Porch Life Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Porch Life. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Marriage is like a well-built porch. If one of the two posts leans too much, the porch collapses. So each must be strong enough to stand on its own.
Deb Caletti (The Secret Life of Prince Charming)
Fight for us, O God, that we not drift numb and blind and foolish into vain and empty excitements. Life is too short, too precious, too painful to waste on worldly bubbles that burst. Heaven is too great, hell is too horrible, eternity is too long that we should putter around on the porch of eternity.
John Piper
I want to lay up like that, to float unstructured, without ambition or anxiety. I want to inhabit my life like a porch.
Rebecca Wells (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood)
My life feels like a book left out on the porch, and the wind blows the pages faster and faster, turning always toward a new chapter faster than I can stop to read it.
Nancy E. Turner (These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901, Arizona Territories (Sarah Agnes Prine, #1))
The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. Yes, God is under the porch as well as on top of the mountain, and joy is in both the front row and the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
She longed for porch friendship, for the sticky, hot sensation of familiar female legs thrown over hers in companionship. She pined for the girliness of it all, the unplanned, improvisational laziness. She wanted to soak the words 'time management' out of her lexicon. She wanted to hand over, to yield, to let herself float down the unchartered beautiful fertile musky swamp of life, where creativity and eroticism and deep intelligence dwell.
Rebecca Wells (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood)
I like old bookstores, the smell of coffee brewing, rainy day naps, farmhouse porches, and sunsets. I like the sweet, simple things that remind me that life doesn’t have to be complicated to be beautiful.
Brooke Hampton
I think the purest of souls, those with the most fragile of hearts, must be meant for a short life. They can't be tethered or held in your palm. Just like a sparrow, they light on your porch. Their song might be brief, but how greedy would we be to ask for more? No, you cannot keep a sparrow. You can only hope that as they fly away, they take a little bit of you with them.
Emm Cole (The Short Life of Sparrows)
He has the kind of Southern accent that makes you think of melting butter on biscuits, and porch swings.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
What I saw was more than I could stand. The noise I heard had been made by Little Ann. All her life she had slept by Old Dan's side. And although he was dead, she had left the doghouse, had come back to the porch, and snuggled up by his side.
Wilson Rawls (Where the Red Fern Grows)
I stood on Susan Boone's front porch, feeling lame. But then, since I've pretty much felt lame my entire life, this was no big surprise. On the other hand, usually I felt lame for no particular reason. This time I really had a reason to feel lame.
Meg Cabot (All-American Girl (All-American Girl, #1))
I see it for what is is, now. It is a house built on ashes. Ashes of the life Granddad shared with Gran, ashes of the maple from which the tire swing flew, ashes of the old Victorian house with the porch and the hammock. The new house is built on the grave of all the trophies and symbols of the family: the New Yorker cartoons, the taxidermy, the embroidered pillows, the family portraits.
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
When I’m at the bottom looking up, the main question may not be ‘how do I get out of this hole?’ In reality, the main question might be ‘how do I get rid of the shovel that I used to dig it?
Craig D. Lounsbrough (A View from the Front Porch: Encounters with Life and Jesus)
Chelsea, I knew when you showed up on my porch that you were going to be trouble. You were bossy and annoying and you brought sunshine into a very dark time in my life. You saved me when I didn’t even know I needed saving. I love you for that. I will always love you for that.” He raised her hand to his lips and kissed the backs of her knuckles. “Please say you’ll stay in my life and make trouble with me forever.” -Mark Bressler
Rachel Gibson (Nothing But Trouble (Chinooks Hockey Team, #5))
No front porches. My uncle says there used to be front porches. And people sat there sometimes at night, talking when they wanted to talk, rocking, and not talking when they didn't want to talk. Sometimes they just sat there and thought about things, turned things over. My uncle says the architects got rid of the front porches because they didn't look well. But my uncle says that was merely rationalizing it; the real reason, hidden underneath, might be they didn't want people sitting like that, doing nothing, rocking, talking; that was the wrong KIND of social life. People talked too much. And they had time to think. So they ran off with the porches.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is. There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
Bob Dylan (Chronicles: Volume One)
When the people sat around on the porch and passed around the pictures of their thoughts for the others to look at and see, it was nice. The fact that the thought pictures were always crayon enlargements of life made it even nicer to listen to.
Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
I am a book. Sheaves pressed from the pulp of oaks and pines a natural sawdust made dingy from purses, dusty from shelves. Steamy and anxious, abused and misused, kissed and cried over, smeared, yellowed, and torn, loved, hated, scorned. I am a book. I am a book that remembers, days when I stood proud in good company When the children came, I leapt into their arms, when the women came, they cradled me against their soft breasts, when the men came, they held me like a lover, and I smelled the sweet smell of cigars and brandy as we sat together in leather chairs, next to pool tables, on porch swings, in rocking chairs, my words hanging in the air like bright gems, dangling, then forgotten, I crumbled, dust to dust. I am a tale of woe and secrets, a book brand-new, sprung from the loins of ancient fathers clothed in tweed, born of mothers in lands of heather and coal soot. A family too close to see the blood on its hands, too dear to suffering, to poison, to cold steel and revenge, deaf to the screams of mortal wounding, amused at decay and torment, a family bred in the dankest swamp of human desires. I am a tale of woe and secrets, I am a mystery. I am intrigue, anxiety, fear, I tangle in the night with madmen, spend my days cloaked in black, hiding from myself, from dark angels, from the evil that lurks within and the evil we cannot lurk without. I am words of adventure, of faraway places where no one knows my tongue, of curious cultures in small, back alleys, mean streets, the crumbling house in each of us. I am primordial fear, the great unknown, I am life everlasting. I touch you and you shiver, I blow in your ear and you follow me, down foggy lanes, into places you've never seen, to see things no one should see, to be someone you could only hope to be. I ride the winds of imagination on a black-and-white horse, to find the truth inside of me, to cure the ills inside of you, to take one passenger at a time over that tall mountain, across that lonely plain to a place you've never been where the world stops for just one minute and everything is right. I am a mystery. -Rides a Black and White Horse
Lise McClendon
But what bothers me is that I only accidentally noticed them. What else have I missed? How many times in my life have I been, so to speak, on the back porch, not the front porch? What would have been said to me that I failed to hear? What love might there have been that I didn't feel?
Lucia Berlin (A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories)
What would it be like to make it so late into life before trouble hit? To always have someone on the front porch, calling you to dinner? The husband doesn’t have even a touch of this raised-by-wolvesness.
Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation (Vintage Contemporaries))
I couldn't picture heaven. How could a place be any good at all if it didn't have the things there you enjoyed doing? If there were no comic books, no monster movies, no bikes, and no country roads to ride them on? No swimming pools, no ice cream, no summer, or barbecue on the Fourth of July? No thunderstorms, and front porches on which to sit and watch them coming? Heaven sounded to me like a library that only held books about one certain subject, yet you had to spend eternity and eternity and eternity reading them. What was heaven without typewriter paper and a magic box?
Robert R. McCammon (Boy's Life)
Jump, if you want to, ‘cause I’ll catch you, girl. I’ll catch you “fore you fall. Go as far inside as you need to, I’ll hold your ankles. Make sure you get back out. I’m not saying this because I need a place to stay. That’s the last thing I need. I told you, I’m a walking man, but I been heading in this direction for seven years. Walking all around this place. Upstate, downstate, east, west; I been in territory ain’t got no name, never staying nowhere long. But when I got here and sat out there on the porch, waiting for you, well, I knew it wasn’t the place I was heading toward; it was you. We can make a life, girl. A life.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
Like go for a walk, say a little prayer Take a deep breath of mountain air Put on my glove and play some catch It's time that I make time for that Wade the shore and cast a line Look up a long lost friend of mine Sit on the porch and give my girl a kiss Start livin', that's the next thing on my list.
Toby Keith
The people in your life are like the pillars on your porch. Sometimes they hold you up, and sometimes they lean on you. Sometimes it's enough to know they are standing by.
Merle Shain
That night, Ronan didn’t dream. After Gansey and Blue had left the Barns, he leaned against one of the front porch pillars and looked out at his fireflies winking in the chilly darkness. He was so raw and electric that it was hard to believe that he was awake. Normally it took sleep to strip him to this naked energy. But this was not a dream. This was his life, his home, his night. After a few moments, he heard the door ease open behind him and Adam joined him. Silently they looked over the dancing lights in the fields. It was not difficult to see that Adam was working intensely with his own thoughts. Words kept rising up inside Ronan and bursting before they ever escaped. He felt he’d already asked the question; he couldn’t also give the answer. Three deer appeared at the tree line, just at the edge of the porch light’s reach. One of them was the beautiful pale buck, his antlers like branches or roots. He watched them, and they watched him, and then Ronan could not stand it. “Adam?” When Adam kissed him, it was every mile per hour Ronan had ever gone over the speed limit. It was every window-down, goose-bumps-on-skin, teeth-chattering-cold night drive. It was Adam’s ribs under Ronan’s hands and Adam’s mouth on his mouth, again and again and again. It was stubble on lips and Ronan having to stop, to get his breath, to restart his heart. They were both hungry animals, but Adam had been starving for longer. Inside, they pretended they would dream, but they did not. They sprawled on the living room sofa and Adam studied the tattoo that covered Ronan’s back: all the sharp edges that hooked wondrously and fearfully into each other. “Unguibus et rostro,” Adam said. Ronan put Adam’s fingers to his mouth. He was never sleeping again.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
This is the autumn of wonders, yet every day, every single day, I go back to that burned afternoon in August when T. Ray left. I go back to that one moment when I stood in the driveway with small rocks and clumps of dirt around my feet and looked back at the porch. And there they were. All these mothers. I have more mothers than any eight girls off the street. They are the moons shining over me.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
It wouldn't matter," he says. "If we were in the same world, the one where Kincaid was in love with you, I'd still be here. If you wanted me, I'd be here." "Why?" I ask. He hides a grin and runs his thumb over my lips. "I'm not sure the world and me are as complicated as you think, Natalie. I didn't mean to choose you or anything. I just know if I only get to build one porch in my life, I'd like it to be yours, and if there's one person I never have to hurt or disappoint, I'd want that to be you too.
Emily Henry (The Love That Split the World)
To encapsulate the notion of Mardi Gras as nothing more than a big drunk is to take the simple and stupid way out, and I, for one, am getting tired of staying stuck on simple and stupid. Mardi Gras is not a parade. Mardi Gras is not girls flashing on French Quarter balconies. Mardi Gras is not an alcoholic binge. Mardi Gras is bars and restaurants changing out all the CD's in their jukeboxes to Professor Longhair and the Neville Brothers, and it is annual front-porch crawfish boils hours before the parades so your stomach and attitude reach a state of grace, and it is returning to the same street corner, year after year, and standing next to the same people, year after year--people whose names you may or may not even know but you've watched their kids grow up in this public tableau and when they're not there, you wonder: Where are those guys this year? It is dressing your dog in a stupid costume and cheering when the marching bands go crazy and clapping and saluting the military bands when they crisply snap to. Now that part, more than ever. It's mad piano professors converging on our city from all over the world and banging the 88's until dawn and laughing at the hairy-shouldered men in dresses too tight and stalking the Indians under Claiborne overpass and thrilling the years you find them and lamenting the years you don't and promising yourself you will next year. It's wearing frightful color combination in public and rolling your eyes at the guy in your office who--like clockwork, year after year--denies that he got the baby in the king cake and now someone else has to pony up the ten bucks for the next one. Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once.
Chris Rose (1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories)
You can stay on the porch. Like how you left me on the floor outside our room." "I didn't know what else to do. You found the check, and I panicked." "That isn't an excuse." "I know. And I'm not saying that this is going to make up for it. I'm going to try, really try, to make you trust me again. I want you to trust me. I just... I couldn't sleep last night without you. It was the strangest thing, being in the room alone without you. I couldn't hear you breathing, and your laughter was gone and you were gone, and it was like a part of my life was missing. A big part. I tripped going to the bathroom and banged my head. See?" He pointed to a lovely gash on his forehead. "And then I burned my hand on the toaster oven. And then my car wouldn't start. Again. I've never had such bad luck in my life.
Chelsea M. Cameron (My Favorite Mistake (My Favorite Mistake, #1))
I go out on the porch and gaze up at the stars twinkling above, the random scattering of millions of stars. Even in a planetarium you wouldn't find as many. Some of them really look big and distinct, like if you reached your hand out intently you could touch them. The whole thing is breathtaking. Not just beautiful though--the stars like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they're watching me. What I've done up till now, what I'm going to do--they know it all. Nothing gets past their watchful eyes. As I sit there under the shining night sky, again a violent fear takes hold of me. My heart's pounding a mile a minute, and I can barely breathe. All these millions of stars looking down on me, and I've never given them more than a passing thought before. Bot just stars--how many other things haven't I noticed in the world, things I know nothing about? I suddenly feel helpless, completely powerless. And I know I'll never outrun that awful feeling. (135)
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Life is a struggle, I would tell him. Some days are better than others, and every person's life is bittersweet, filled with joy and pain.
Dorothea Benton Frank (Porch Lights)
I'm dumping the whole box back into your life Ed, every item of you and me. I'm dumping this box on your porch, Ed, but it's you, Ed, who is getting dumped.
