Thursday, May 8, 2014

Screen Door Memories

Monday my girls and I took a quick adventure over to Sauer-Beckmann Farm on the Lyndon B Johnson State Park. I'll be sharing those photos later but for now I would like to bring attention to one thing....

the screen door on the front porch. 
I grew up in a small country town where nearly every home had at least a front screen door. I personally can't remember seeing a home without a back screen door as well. 

For me, this evokes so many wonderful memories...
hot summer, pastel and neon colored cotton shorts and screen print t-shirts. My hair up in a high pony tail or a French Braid courtesy of my mother. White clean Nike shoes and socks that matched my shirt.

There is nothing like the squeak of the opening screen door and the slam behind you. Is it really a screen door without that wonderful sound? That sound meant fun was happening outside. There were stuffed animals to teach...grasshoppers to pester...cartwheels and front handsprings to do...cheers to yell...bikes to ride.... 
Standing inside, looking out the screen door, left you open to limitless possibilities. The world awaited you. Playing King of the Hill with Joshua and Jonathan or softball with Sam. Barbeque's with the Nobles and eating Mom's potato salad and drinking her homemade sweet tea.
To me a screen door means family. The louder the squeak, the more memories and love and laughter were made. Each slam welcomed friends and family over and bade goodbye to a happy evening. If the door had chipped and worn paint..even better. Screen doors are not meant to be pristine and quiet. They are not from that era. They are as much a part of me and my childhood as the scar on my left knee.

And don't get me started on front porch swings. They go hand in hand with screen doors. Open the screen door..hear the slow, sweet squeak.
Close the screen door...hear that happy, knowing slam.
Skip over to the front porch swing...feel the anticipation.
Hop up on it's welcoming bench and rusty, giddy, feeling the moment.
Give it a swift kick....feel the wind rush against your cheek, play in your hair.
....Lean back and relax....

How many memories do I hold that were created on one of Grandpa's swings? I don't know if I can count that high.
I can certainly recall the bratty-ness of me and Michael. Him pushing me high in the swing, me laughing and screaming. And Joe, my grandpa's farm hand, screaming out the window "Noooo push her that high..."
And Michael picking up a stick and throwing it at the screen that Joe was pressing his face against. 
I knew it was wrong, but I laughed.
I also knew that we wouldn't get in trouble because my grandpa was allowing him to work the farm and live in his fruit stand. 
As a child I didn't know that homes could exist without screen doors and porch swings. I thought they were as much a part of a house as a kitchen or bathroom. Now that I'm an adult and have my own home I have neither a screen door or a porch swing. I have, instead, an annoying HOA who loves to bark about everything but actually do nothing. I have a driveway that is so slanted you injure yourself if you park on it. I have a tiny front yard that can be cut with a trimmer. My front yard is about the size of my grandpa's potato garden.
And I think the saddest thing is that my girls will NEVER know the excitement of hearing a screen door squeak and then slam. They will never grow up telling secrets to their friends or listening to the crackly FM radio while feeling the breeze on the front porch swing. 
And me....I will never have the joy of yelling at my girls to keep the screen door shut so flies don't get in. Nor will I have the pleasure of hearing my girls giggle with their friends or hum and sing messed up lyrics to their favorite song on the radio.
My girls missed out on something that I feel was such an integral part of my childhood. I hope that I can give those memories to my grandchildren.
I'm prepared to wait for that though...hopefully a very, very long time!


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