Thoughts from the Porch Swing


My husband is a craftsman. He likes to make things with tools and wood, carefully crafting something beautiful and useful with his hands. Years ago, Mark was having a conversation with my dad about something he wanted to make, but struggled to come up with the name of it. “Clare, what do you call those swings you put on the porch?” I tilted my head just a little, giving a pregnant “are you kidding” pause. “Um, a porch swing?” I answered.

Well, that’s what started it. My sister and I began asking him, Hey Mark, what do you call those laces you put in your shoes? What do you call those rings you put in your ears? And of course, we told the story often enough that people from far and wide joined in. Hey, Mark, what do you call those houses dogs live in? What do you call those shelves you put books on? After a couple of years it finally died out. Until the night we were at a friend’s house playing pool and Mark said, “Hey Clare, what do you call that kind of pool that has the bumpers?” I tilted my head, just a little.

The gist of all this is that many months of good-natured fun, started with a porch swing. Or more accurately, my husband’s desire to make one. To make a place for company, conversation, laughter, and storytelling. Or just a place to pause and think back on the day.

That is the place this blog comes from. A place of company, conversation, and storytelling. A place of reflection. And a place to ask the big questions. Like, what do you call those gentle craftsmen who are good through and through and don’t deserve the loving harassment they get? Oh yeah, good sports.

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