THE BEST LITTLE FRONT PORCH IN OUR NECK OF THE WOODS

According To Parade Magazine and a lot of other sources, the front porch is making a comeback.  I could have told you that years ago.  Undeniably, the front porch is what sold us on the house we’ve been living in for the past 13 years.   I wouldn’t say it served up much curb appeal the day we first looked at it.  Still under construction, a dumpster and Port-a-Potty blocked what would have been an awesome view of what the proposed front porch that would run across the front of the house wrapping around the side would look like.  Keep in mind we were leaving a house with a very poor excuse for a front porch – uncovered and too large to call just a stoop with a brick wall blocking the view from the front door and making it extremely difficult to move furniture in and out of the house.  This gigantic soon-to-be-porch ushering us into a wide-open foyer had us hooked even before we crossed the threshold.

Many spring, summer and fall evenings found us on the porch along with whatever neighbors had nothing better to do either.  There is something about rocking on the front porch that brings people together.  The Powers That Be should have consulted with us.  With all the wisdom gathered in that space, we surely could have solved all the problems in the world. 

Fourth of July celebrations were epic with group-effort, hours-long fireworks displays.  From this front porch we watched our two younger kids along with all the other kids in the neighborhood progress through school, learn to drive, go off to college and with diploma in hand return to find the real world waiting.  They have learned that that little piece of paper will open some doors, but they have to find the doors, knock on them and walk through them not to the job of their dreams but to the job that will start them on their journey towards that dream.

As much as we love our front porch, it’s not the Front Porch in the title. To find that Front Porch, you have to go South on I-77 to exit 65 in Richburg.  There on Highway 9 you’ll find the Front Porch Country Restaurant and the best meal we have ever encountered – no offense to all the extraordinary cooks in both our families and there are more than a few. 

We had started our day in Fort Lawn stopping in at Main St. Antiques & Design Gallery’s recently opened second location.  As with most newly opened antique malls, they are trying to grow their business and are looking for new vendors.  We did meet a potter from Heath Springs, Patricia Gambino, who was setting up her booth.  She specializes in kitchen items.  Click the link below for Clay Impressions to visit her web site and see her amazing designs.     

From there, we decided to head over to Chester and spent a good bit of time at Antiques at Hall’s.  After working our way from one end to the other, we left with only 3 little Made In Occupied Japan items.  We couldn’t decide if we have gotten too picky or if we just weren’t in the mood for picking and decided heading home was our best option.  

Then we saw the Front Porch.  The Great One and Sara had passed by it numerous times over the golfing years and never stopped so we decided it was high time the Allens checked it out.  It was past lunchtime and too early for supper but we were hungry and disappointed that we had had a less than satisfying day picking and thought that maybe we were in need of some comfort food. 

Just a sip of their sweet tea and we knew we were in the right place.  We didn’t get a good home-cooked meal, we got a fantastic good-old-southern-country-cooked-fresh meal.  Biscuits that were so light and fluffy they actually did melt in our mouths.  I had a chicken breast baked to perfection - moist and tender with just the right amount of seasoning.  He had grilled pork chops, which he raved about.  We shared new potatoes, fried okra, fried squash and green beans and left not a scrap on our plates. 

Then, we made the mistake of asking about their desserts.  Of course, the same cooks make their desserts, as well.  Now after that splendid meal, how could we even think of passing up homemade peach cobbler?  Of course we didn’t, and while anybody with any sense would have gotten just one and split it, nobody ever said we have any sense.  Once again, our dishes went back to the kitchen empty.   

Leaving the Front Porch in a much better frame of mind, we decided to take a walk down Main Street in Fort Mill.  Figuring we could use the exercise, we parked and headed down the street.  It was a beautiful afternoon and with our improved spirits and full tummies it wasn’t long before we found something we “really needed” at The Knife Shop – a Stewart-Warner Console Radio/Phono Model A92CR6.  Because the Bendix still worked, we never could bring ourselves  to gut it.  This one, however, does not work so it’s fair game.