Daniel Handler (Why We Broke Up)
But then the feeling would dissipate, and he would be left alone to scan the arts section of the paper, and read about other people who were doing the kinds of things he didn’t even have the expansiveness, the arrogance of imagination to dream of, and in those hours the world would feel very large, and the lake very empty, and the night very black, and he would wish he were back in Wyoming, waiting at the end of the road for Hemming, where the only path he had to navigate was the one back to his parents’ house, where the porch light washed the night with honey.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
The reverse is also true: many a trip continues long after movement in time and space has ceased. I remember a man in Salinas who in his middle years traveled to Honolulu and back, and that journey continued for the rest of his life. We could watch him in his rocking chair on his front porch, his eyes squinted, half-closed, traveling to Honolulu.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
...he were wish he was back in Wyoming, waiting at the end of the road for Hemming, where the only path he had to navigate was the one back to his parent's house, where the porch light washed the night with honey.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Leave a mark on the world. Instead, the world has left marks on us. We got older. Life chastened us so that now we lie waiting to die, or walk on canes, or sit on porches where once the young juices flowed strongly, and feel old and inept and confused.
Wallace Stegner (Crossing to Safety)
Before getting to my mother's house, I would always think of her on the porch or even on the street, sweeping. She had a light way of sweeping, as if removing the dirt were not as important as moving the broom over the ground. Her way of sweeping was symbolic; so airy, so fragile, with a broom she tried to sweep away all the horrors, all the loneliness, all the misery that had accompanied her all her life...
Reinaldo Arenas (Before Night Falls)
I licked my sugary, lemonade-soaked lips and leaned my head against the porch post. The sky was bluer than the ocean- a light, jewel-toned blue. What would it be like to wear a necklace made of sky stones? I tossed the idea around in my mind, smiling to myself.
Rachel Coker (Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words)
Sidda was tired of being vigilant, alert, sharp. She longed for porch friendship, for the sticky, hot sensation of familiar female legs thrown over hers in companionship. She pined for the girlness of it all, the unplanned, improvisational laziness. She wanted to soak the words "time management" out of her lexicon. She wanted to hand over, to yield, to let herself float down into the uncharted beautiful fertile musky swamp of life, where creativity and eroticism and deep intelligence dwell.
Rebecca Wells (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood)
...and in those hours the world would feel very large, and the lake very empty, and the night very black, and he would wish he were back in Wyoming, waiting at the end of the road for Hemming, where the only path he had to navigate was the one back to his parent's house, where the porch light washed the night with honey.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased. I remember a man in Salinas who in his middle years traveled to Honolulu and back, and that journey continued for the rest of his life. We could watch him in his rocking chair on his front porch, his eyes squinted, half-closed, endlessly traveling to Honolulu.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
There is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends.
Taylor Bennett (Porch Swing Girl (Tradewinds #1))
My life feels like a book left out on the porch, and the wind blows the pages faster and faster, turning always toward a new chapter faster than I can stop and read it.
Nancy E. Turner (These Is My Words)
Funny how one lie leads to another and before you know it, your whole life can be a lie. I sit on the porch swing later, not even
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Shiloh (Shiloh Series Book 1))
The evenings grew longer; kitchen windows stayed open after dinner and peepers could be heard in the marsh. Isabelle, stepping out to sweep her porch steps, felt absolutely certain that some wonderful change was arriving in her life. The strength of this belief was puzzling; what she was feeling, she decided, was really the presence of God.
Elizabeth Strout (Amy and Isabelle)
My father asked me once why I was so lazy, why I did not want the world. He asked me what I wanted, and though I did not answer then, because I did not know, and followed old conventions even to the altar, I know it now. It is long past time to answer the question—and I see you, old Arthur, old love, looking up to that silhouette on your porch—what do I want? After choosing the path people wanted, the man who would do, the easy way out of things—your eyes wide in surprise as you see me—after holding it all in my hands and refusing it, what do I want from life? And I say: "Less!
Andrew Sean Greer (Less (Arthur Less, #1))
...he would wish he was back in Wyoming, waiting at the end of the road for Hemming, where the only path he had to navigate was the one back to his parent's house, where the porch light washed the night with honey.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
When I am feeling dreary, annoyed and generally unimpressed by life, I imagine what it would be like to come back to this world for just a day after having been dead. I imagine how sentimental I would feel about the very things I once found stupid, hateful or mundane. Oh, there’s a light switch! I haven’t seen a light switch in so long! I didn’t realize how much I missed light switches! Oh! Oh! And look – the stairs up to our front porch are still completely cracked! Hello cracks! Let me get a good look at you. And there’s my neighbor, standing there, fantastically alive, just the same, still punctuating her sentences with you know what I’m saying? Why did that bother me? It’s so… endearing.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life)
It wasn’t the first time I played on death’s porch, but it didn’t mean that I was used to it either. It was weird how in the movies your whole life okays out in slow motion. It was nothing like that. It was horrible.
Adrienne Woods (Firebolt (The Dragonian, #1))
I thought of what my father had told me one summer day. I’d fallen down, and my knee was all scraped up and bleeding. We sat on the back porch, and he cleaned my wound and put a Band-Aid on it. The sky had cleared after a summer storm. I’d been crying, and he tried to get me to smile. “Your eyes are the color of sky. Did you know that?” I don’t know why I remembered this. Maybe it was because I knew he was telling me he loved me.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (The Inexplicable Logic of My Life)
I am a Beacon of Light. I attract so many different kinds of people from all walks of life. Like a moth to a flame. Different ages,different races, different genders,different social classes,the homeless,the mentally disabled and addicts. So you have to excuse me when I turn off my porch light. Cause that is the time I find peace in the darkness.
ricky star
As I walked back to the porch, I was thankful. I'd been so preoccupied with whether or not I would turn into Darla--so busy being the walking picture of emptiness--that I'd overlooked society's expectations of me. I smiled at this. Did all outcasts come to this realization at a certain point in life? That being outcast from a bogus and pornographic society was a good thing? I hoped so. I hoped there was an army of us out there, smiling about it that very moment.
