You may remember in an earlier post I mentioned I used to go to the Benson Senior Center with Mormor.
We took a Creative Writing class there. I was not really interested in this class and was far from a devoted participant.
I didn’t care about learning to write creatively. I didn’t do the writing exercises the teacher gave us because I didn’t comprehend what was being asked.
I listened to the stories of others and paid attention here and there. I wasn’t in to writing.
I was capable of writing a decent business letter and the occasional simple pleading in my work life.
My favorite class in high school was Journalism. The teacher who taught the class oversaw the school newspaper, The Chieftain. She asked me to be on the newspaper staff.
I was so flattered and so badly wanted to do it. Unfortunately, my schedule prevented me from being available at the necessary times. This was as close as I ever came to writing — except for English papers!
It was a huge letdown, but yet I realize life is made up of big and little disappointments.
After much cajoling by the writing class members, I finally succumbed and wrote something. It took me awhile to select a topic and to begin writing.
I was a pure beginner. Several of the people in class were longtime writers. At least one of them had published a book.
Hence, my hesitancy in writing something to share with the class. Judgments galore. My insecurities. Just didn’t want to put myself out there.
When we finished a piece, we were to read it out loud in class. Another lady in class read Bruno’s Porch for me. I knew I could not get through it without crying.
I wrote this in 2015 while Bruno was still with me. (It is minimally edited and graphics added.)
What can you say about a screened-in porch that would make it special? After all, it is just wood, screen, and Astroturf. But it’s more really, just ask my cat, Bruno.
More than anyone else in my family (which includes my husband, Paul; me; our dog, Daisy; and our other cat, Clem), Bruno loves spending time on the porch.
When we were looking to buy our first home and deciding what we would like in a house, the only thing I wanted was a screened-in porch.
Paul wanted a basement, a yard with possibilities, and a place for a vegetable garden. He got those, and I got the screened porch.
The first thing I bought after closing was a set of white wicker furniture. I hadn’t unpacked many of our belongings, but the porch was ready come what may.
Through the years we have had a couple of dogs. They have entertained themselves quite well here.
Our first dog, Buddy, managed to chew the wicker table in a bad way. It took Paul’s skill at repairing things to return the table to a semblance of what it was supposed to be.
Our next dog, Daisy, loved the pillows on the settee. She had a couple of fun hours shredding the pillow stuffing to pieces.
I actually have the classic picture you have seen where the dog is sitting in the middle of the mess it has made. What a blast she must have had.
There was the day my next-door neighbor came over for a visit wearing a cute black dress. I was sitting in the wicker rocker while she shared the settee with Daisy.
We talked and had our lemonade. It came time for her to leave. As she stood up, she discovered Daisy had chewed a substantial hole in her dress.
Yes, it was ruined. We had a great laugh about it and she bore no ill will.
Unfortunately, there have been times when the porch served as a resting place of sorts. Our cats still bring home some little wildlife they have stalked and place it on the welcome mat for safekeeping.
Just the other day, Clem, who I refer to as the huntress, brought us a present of a cardinal who had met its demise. This was not a happy event on the porch but it was part of life.
We had our wedding celebration on the porch. We were married three months previously at the courthouse and wanted to celebrate with family and friends.
The porch was a great place to make that happen — naturally, spilling out into our peaceful backyard. Our wedding celebration is a great memory.
Another event was a family get-together at Easter. I am not one for entertaining.
I did manage to have a ham, two large tables with chocolate Easter bunny centerpieces, and plastic grass.
Family members brought dishes — we didn’t eat just ham and chocolate bunnies! The lunch went well. I survived being hostess.
I remember my in-laws coming over and how much they enjoyed sitting on the porch with their wine and conversation.
My father-in-law was relaxed on the settee, looking out over the yard, particularly enjoying the dahlias in their colorful bloom.
It was at that moment I thought one day when he was older Paul’s dad might live with us, a pipe dream really.
I think he would have enjoyed spending some of his days on the porch. I loved my father-in-law.
There was the time my dying brother-in-law stopped by for a visit. It was great seeing him, and he enjoyed sitting in the wooden rocker and visiting.
He never came by our house so it was special that he did. This was the last time I saw him. Some memories of the porch are sad.
Part of what makes Bruno’s Porch so wonderful is the view of the backyard. Paul, to my mind, is a master gardener, although he has never taken the test.
Kind of like Mother Teresa being a saint and yet she has never been officially declared one. (Author’s Note: Since the writing of Bruno’s Porch, Pope Francis proclaimed Mother Teresa a saint on September 4, 2016.)
One time I had a friend at work ask me if my yard was landscaped. I replied it was a nice yard.
Another friend standing there who had been to the house replied, “Don’t let her fool you. Her yard looks like the botanical gardens.” I’m spoiled.
On Bruno’s Porch, I like to rock in my rocker, sip cold wine, and reflect and contemplate.
The porch is a great place to be during a thunderstorm as the thunder sounds, the lightning bolts, the wind chimes chime, and a cool breeze passes through.
It is the best place to read and to journal.
This is what brings me to Bruno. I have not seen anyone, myself included, enjoy the porch more than my Bruno, especially in the hot, humid days of summer.
He can sleep for hours, barely moving except for the occasional change to the settee or the glass tabletop to cool his furry belly.
He becomes drunk with sleeping in the sun. So at peace, as though he were on the Serengeti.
I hope to have the feeling that Bruno must have as he relaxes. I shall be a happy soul indeed to luxuriate as Bruno does. To enjoy the porch and his kingdom beyond the porch door.