Porches are an essential part of our summer experience here in the beautiful coastal south. Whether our porches overlook the intracoastal waterway or the Hampton River, East Beach, Sea Island, or perhaps a lovely golf course view – but whatever your view, porches are our way of bringing nature into our life – a luxurious place to express our creative design urges; a place to sip sweet iced tea or perhaps something a little stronger; a place we celebrate life’s important moments with family and friends; a place to admire our summer night skies with cool ocean breezes.
A wise man once opined that if you make your porch a part of your home, it will make you a part of the world. In my own recent ventures into the world, I visited the island of Malta, a Mediterranean island rich in history with temples dating back to 3,600 BC and perhaps the oldest structures in the world. Exploring this island was an old world experience and gave me the opportunity to think about how our lives are different, yet similar. This land of stunningly blue Mediterranean views on almost every point, dramatic cliffs, and fields of wild thyme and capers was fascinating. In the old storied cities like Valletta, Malta’s capital, what particularly struck me was the importance of porches, or what they call “gallarija” – lovely wooden architectural gems painted in all manner of color.
On the final approach home, exactly over the northern tip of St. Simons Island from 25,000 feet one’s first thought – even after a spectacular international vacation- is, truly, there is no place like home. The splendor of our littoral is splayed out – an incredible lush and complex verdure of tidal river systems, marsh, and beach.
This summer, I have taken – besides grilling and sunset watching – to populating my own porch with various sorts of tropical flowers that thrive in our local climate – hibiscus, mandevilla, bougainvillea, along with suggestions of the Mediterranean like rosemary and even a small fig tree.
Truly, home is where the porch is.
+ August Dog days of summer meaning: When Sirius appears in the sky just before the sun, that marked the hottest days of the year. The Romans referred to this period as “dies caniculares” or “days of the dog star” which is now translated as just “dog days”
Clatter of Storks
Last week as I sat on my porch, I observed this interesting grouping of woodstorks. One of them had his wings stretched out as if holding court. A group of storks has many collective nouns, including “a clatter of storks”, “a filth of storks”, “a muster of storks”, “a phalanx of storks”, and a “swoop of storks.”
This cocktail hailing from Northeast Italy, is a timeless favorite of this genre. It is a delicious balance of oranges, herbs and botanicals infused in a refreshing liquor. It is a light and healthy summer cocktail perfect for relaxing or entertaining on your porch.