A.S. King (Glory O'Brien's History of the Future)
At lilac evening I walked with every muscle aching among the lights of 27th and Welton in the Denver colored section, wishing I were a Negro, feeling that the best the white world had offered was not enough ecstasy for me, not enough life, joy, kicks, darkness, music, not enough night... I wished I were a Denver Mexican, or even a poor overworked Jap, anything but what I was so drearily, a "white man" disillusioned. All my life I'd had white ambitions; that was why I'd abandoned a good woman like Terry in the San Joaquin Valley I passed the dark porches of Mexican and Negro homes.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
In the variety of the tone of her words, moods, hugs, kisses, brushes of the lips, and this night the upside-down kiss over the back of the chair with her dark eyes heavy hanging and her blushing cheeks full of sweet blood and sudden tenderness brooding like a hawk over the boy over the back, holding the chair on both sides, just an instant, the startling sudden sweet fall of her hair over my face and the soft downward brush of her lips, a moment's penetration of sweet lip flesh, a moment's drowned in thinking and kissing in it and praying and hoping and in the mouth of life when life is young to burn cool skin eye-blinking joy - I held her captured upside down, also for just a second, and savored the kiss which first had surprised me like a blind man's bluff so I didn't know really who was kissing me for the very first instant but now I knew and knew everything more than ever, as, grace-wise, she descended to me from the upper dark where I'd thought only cold could be and with all her heavy lips and breast in my neck and on my head and sudden fragrance of the night brought with her from the porch, of some 5 & 10 cheap perfumes of herself the little hungry scent of perspiration warm in her flesh like presciousness.
Jack Kerouac (Maggie Cassidy)
Back in the day, I had this plan for the off chance that I was around for the whole end-of-the-world business. It involved climbing up on my roof and blasting R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” but real life never turns out that cool. It was happening—everything about the world as we knew it was ending, and it sure as hell did not feel fine. Opening my eyes, I inched back the flimsy white curtain. I peered outside, beyond the porch and the cleared yard, into the thick woods surrounding the cabin Luc had stashed in the forests of Coeur d’Alene, a city in Idaho I couldn’t even begin to pronounce or spell.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
Where had I heard this wind before Change like this to a deeper roar? What would it take my standing there for, Holding open a restive door, Looking down hill to a frothy shore? Summer was past and day was past. Somber clouds in the west were massed. Out in the porch's sagging floor, leaves got up in a coil and hissed, Blindly struck at my knee and missed. Something sinister in the tone Told me my secret must be known: Word I was in the house alone Somehow must have gotten abroad, Word I was in my life alone, Word I had no one left but God.
Robert Frost
I licked my sugary, lemonade-soaked lips and leaned my head against the porch post. The sky was bluer than the ocean- a light, jewel-toned blue. What would it be like to wear a necklace made of sky stones? I tossed the idea around in my mind, smiling to myself.
Rachel Coker (Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words)
Those porch girls had no idea they were going to sprawl on that couch until the weight of their adolescent bodies sank down into the pillows. They have no idea when they will get up off that couch. They have no plans for what will happen next. They only know their bodies touching as they try to keep cool. They only know that the coolest spot they can find is in front of that rotary fan. I want to lay up like that, to float unstructured, without ambition or anxiety. I want to inhibit my life like a porch.
Rebecca Wells (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood)
Despair. I’d been told I suffered from it too. The thing was, I never sensed myself in despair, but rather, in love with something I felt closest to only when walking or riding my bike in the city. I felt it when I kept my windows open all night, or sitting on the rickety wood of the porch my landlord called a fire escape, peeled paint flaking under my hands and feet, looking over the empty lot. It had to do with a texture, with the moon and a stray white cat I’d been feeding, a cat that saw me as home now.
Monica Drake (The Folly of Loving Life)
and in those hours the world would feel very large, and the lake very empty, and the night very black, and he would wish he were back in Wyoming, waiting at the end of the road for Hemming, where the only path he had to navigate was the one back to his parents’ house, where the porch light washed the night with honey.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
A Faint Music by Robert Hass Maybe you need to write a poem about grace. When everything broken is broken, and everything dead is dead, and the hero has looked into the mirror with complete contempt, and the heroine has studied her face and its defects remorselessly, and the pain they thought might, as a token of their earnestness, release them from themselves has lost its novelty and not released them, and they have begun to think, kindly and distantly, watching the others go about their days— likes and dislikes, reasons, habits, fears— that self-love is the one weedy stalk of every human blossoming, and understood, therefore, why they had been, all their lives, in such a fury to defend it, and that no one— except some almost inconceivable saint in his pool of poverty and silence—can escape this violent, automatic life’s companion ever, maybe then, ordinary light, faint music under things, a hovering like grace appears. As in the story a friend told once about the time he tried to kill himself. His girl had left him. Bees in the heart, then scorpions, maggots, and then ash. He climbed onto the jumping girder of the bridge, the bay side, a blue, lucid afternoon. And in the salt air he thought about the word “seafood,” that there was something faintly ridiculous about it. No one said “landfood.” He thought it was degrading to the rainbow perch he’d reeled in gleaming from the cliffs, the black rockbass, scales like polished carbon, in beds of kelp along the coast—and he realized that the reason for the word was crabs, or mussels, clams. Otherwise the restaurants could just put “fish” up on their signs, and when he woke—he’d slept for hours, curled up on the girder like a child—the sun was going down and he felt a little better, and afraid. He put on the jacket he’d used for a pillow, climbed over the railing carefully, and drove home to an empty house. There was a pair of her lemon yellow panties hanging on a doorknob. He studied them. Much-washed. A faint russet in the crotch that made him sick with rage and grief. He knew more or less where she was. A flat somewhere on Russian Hill. They’d have just finished making love. She’d have tears in her eyes and touch his jawbone gratefully. “God,” she’d say, “you are so good for me.” Winking lights, a foggy view downhill toward the harbor and the bay. “You’re sad,” he’d say. “Yes.” “Thinking about Nick?” “Yes,” she’d say and cry. “I tried so hard,” sobbing now, “I really tried so hard.” And then he’d hold her for a while— Guatemalan weavings from his fieldwork on the wall— and then they’d fuck again, and she would cry some more, and go to sleep. And he, he would play that scene once only, once and a half, and tell himself that he was going to carry it for a very long time and that there was nothing he could do but carry it. He went out onto the porch, and listened to the forest in the summer dark, madrone bark cracking and curling as the cold came up. It’s not the story though, not the friend leaning toward you, saying “And then I realized—,” which is the part of stories one never quite believes. I had the idea that the world’s so full of pain it must sometimes make a kind of singing. And that the sequence helps, as much as order helps— First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing
Robert Hass (Sun under Wood)
I hope you gaze at cloud art galleries against azure summer skies and pause to gasp at rainbows and watch butterflies fly by; I hope wildflowers make you happy and sad songs make you cry and old books stacked in dusty nooks are gems you can't pass by; I hope burnt toast mornings are little things you handle with a smile and midnight talks and starlit walks keep you up once in awhile; I hope laundry warm from the dryer brings a sigh of contentment and front porch swings on cool evenings offer rest when you are spent; I hope your life is light in sorrow and heavy with laughter and you greet each season of your life like a new favorite chapter; I hope you honor every soul you meet and always go that extra mile and when you think of me, my love, I hope it's with a smile.
