my time. I read almost every day. I took notes. I wrote questions. I watched YouTube videos. My goal was to understand, not to check boxes. I finished at the end of March 2021 and now I’m re-reading my notes. Looking back on what I thought and felt and questioned. Hearing my own voice through my handwriting as I had ah-ha moments. Before I move on to the New Testament, I want to re-read my notes from the entire Old Testament. I want to take the time to remember, and help solidify information in my mind. I’m writing new notes, from my old notes. The themes I see. The questions I still have.

Journal your life. Then go back and re-read things. You’ll be surprised at what bothered you, angered you, made you anxious… that you made it through. You’ll be amazed at what you thought about things that you don’t agree with anymore, or feel stronger than ever. You’ll have moments that say, “Oh yeah, I totally forgot about that! That was so much fun… that was such an answered prayer… I learned so much… I’m so glad that’s over… I’m glad I left that behind… I’m glad I made that a priority.”

Take notes. Reread them. Remember you’re on a journey and grow through it.

Do not overstuff the burrito on taco night.

I didn’t eat tacos on the porch. Why? Because tacos are messy, and we already discussed the role that birds and bugs play in my porch experience. However, this lesson is still important. I have yet to learn it. Do not overstuff the soft taco shell. Honestly I don’t know what makes something a taco vs. a burrito. I make lots of things. I mix them all together. I put them in a soft taco shell, and attempt to eat it. Whatever that concoction is called, I can never close the soft shell without stuff falling out of every open crevice. I break the shell sometimes due to my inability to properly gauge how many guts are the proper amount of guts. I think this is why burrito bowls were invented.


Seven porch lessons later, the sun came out and the clouds in the sky look like an episode of the Simpsons. Time to wipe off the porch chairs, pour a new beer and enjoy spring.

Go find your spring and your porch.

Spray for bugs and sit in places that lower the probability of a bird poop experience. Take a picture of your set up and send it to me.

Crack open the bible and start reading.

Bring a journal and a pen and start taking notes. Write questions. Reach out to me if you get stuck. I don’t promise to have all the right answers, but I’d love to be the someone you talk it through with.

Think of 5 people you know, that would love to get something real and genuine.

Write them a handwritten note. It can be in a card, on a piece of scratch paper, or a sticky note. Don’t overthink it. Tell the people you love what they mean to you. Give them a reason to be excited when they go to the mailbox. Spread joy one sentence at a time.

thoughts go here... be nice... be thankful...

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