a practically perfect porch

by Elizabeth

I’ve been getting back to my roots with a stroll through Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Jane of Lantern Hill. It’s as good as — or better than — I remember it. At age 11, it was my very first Lucy Maud book. I stayed up late reading it, hunched over the night-light in the bedroom on Forsyth Avenue.


Forsyth Avenue, Fort Riley, Kansas

I also read it during daylight hours, swinging back and forth on the porch swing in the screened-in wrap-around porch (complete with ceiling fan if I remember correctly — quite the dream porch if you ask me). We were guests in that house, and its pantry gave me my first introduction to V8 juice, which I would drink while reading on the swing.

Years later, and just before his own father died, my husband gave me a covered porch swing as a surprise birthday present. He knew I’d always wanted one. And I cherished that gift. I would sit on it and watch my kids play in the yard. I would sit on it and read science magazines and natural childbirth books and home school catalogs. I would sit on it and talk to my husband during the at-home dates we would manage to steal after tucking our kids into bed — winter, spring, summer, or fall.


Saying one last goodbye to the porch swing.

It was with great difficulty that I parted from that swing the year we moved to Cambodia. And to this day, when my man wants to show me he loves me, he buys me a can of V8 — the search for which can sometimes be quite the treasure hunt in Phnom Penh.

These are the legacies of Lucy Maud and of the innocent joys of a childhood well-spent.


photo credit: Library of Congress

My blogging friend and fellow Third Culture Kid Marilyn Gardner encouraged me to take this TCK story, which was originally a Facebook status, and turn it into a blog post.

4 thoughts on “a practically perfect porch

  1. What a beautiful house and what wonderful, LMM-appropriate memories! I spent six years (ages 11-17) reading and re-reading through all of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books. My adolescent years were all deeply marked by my love for her characters, Jane included. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for the comment! I love talking with other LMM lovers!!! Themes of love, home, and belonging never get old, do they?? And I love that you love Jane with me! ~Elizabeth

  2. Oh yes, those great memories building porch swings are a great place to read, for the kids to tell their stories of that day and close hugs with hubby to make the slow down for a short period of time. I know I am looking for just the right one to add to our two wickers chairs for our patio. I might even get one of those that make a bed, drape a mosquito net over it and take a nap. Somehow a porch swing helps us fully draw from both sides of the brain. Love this post, makes me want my porch swing NOW.

    • I love your description here! I’m glad we share a love of the magnificent porch swing 🙂 Praying you find your perfect porch swing as soon as possible!! ~Elizabeth

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