First, location, location, location.  406 E. Main Street, Belhaven.  Just 2-3 blocks from downtown, around the corner from Water Street & Aunt Nellie’s house on the water.

The floors were always painted light gray, and always gleaming.  It was about 5 or 6 feet deep, and had a wide 2 or 3 step stoop.  After FEMA raised all the houses, the porch had lots more steps, but it was a long time after Granny was gone.  It was as wide as the house, which was late, late Victorian.  Nothing fancy, but oh, the most comfortable, comforting, safe place I ever knew.  Always something we loved to eat in the cookie jar, and usually something smelling good on the stove.

Back to the porch.  At one end was a hanging, 2-person swing and it was old.  Once I believe my cousin Susan and I were swinging on it and the screws came undone or stripped and it dropped to the floor of the porch.  I believe our egos were bruised, mostly.  The swing was painted dark, dark green.  She had 2 benches on the porch.  One was a sort of plain & simple federal style reproduction, the other matched the swing.  I wish I could find a picture.  The boards were very close together, and they looked about the size of a broom, cut in half length-wise & round side up.  The design was kind of deco.  She always had pretty plants on the porch and it was pristine.  In front of the porch were hydrangea bushes with blue blooms, lots of blooms.

We always had a crowd on the 4th of July because it was a prime spot from which to view the annual 4th of July parade.  And all afternoon we’d watch people parading up and down Main Street on foot, bike, car and the occasional shriner’s go-kart. 

The memory of that porch at Granny’s is sacred to me.  I’ll find some pics of the 4th of July w/ everyone sitting up on the porch and post them sometime.  Since I don’t have any of the porch, I am posting a pic of my sisters and me ca. 1964.  I’m the baby.  It’s in front of Memom’s house, and you can see Memom’s red Rambler in the background.  My oldest sister, Lynn, then Betsy, then me (looking messy, as always).  Oh, and you can see why bangs don’t really work on me.

Lynn, Betsy, Julie ca. 1964, Memom's, Riverview St., Belhaven

Susan & I were very mischievous.  Eventually she had it taken down, but Granny used to have a huge cedar or some time of conifer that reached the ground in her front yard.  Once the neighbor lady across the street was calling for her daughter or grandaughter & Susan & I were on the porch, hidden, by the tree, from her view.  We kept answering her, “what?” every time she called.  I think Granny caught us doing this and admonished us.  I’ll have to check w/ Susan.  She’s my cousin with whom I have many fond memories of being at Granny’s.