L.R. Knost
Tell me “The Subtle Briar” again,’ she asked. She knew I would still know it by heart. I whispered to her in the dark. ‘When you cut down the hybrid rose, its blackened stump below the graft spreads furtive fingers in the dirt. It claws at life, weaving a raft of suckering roots to pierce the earth. The first thin shoot is fierce and green, a pliant whip of furious briar splitting the soil, gulping the light. You hack it down. It skulks between the flagstones of the garden path to nurse a hungry spur in shade against the porch. With iron spade you dig and drag it from the gravel and toss it living on the fire. ‘It claws up towards the light again hidden from view, avoiding battle beyond the fence. Unnoticed, then, unloved, unfed, it clings and grows in the wild hedge. The subtle briar armors itself with desperate thorns and stubborn leaves – and struggling higher, unquenchable, it now adorns itself with blossom, till the stalk is crowned with beauty, papery white fine petals thin as chips of chalk or shaven bone, drinking the light. ‘Izabela, Aniela, Alicia, Eugenia, Stefania, Rozalia, Pelagia, Irena, Alfreda, Apolonia, Janina, Leonarda, Czeslava, Stanislava, Vladyslava, Barbara, Veronika, Vaclava, Bogumila, Anna, Genovefa, Helena, Jadviga, Joanna, Kazimiera, Ursula, Vojcziecha, Maria, Wanda, Leokadia, Krystyna, Zofia. ‘When you cut down the hybrid rose to cull and plough its tender bed, trust there is life beneath your blade: the suckering briar below the graft, the wildflower stock of strength and thorn whose subtle roots are never dead.
Elizabeth Wein (Rose Under Fire)
sitting in Grandmother's old wicker chair and littering my porch with her foolish young life.
Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose)
Okay. I could her deb wailing-in my head. This is the Lowcountry, Steve. That's how life goes around here.
Dorothea Benton Frank (Porch Lights)
But my mind was still on that front porch, welcoming the silence, the contentment, the exquisite pleasure of a quiet, love-filled life.
Lauren K. Denton (Glory Road)
Time's up, Ladies. Let's go back inside. We can sit by the fire, hold hands, and sing Kumbaya," Seth called from the front porch. "Fucker," Hammer muttered. "I think we should beat his ass next," Liam muttered conspiratorially. Both men cracked a knowing grin. As if they'd read one another's minds, they raised their right arms and flipped Seth off, laughing. It felt good.
Shayla Black (The Young and the Submissive (The Doms of Her Life, #2))
It is an oyster, with small shells clinging to its humped back. Sprawling and uneven, it has the irregularity of something growing. It looks rather like the house of a big family, pushing out one addition after another to hold its teeming life - here a sleeping porch for the children, and there a veranda for the play-pen; here a garage for the extra car and there a shed for the bicycles. It amuses me because it seems so much like my life at the moment, like most women's lives in the middle years of marriage. It is untidy, spread out in all directions, heavily encrusted with accumulations....
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
Enormous oak trees towered over the boulevard, which boasted homes with fine woodwork, wraparound porches, and moss on the sidewalks. 'There’s nothing like a house in New Orleans. Would you look at those balconies and columns?' He rolled his window down to take in the sounds of life in New Orleans.
Hunter Murphy (Imogene in New Orleans (Imogene and the Boys #1))
Outside the moon had come out. It was full, a disk of bright silver. I saw a large, dramatic spider web on my back porch that must have been made while I was in the house with my mind in turmoil; the spider was just finishing the outer circle of it. The moon illuminated the strands of the big taut web so that it seemed to be made of pure light. It was dazzling, geometric and mysterious, and it calmed me just to stop and look at it, at the elaboration and power of life that could make such a design.
Walter Tevis
when you died, the spark of your life flew into me when I watched your breath stop, and the spark did its last energy frizz inside of me and I didn't tell anyone but half of the lights of myself went off as well. Almost every door in me closed too. Most of the space, where you used to tread, to rest, to read, to sleep, most of that space closed up for good. I became a house with only the porch light on.
Jenny Slate (Little Weirds)
The old thing where it always was, back again. As when a man, having found at last what he sought, a woman, for example, or a friend, loses it, or realises what it is. And yet it is useless not to seek, not to want, for when you cease to seek you start to find, and when you cease to want, then life begins to ram her fish and chips down your gullet until you puke, and then the puke down your gullet until you puke the puke, and then the puked puke until you begin to like it. The glutton castaway, the drunkard in the desert, the lecher in prison, they are the happy ones. To hunger, thirst, lust, every day afresh and every day in vain, after the old prog, the old booze, the old whores, that's the nearest we'll ever get to felicity, the new porch and the very latest garden. I pass on the tip for what it is worth.
Samuel Beckett (Watt)
My uncle says the architects got rid of the front porches because they didn't look well. But my uncle says that was merely rationalizing it; the real reason, hidden underneath, might be they didn't want people sitting like that, doing nothing, rocking, talking; that was the wrong kind of social life. People talked too much. And they had time to think. So they ran off with the porches. And the gardens, too. Not many gardens any more to sit around in. And look at the furniture. No rocking?chairs any more. They're too comfortable. Get people up and running around. My uncle says . . . and . . . my uncle . . . and . . . my uncle . . .
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
THERE WAS ALWAYS a boy in your life that common sense and the prayers of parents told you to stay away from: fast talker, fast car, and fast hands. He was the boy your father kept a loaded shotgun by the door for and met on the front porch if he ever thought about venturing onto his property…let alone the threshold. He was the tall, dark, mysteriously handsome, and uncharacter-istically quiet one that made you wonder what was going on in his head, and that little voice in your head said it wasn’t always so honorable. He was the boy you broke all of the rules over because bad-boys equaled excitement and the rebel in you liked the ride.
A.J. Lape (Grade A Stupid (The Darcy Walker Series, #1))
But, he’s the white prosecutor, honey. What does he know about being black in America? What does he know about being pulled over for driving while black? What does he know about living with discrimination every day of your life or being a descendant of slaves? Has he ever experienced discrimination? Has he lost a loved one to senseless violence? Can he hear gunshots from a lounge chair on the front porch of his fancy-ass home?
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal In Black (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #4))
I walked through the house to the back porch and found the screen door covered top to bottom, side to side, with cats meowing for food. . . . They were so thick on the door I could barely see the light between them.
Earl B. Russell (Cold Turkey at Nine: The Memoir of a Problem Child)
Back the, my life was mostly pieces-tire swings and lemonade, dogwood petals drifting down and going brown in the grass. Cotton dresses, bedsheets flapping on the line. An acre of front porch. A year of hopscotch rhymes.
