Don't you just hate those magazine front porches? And now with Pinterest... gahhhh, it's even worse. You know the porches I mean right? The one's with all the beautiful seasonal decor and perfectly paired wicker furniture with cushions that look like they are fresh from Pier 1. Every magazine cover at the grocery store checkout is blasting them in my face and they scream, "Look at me, look at me". They scream even louder the words, "Failure". "Loser". It happens with each new season. I saw a picture last year, either on Facebook or Pinterest, I can't remember which and of course I can't find it again now that I want to share it with you, but it showed two porches. The top image was of a porch beautifully decorated for fall and it said something like, what I mean to do for Halloween. The bottom image was that of a lone pumpkin tossed on the steps and it said, what I really do. I loved that picture because it was exactly me.
A dear friend gave me a couple pieces of white wicker furniture this summer, complete with cushions. I was so, so grateful. She had no idea how ecstatic I was and that inside I was secretly jumping up and down with delight because this my friends was the solution to my 'poor white trash' porch problem, (She has a beautiful porch by the way). I couldn't wait to get home and make my porch magazine worthy. I even swept off the webs from the cedar shake siding. Do you have any idea just how hard it is to get webs of cedar shakes? They really stick to that stuff. I splurged on plants and I bought my honey a gorgeous iron, cigar ashtray stand so he could enjoy the new cozy spot with me while he smoked his occasional cigar. I even brought out my Billy Graham devotional so that we could sit outside and do our devotions together in the late afternoon sun. I had big dreams of morning tea and toast. It turned out to be all I hoped for and then, real life set in. You know the life I mean right? The one where the cat hocks up the hair ball in a gooey, sticky mess and a darling child leaves their muddy shoes and socks outside the door (hallelujah on that one right!). I mean seriously, don't people ever grill? It's pretty hard to hide that baby behind a flower pot. And the dog hair, don't even get me started on the dog hair, it rolls around like tumbleweeds until it gets caught up in the wood pile. The cushions get covered in cat hair because the precious little fur ball has suddenly decided that your favorite chair is now her favorite chair and, she also keeps her collection of dead moths in there as a present for you. What I would just love to see in one of these picture perfect magazine photos is bugs... and webs... and bugs in webs. Oh, and a half empty to go cup from McDonalds.
Please understand, I really want one of those porches and sometimes the struggle with feeling as if I have failed when I do not have one is real. But then I have to remind myself that those pictures are but a moment in time. They are staged, they are not real life. Real life is not having enough time, or not having enough money, it's always one or the other. If you have the time you don't have the money and if you have the money you don't have the time. Real life is kids with muddy shoes because they have spent time down at the creek just being kids. Real life is dogs and cats because what's a real life with out a dog and real life with out a cat means life with mice... at least in my neck of the woods. And real life is racing out the door, late for work, with your morning tea and realizing all 6 drink holders in your car are full so of course the McDonald's cup gets stuck on the porch. If it's a really good life, there will be a couple soggy, sandy beach towel tossed up there too.
This is my porch and this is my moment in time. I am recording it here for all eternity as proof that I am not a total loser when it comes to porches. I will never be magazine worthy and I am so okay with that, I would much rather be real life worthy.