You deserve a break today, so get up and get away – to the country. If you’re as old as I am, you may be singing a McDonald’s jingle in your head right about now. In fact, I think I’m having a Big Mac Attack right now. Somebody please get Mayor McCheese on the phone…
But I did get away. Running a family business and volunteering here and there really eats into your time. I took off during Christmas (and a belated Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, or Happy Kwanza. As my friend, Kinky Friedman, often says, “May the God of your choice bless you.”) I packed up the girls and drove to Buc-ees (You have to pee it to believe it). I got them some kolaches and drove to the river.
Here’s a writing tip: sit out by the river with your dog (or hopefully dogs) and write that book. Cigars optional (but highly recommended). I almost finished up the third Dudley Files book when the phone rang.
I walked back from the river and found the little red light was blinking on my answering machine. I pushed the button and heard, “Cary, it’s Kinky… Cary, it’s Kinky…” Wrong message… I pushed another button and my neighbor, Heidi, up on the hill said, “We’re ready for some porch time when you are.” Normally, I don’t get terribly excited about a phone call. This time was different.
Porch Time: noun. an exterior appendage to a building. a covering. Time: noun. something humans haven’t fully grasped the concept of yet.
A friend of mine heard the message. “What’s Porch Time,” he asked.
What a great question. Porch Time is when someone you care about asks you to come sit on their porch for some quality time. Sometimes you can talk. Sometimes you just sit with your feet up, drinking a brewsky, or doing nothing at all, just watching the world pass you by. I can go either way, really. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
When I do porch time with my neighbors on the hill, we usually talk about how we can help people and animals, how we can set children (and adults, but mostly children) on the right path when they stray, and tell funny stories. Oh, how we laugh. Porch time is my Xanax. Everything seems to slow down. Problems seem to melt away. Confusion transforms into clarity.
I almost wish our politicians and leaders would do porch time. And how about children who feel unwanted or bewildered? How about the person who thinks committing a crime will somehow make him or her better when in reality, damages his or her’s very soul?
While I don’t think porch time should be mandatory, I do think it would improve everyone and everything – if they want it to. #PorchTime, it’s a good thing. Solve the worlds problems.
Try it. It works. You’ll like it. Porch Time!