Brenna Yovanoff (Fiendish)
Replacing the girl reading the book on the porch was this beautiful, closed-off, honest, waiting-to-be-cracked open woman who challenged his contentment simply by living her life. He didn’t want to be challenged. He was just fine with the status quo. Why did she have to go around inspiring him? It was not what he’d signed up for.
Courtney Walsh (A Cross-Country Christmas (Road Trip Romance, #1))
Daddy didn’t say anything for a minute or so, and then he reached up and caught a firefly as it glowed beside him. “See this light?” he asked me when the firefly lit up his hand. “Yes’r.” “That light is bright enough to light up a little speck of the night sky so a man can see it a ways away. That’s what God expects us to do. We’re to be lights in the dark, cold days that are this world. Like fireflies in December.” “Time meandered on without Gemma’s momma and daddy, and it meandered on without Cy fuller and Walt Blevins. . . but those of us left behind viewed life more dearly, felt it more keenly. I’d learned a bit more about God and I’d seen His powerful hands at work. As I was growing, my heart was changing. And the way I figured it, there were lessons learned in those dark days that would help me for years to come.” “As I sat on the porch on that December day . . . I leaned my head against the rail and sighed deeply. The way I figured it just then, my summer may have been full of bad luck, but my life wasn’t. I figured as far as family went, I was one of the luckiest girls alive.
Jennifer Erin Valent (Fireflies in December (Calloway Summers #1))
Crusoe and Friday. Ishmael and Ahab. Daisy and Gatsby. Pip and Estella. Me. Me. Me. I am not alone. I am surrounded by words that tell me who I am, why I feel what I feel. Or maybe they just help me while away the hours as the rain pounds down on the porch roof, taking me away from the gloom and on to somewhere sunny, somewhere else.
Anna Quindlen (How Reading Changed My Life)
Once on yellow sheet of paper with green lines, he wrote a poem and he called it “Spot” because that was the name of his dog and that’s what it was all about and his teacher gave him an “A” and a big gold star and his mother hung it on the kitchen cupboard and showed it to his aunt and that was the year his sister was born-and his parents kissed all the time and the little girl around the corner sent him a postcard with a row of X’s on it and his father tucked him into bed at night and was always there. Then on a white sheet of paper with blue lines, he wrote another poem and he called it “Autumn” because that was the time of year and that’s what it was all about and his teacher gave him an “A” and told him to write more clearly and his mother told him not to hang it on the kitchen cupboard because it left marks and that was the year his sister got glasses and his parents never kissed anymore and the little girl around the corner laughed when he fell down with his bike and his father didn’t tuck him in at night. So, on another piece of paper torn from a notebook he wrote another poem and he called it “Absolutely Nothing” Because that’s what it was all about and his teach gave him an “A” and a hard searching look and he didn’t show it to his mother and that was the year he caught his sister necking on the back porch and the little girl around the corner wore too much make-up so that he laughed when he kissed her but he kissed her anyway and he tucked himself in bed at three AM with his father snoring loudly in the next room Finally, on the inside of a matchbook he wrote another poem and he called it “?” because that’s what it was all about And he gave himself an “A” and a slash on each wrist and hung it on the bathroom mirror Because he couldn’t make it to the kitchen.
Earl Reum
He doesn't ask for perfect hearing or a life free of missteps, Kit. Just your trust." "What if I don't have that kind of trust? What if my faith isn't as strong as yours?".... ...Willa tucked Kit's hand through her arm and climbed the porch steps. "That's the beauty of God, my girl. Even when we're tempted to let go, he keeps holding on.
Melissa Tagg (Keep Holding On (Walker Family, #3))
What he didn't know was that he always would and that in all those important moments that were yet to come to pass in his life, there would be a searing wound. Over time the wound would grow smaller, but it would never disappear.
Dorothea Benton Frank (Porch Lights)
My uncle says the architects got rid of the front porches because they didn't look well. But my uncle says that was merely rationalizing it; the real reason, hidden underneath, might be they didn't want people sitting like that, doing nothing, rocking, talking; that was the wrong kind of social life. People talked too much. And they had time to think.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
All the neighborhood dogs can see right through me. They know. They aren’t even barking. Out of pity, I suppose. The Carlucci’s dog is the worst barker in the neighborhood, but not today. I walk up to his gate and give it a shake. No reaction. He sits on the porch staring at me, like I ain’t nothin’. I look around and find a stick. I throw it at him. Down deep, I really didn’t intend to hit him, but the stick bounces off his rump. I cringe and cover my mouth. “Sorry,” I say. The old dog just walks to his back yard, disgusted with the whole mess. “You don’t understand,” I yell after him. “I’m having a life crisis!
Michael Benzehabe (Zonked Out: The Teen Psychologist of San Marcos Who Killed Her Santa Claus and Found the Blue-Black Edge of the Love Universe)
Secret codes and lore and lingo stretching back into that fluid time before air conditioning dried up the rich, heavy humidity that used to hang over the porches of Louisiana, drenching cotton blouses, beads of sweat tickling the skin, slowing people down so the world entered them in an unhurried way. A thick stew of life that seeped into the very blood of people, so eccentric, languid thoughts simmered inside. Thoughts that would not come again after porches were enclosed, after the climate was controlled, after all windows were shut tight, and the sounds of the neighborhood were drowned out by the noise of the television set.
Rebecca Wells (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood)
If you have to choose between following money or following your heart, go with your heart. There are some choices we make that cannot be corrected. Squandering your life in a job that shrivels your soul isn’t one of them. Use your gifts. Follow your heart.
Philip Gulley (Front Porch Tales: Warm Hearted Stories of Family, Faith, Laughter and Love)
Agnes Shay had the true spirit of a maid. Moistened with dishwater and mild eau de cologne, reared in narrow and sunless bedrooms, in back passages, back stairs, laundries, linen closets, and in those servants' halls that remind one of a prison, her soul had grown docile and bleak...Agnes loved the ceremonies of a big house. She drew the curtains in the living room at dark, lighted the candles on the table, and struck the dinner chimes like an eager altar boy. On fine evenings, when she sat on the back porch between the garbage pails and the woodbins, she liked to recall the faces of all the cooks she had known. It made her life seem rich.
