I am a porch sitter. I come from a long line of porch sitters. It’s a simple pleasure of mine.
Porch sitting has become a thing of the past. Heck, porches are becoming a thing of the past. I adore an older model home for many reasons, but one of them being they usually come with a great porch. New homes just don’t have porches anymore. People spend their time indoors in front of the boob tube and under the air-conditioning and porches no longer serve the purpose for which they were designed: a place to cool off and visit with neighbors.
Several years back, before I married, I lived in an old, small house with a great porch for sitting. I put up a porch swing and wrapped the chains with garlands of fake daisies. I put out a few flowering pots of geraniums. But I needed a rocker. I had my heart set on a Cracker Barrel rocking chair so my dad bought one for me.
I put it on the porch and sat outside every day watching the traffic flow up and down the busy Somerville street. People would honk and wave and occasionally stop and visit with me. Then I was in my early twenties, much too young to be acting so old wouldn’t you say? But I’ve got an old soul, always have.
One morning I opened my front door and walked over to sit in my favorite Cracker Barrel rocker only to almost end up with my butt on the ground. It was gone! My rocker was gone! Someone had stolen my awesome rocking chair right off my front porch during the night!
I remember the awful feelings I experienced. Shock initially. Then anger of course right off the bat. Man, I was mad. Then I was sad; my chair was gone. Then dumbfounded, in awe that someone would do that. Then came a sense of fear. That someone possessing harmful intent inside of their heart was that close to my house, three steps from the inside where I slept peacefully the night before. Finally, came a terrible feeling of violation.
My dad was just as mad. He said he hopes whoever stole my rocker gets a splinter in their butt!
So he bought me another rocking chair from the Cracker Barrel. I was determined to keep this one from getting stolen, although I didn’t know how save dragging it into the house every night. A friend of mine came over with a small solution. He tied something of a chained cord of some sort (kinda like a bicycle chain) around the leg of it and drilled it into the concrete of the porch. He said it really wasn’t much of a deterrent, if someone wanted to cut the cord, they would, but at least it would keep an honest man honest. The next thieves would have to work a little bit at it if they planned on stealing my rocker.
It worked, because I still have that second rocker. Unfortunately it has gotten some age on it. It’s not as glossy and freshly varnished as in the above picture. It has sat uncovered for a few years. The wind, rain, and snow has taken their toll on it. My dog Drew Miller used it as the legs and arms as a chew toy when he was a pup. It still serves its purpose but it doesn’t seem to have much pride in itself anymore. I needed to fix that.
Today, I took to working on that old rocker. I didn’t want to completely refinish it, that’s just a little bit too much work for me these days, but I just wanted to give it a new look, make it better than it was. So EK and I found some paint in the paint closet; a nice robin’s egg blue and started slapping it on there. No priming. No sanding. No elbow grease. Just slap, slap, slap.
It was blue I tell you—and bright blue to boot!
After we slapped some paint on, it didn’t look that great. The wood was too worn and weathered to make a sleek look. There was several spots of brown from the wood showing through that just wasn’t soaking up the paint. I decided to just go with it. Make it a bit cowgirl rustic.
I went to JDub’s collection of spray paints and found a couple different browns and began spraying them on just willy nilly. Finally, I grabbed some fine sand paper and just scruffed it up a bit.
I wish I had a good before and after. It certainly isn’t as beautiful as it was when it was new, I certainly didn’t refinish it the right way, but it’s got character and I love it!
Here’s to happy porch sitting!