Screen Porch Summers


I loved to visit my “Aunt” Harriet. She was not really my aunt, she was my Mom’s cousin. However, with me the youngest of the youngest and her the oldest of the oldest, she was a white-haired senior citizen when I was a baby. She was an avid gardener and by avid, I mean she and her husband had a two acre garden. Even better, their next door neighbor was a corn farmer which meant acres of corn field to play hide and seek.

All that gardening meant a lot of canning which meant a summer kitchen. It was a mid-sized outbuilding near the garden, shaded by Norway pines with screens instead of windows. There were wooden awnings over all the windows that could be shut for the winter or in heavy rains, but were raised up to provide even more shade and the free movement of the breeze through all the screened windows that filled all four walls. There was a huge galvanized sink and a wood stove for canning, tables for cleaning, trimming and lots of shelves going from the floor to the bottom of the windows but never high enough to block them. This meant their house did not get heated up by the steam from canning in the heat of the summer. With the kitchen so open to the air, the summer kitchen never got steamy. There were also a few fold-away cots so when I would get to stay for a week, I got to sleep out there. The canning was usually done by noon, so it was not hotter than the house. It was a bit of thrill to be able to be alone out there. Spooky, but safe.


They had a root cellar, too. One that would we would repair to in case of tornado warnings. It was a fancy root cellar with a door that you could walk into instead of a trap door you lifted. They built up a berm around the entrance so it was easier to carry things in and out. It was full of shelves and had a table and chairs and some kerosene lamps. Again, it was spooky fun to play in the root cellar. I was young, so I never questioned why an old retired couple was canning food from two acres of garden or why they had enough canned fruit and vegetables to stock a grocery store.


Of course, now I understand it was their reaction to the Great Depression. My mom was the same. Before she died, she was living in an assisted living apartment with Meals on Wheels delivered daily. Nonetheless, she had a second bedroom, her “pantry” that had a large chest freezer filled with food and stacks of shelving loaded with canned vegetables from the garden and from my sisters. The security of all that food “put away” was a talisman against ever going hungry again.


Of course, it was not all practical. My Aunt Harriet’s garden had rows and rows of flowers and they too were “harvested” and used in lovely fresh bouquets as well as hung in bunches to dry to provide floral food for they eyes throughout the winter. I guess that is why this screen porch bedroom makes me think of that summer kitchen. It was filled with flowers, the sounds and smells of summer.

{anc} incense stand “feather” 1Li @ Collabor88
Kalopsia – Spring Flowers @ Collabor88
Kalopsia – Hanging Stars @ Collabor88
Vagabond – Julie’s Bed @ Collabor88
Vagabond – Julie’s Sweet Tray @ Collabor88
dust bunny . lily cottage 1
dust bunny . spring reading
dust bunny . rose table . pink
dust bunny . blossoming flowers
{anc} le cirque de reverie .7/ blanc / white /hangingchair
{anc} cirque de reverie .19/ blanc / hang ball 2Li
{anc} comet. / cage / gold 1Li (copy
{anc} garden. pinksoda 1Li
{anc} garden. soda 1Li
{anc} garden. macaron 2Li
{anc} garden. pinkbook 4Li (copy
30 – 8f8 – primavera in Toscana – Shelf
MadPea Bonsai Hime
MadPea Bonsai Fukumen
Apple Fall AF Decorative Artichokes
Apple Fall AF Carriage Clock
Mesh Flowers – =MF= Half Barrel Planter

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