John Cheever (The Stories of John Cheever)
Open Letter to Neil Armstrong" Dear Neil Armstrong, I write this to you as she sleeps down the hall. I need answers I think only you might have. When you were a boy, and space was simple science fiction, when flying was merely a daydream between periods of History and Physics, when gifts of moon dust to the one you loved could only be wrapped in your imagination.. Before the world knew your name; before it was a destination in the sky.. What was the moon like from your back yard? Your arm, strong warm and wrapped under her hair both of you gazing up from your back porch summers before your distant journey. But upon landing on the moon, as the earth rose over the sea of tranquility, did you look for her? What was it like to see our planet, and know that everything, all you could be, all you could ever love and long for.. was just floating before you. Did you write her name in the dirt when the cameras weren't looking? Surrounding both your initials with a heart for alien life to study millions of years from now? What was it like to love something so distant? What words did you use to bring the moon back to her? And what did you promise in the moons ear, about that girl back home? Can you, teach me, how to fall from the sky? I ask you this, not because I doubt your feat, I just want to know what it's like to go somewhere no man had ever been, just to find that she wasn't there. To realize your moon walk could never compare to the steps that led to her. I now know that the flight home means more. Every July I think of you. I imagine the summer of 1969, how lonely she must have felt while you were gone.. You never went back to the moon. And I believe that's because it dosen't take rockets to get you where you belong. I see that in this woman down the hall, sometimes she seems so much further. But I'm ready for whatever steps I must take to get to her.I have seem SO MANY skies.. but the moon, well, it always looks the same. So I gotta say, Neil, that rock you landed on, has got NOTHING on the rock she's landed on. You walked around, took samples and left.. She's built a fire cleaned up the place and I hope she decides to stay.. because on this rock.. we can breath. Mr. Armstrong, I don't have much, many times have I been upside down with trauma, but with these empty hands, comes a heart that is often more full than the moon. She's becoming my world, pulling me into orbit, and I now know that I may never find life outside of hers. I want to give her EVERYTHING I don't have yet.. So YES, for her, I would go to the moon and back.... But not without her. We'd claim the moon for each other, with flags made from sheets down the hall. And I'd risk it ALL to kiss her under the light of the earth, the brightness of home... but I can do all of that and more right here, where she is..And when we gaze up, her arms around ME, I will NOT promise her gifts of moon dust, or flights of fancy. Instead I will gladly give her all the earth she wants, in return for all the earth she is. The sound of her heart beat and laughter, and all the time it takes to return to fall from the sky,down the hall, and right into love. God, I'd do it every day, if I could just land next to her. One small step for man, but she's one giant leap for my kind.
Mike McGee
Rather later, she would attempt to pinpoint an exact moment when it happened, and she never had much luck with that—maybe it was months earlier, when he appeared on her front porch in his stupid hat, or on the platform on that wretched September 1st, or maybe it was long ago, in some unrecognizable, ever-­changing form, but whenever she thought about the matter in the months and years to come, she knew with absolute certainty that it happened no later than this moment. Possibly Lily did not fall in love with James Potter that night, but, she would later conclude, there was no time after it that she did not love him.
Jewels5 (The Life and Times)
Together, on his back porch, his cigarette smoke rising like incense to the heavens, we spoke to the God of grace we both are so grateful to know up close and personal. It may be the most beautiful prayer I've ever heard. Jesus, for some reason you've given us another day, and you've set us in Narnia. There are people who still think it's frozen, and there are people who are longing to be thawed but don't know it. God, I pray that what you've called us to do would be the subversive work of the kingdom, that we would help participate in the melting of Narnia, and that people would come alive and would drink and dance and sing and just celebrate life in ways that are so marvelous that the world would press its face against the glass and see the redeemed celebrate life. Amen.
Cathleen Falsani (Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace)
The more time that passes, what begins to seem uncanny to Ben is the fact that all the days ahead are such a darkness, that all of us move through our hours as if blindfolded, never knowing what will happen next. How can he send his daughter out into a world like that? But even an infant’s brain can predict the rough path of a falling object in flight. And so, maybe, in a way, Ben can see what’s coming: His girl will love and be loved. She will suffer, and she will cause suffering. She will be known and unknown. She will be content and discontented. She will sometimes be lonely and sometimes less so. She will dream and be dreamed of. She will grieve and be grieved for. She will struggle and triumph and fail. There will be days of spectacular beauty, sublime and unearned. There will be moments of rapture. She will sometimes feel afraid. The sun will warm her face. The earth will ground her body. And her heart—now thrumming strong and steady, against her father’s chest, as he rocks her to sleep on a porch swing one evening in early summer, at the very start of a life—that heart: it will beat, and it will someday cease to beat. And so much of this life will remain always beyond her understanding, as obscure as the landscapes of someone else’s dreams.
Karen Thompson Walker (The Dreamers)
Douglas is safe and Dad knew all along that I hid from Mom under the porch. He saved Douglas, but he never saved me. “And right there on the ground I decide I’m going to save anyone I can. It won’t matter if I’ve known them a day or a year or their whole life— I’ll never choose one person over the other, no matter who they are.
Betty Culley (The Name She Gave Me)
Now I'll never see him again, and maybe it's a good thing. He walked out of my life last night for once and for all. I know with sickening certainty that it's the end. There were just those two dates we had, and the time he came over with the boys, and tonight. Yet I liked him too much - - - way too much, and I ripped him out of my heart so it wouldn't get to hurt me more than it did. Oh, he's magnetic, he's charming; you could fall into his eyes. Let's face it: his sex appeal was unbearably strong. I wanted to know him - - - the thoughts, the ideas behind the handsome, confident, wise-cracking mask. "I've changed," he told me. "You would have liked me three years ago. Now I'm a wiseguy." We sat together for a few hours on the porch, talking, and staring at nothing. Then the friction increased, centered. His nearness was electric in itself. "Can't you see," he said. "I want to kiss you." So he kissed me, hungrily, his eyes shut, his hand warm, curved burning into my stomach. "I wish I hated you," I said. "Why did you come?" "Why? I wanted your company. Alby and Pete were going to the ball game, and I couldn't see that. Warrie and Jerry were going drinking; couldn't see that either." It was past eleven; I walked to the door with him and stepped outside into the cool August night. "Come here," he said. "I'll whisper something: I like you, but not too much. I don't want to like anybody too much." Then it hit me and I just blurted, "I like people too much or not at all. I've got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them." He was definite, "Nobody knows me." So that was it; the end. "Goodbye for good, then," I said. He looked hard at me, a smile twisting his mouth, "You lucky kid; you don't know how lucky you are." I was crying quietly, my face contorted. "Stop it!" The words came like knife thrusts, and then gentleness, "In case I don't see you, have a nice time at Smith." "Have a hell of a nice life," I said. And he walked off down the path with his jaunty, independent stride. And I stood there where he left me, tremulous with love and longing, weeping in the dark. That night it was hard to get to sleep.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
The fact that Cincinnati thought I resembled him in any way sickened me. It made me want to run and hide. When I was a child in Detroit and terrors chased me, I would run to my hiding spot, a crawl space under the front porch of the boardinghouse we lived in. I’d wedge my small body into the cool brown earth and lie there, escaping the ugliness that was inevitably going on above me. I’d plug my ears with my fingers and hum to block out the remnants of Mother’s toxic tongue or sharp backhand. It became a habit, humming, and a decade later, I was still doing it. Life had turned cold again, the safety of the cocoon under the porch was gone, and lying in the dirt had become a metaphor for my life.
