For those that don't know this, we have a large farm here in West Georgia. About 700 acres of hay, cattle, a granite quarry, a small kitchen garden, and about 22 rental properties. So as you can imagine, there's no lack of things to do. I don't weigh enough to operate the tractor to bale hay so lately I've been working on the rental houses. One of which was my great-grandparent's house, built in 1900 by my Great Grandpa, fondly referred to as Daddy Cooley (James Brinkley Cooley). And like any 111 year old house it has its issues. A few cracks in the doors (all original) and unfortunately the last renters didn't treat it as well as it deserved. Let's just say I gagged when I walked in for the first time. (Think non-pottytrained animals and pests.)
Anyway, I've been put in charge of turning the house around and getting it ready to rent again. And wouldn't ya know it, we already have renters ready to move in August first! So between replacing the floors, cleaning, and completely renovating the porch, I'm a busy girl. The porch has been my favorite and most time-consuming because porches just hold so much meaning. So much happens on a Southern porch. It's simply a part of life here and this porch has always been special to me. It has seen many births, deaths, marriages, parties, cookouts, and even served as a bedroom for Daddy Cooley before AC found its way to LaGrange. Yep, he slept on the porch. It served as a place to shell butterbeans, shuck corn, tell exaggerated stories, pull pranks, and watch the sun set while rocking in a handmade rocking chair. It's where Mama Cooley rang the bronze dinner bell her momma used and where the "kid table", made of plywood on top of sawhorses sat every Sunday. My grandmother was born in this house and my grandfather proposed to her on the steps of this porch that's seen it all. It still has it's original wood and banisters and I've seen so many pictures of my mom as a little girl sitting on the steps grinning and holding a different animal in each picture. Oh, and the clothesline out back is still the same one that my momma's pony ran under and knocked her off with when she was about 8. So needless to say, I love this porch and I love this house. And I hope I do it justice.