Recently I've been commenting on modern technology. I now want to say a few words about some more traditional technology -- the front porch.
Years ago nearly every house had a porch (called a "pizer" on Ocracoke). Before television, the Internet, and air conditioning, folks sat on the porch in the morning, the late afternoon, the early evening...actually anytime they had a few minutes to sit and relax. I love my porch. When the weather warms up we sit out there almost every morning, watching the day wake up, listening to the song birds, and drinking a cup of coffee (well, Lou Ann has coffee...I have a glass of orange juice).
In the afternoon we sometimes have a few minutes to sit a spell. We pull down the bamboo shades or the sun would get unbearable. But we never pull them down all the way -- we want to feel connected. We can always see the sandy lane, so we wave to folks who walk by, chat awhile if neighbors or friends stop for a few minutes, and often invite people up on the porch.
After supper, and late at night, if the bugs aren't too bad, we often sit in the porch swing and talk about the day, visit with friends, and share cool drinks. We like it when folks stop to visit. Front porches help build community. And that's community with actual human beings, not pixels on a computer screen.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Sam Jones, Island Legend. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012111.htm.