Ruta Sepetys (Out of the Easy)
Can I make you happier with powder on my chest? Do you need a thousand movie shows? Sixteen million people to ride the bus with, hit the stop—I shoulda never let you go away from home—“ Rich lips brooded in my deaf ear. “The fog’ll fall all over you, Jacky, you’ll wait in fields—You’ll let me die—you wont come save me—I wont even know where your grave is—remember what you were like, where your house, what your life—you’ll die without knowing what happened to my face—my love—my youth—You’ll burn yourself out like a moth jumping in a locomotive boiler looking for light—Jacky—and you’ll be dead—and lose yourself from yourself—and forget—and sink—and me too—and what is all this then?” “I dont know—“ “Then come back to our porch of the river the night time the trees and you love stars—I hear the bus on the corner—where you’re getting off—no more, boy, no more—I saw, had visions and idees of you handsome my husband walking across the top of the America with your lantern... Out of her eyes I saw smoldering I’d like to rip this damn dress off and never see it again!
Jack Kerouac (Maggie Cassidy)
These were the distractions I had to choose from. There were no other lights burning downtown after nine o'clock. On starlight nights I used to pace up and down those long, cold streets, scowling at the little, sleeping houses on either side, with their storm-windows and covered back porches. They were flimsy shelters, most of them poorly built of light wood, with spindle porch-posts horribly mutilated by the turning-lathe. Yet for all their frailness, how much jealousy and envy and unhappiness some of them managed to contain! The life that went on in them seemed to me made up of evasions and negations; shifts to save cooking, to save washing and cleaning, devices to propitiate the tongue of gossip. This guarded mode of existence was like living under a tyranny. People's speech, their voices, their very glances, became furtive and repressed. Every individual taste, every natural appetite, was bridled by caution. The people asleep in those houses, I thought, tried to live like the mice in their own kitchens; to make no noise, to leave no trace, to slip over the surface of things in the dark. The growing piles of ashes and cinders in the back yards were the only evidence that the wasteful, consuming process of life went on at all. On Tuesday nights the Owl Club danced; then there was a little stir in the streets, and here and there one could see a lighted window until midnight. But the next night all was dark again.
Willa Cather (My Ántonia (Great Plains Trilogy, #3))
Life often is a bucket of water sitting on a farmer’s porch. Our choice is in the drinking.
Harley King (A Glimpse of Fear)
At some point I hope to have grown sufficiently in both stature and wisdom to understand that I cannot deliver myself from myself, and that God alone can save me from me.
Craig D. Lounsbrough (A View from the Front Porch: Encounters with Life and Jesus)
The problem is not that we don’t recognize the truth when we hear it. The problem is that we don’t want to recognize what the truth might mean for us if we hear it.
Craig D. Lounsbrough (A View from the Front Porch: Encounters with Life and Jesus)
This is my life; these are my fingerprints; I'm unique; this is what I want to do. You worry about your own front porch and what's happening in your own world.
Kelly Clarkson
That’s what I picture when I think about southern homes: lots of porches—and of course ceiling fans everywhere. It’s hot, y’all.
Reese Witherspoon (Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits)
The lifers who, even seven states away, are the porches where we land.
Ellen Watson
Life isn’t fair. If it was…” He looks around the porch before coming back to me. “If it was fair, you and I would’ve ended up together.
Adriana Locke (Tumble (Dogwood Lane, #1))
Again, the best consolation in old age is to live a noble life in accordance with our highest nature.
Kevin Vost (The Porch and the Cross: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Modern Christian Living)
At 6:15 she was standing on her front porch watering gardenias and watching another line of thunderstorms split and go around her. The same thing happened almost every day. Some days they came so close all she could smell was the rain. The wind whipped up dust from the fields until it drove like buckshot into the shuddering mesquites, and Clara Nell started to pray. 'Jesus,' she whispered. 'Jesus, Jesus....' But the only thing that came out of the sky was her topsoil. Every day the wind took a little more, and it hadn't rained in almost a year.
Andrew Geyer (Whispers in Dust and Bone: Andrew Geyer)
You're the most important person in my life," I whispered. "You're the only man I ever let in." "But I'm not in, Stace. I'm standing on the porch in the pouring rain, waiting for you to open the door. I've been waiting ever since you left after graduation, ever since you came back last year. Even now, you've let me into your bed, but not into your heart. I'm still waiting.
Barbra Annino (Emerald Isle (A Stacy Justice Mystery, #4))
The house had a private walk down to a private spit of beach, and in the mornings the four of them would troop downhill and swim—even he did, in his pants and undershirt and an old oxford shirt, which no one bothered him about—and then lie on the sand baking, the wet clothes ungluing themselves from his body as they dried. Sometimes Harold would come and watch them, or swim as well. In the afternoons, Malcolm and JB would pedal off through the dunes on bicycles, and he and Willem would follow on foot, picking up bits of shaley shells and the sad carapaces of long-nibbled-away hermit crabs as they went, Willem slowing his pace to match his own. In the evenings, when the air was soft, JB and Malcolm sketched and he and Willem read. He felt doped, on sun and food and salt and contentment, and at night he fell asleep quickly and early, and in the mornings he woke before the others so he could stand on the back porch alone looking over the sea.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
While I stood on the front porch, watching him climb into his vehicle, I breathed in the humid air. I looked at the cloudless sky, and the blue vastness of it made me think about the endless opportunities that lay ahead for me. Life, I knew, was going to be different now… better. I was going to live for today and for the future. Dear past… thank you for the lessons. Dear future… I am ready.
Debra Kay (EXcapades)
Let me sleep," he said, and shut the door; it clicked in her face and she felt animal terror - this was what she feared most in life: the clicking shut of a man's door in her face. Instantly, she raised her hand to knock, discovered the rock... she banged on the door with the rock, but not loudly, just enough to let him know how desperate she was to get back in, but not enough to bother him if he didn't want to answer. He didn't. No sound, no movement of the door. Nothing but the void. "Tony?" she gasped, pressing her ear to the door. Silence. "Okay," she said numbly; clutching her rock she walked unsteadily across the porch toward her own living quarters. The rock vanished. Her hand felt nothing. "Damn," she said, not knowing how to react. Where had it gone? Into air. But then it must have been an illusion, she realized. He put me in a hypnotic state and made me believe. I should have known it wasn't really true. A million stars burst into wheels of light, blistering, cold light, that drenched her. It came from behind and she felt the great weight of it crash into her. "Tony," she said, and fell into the waiting void. She thought nothing; she felt nothing. She saw only, saw the void as it absorbed her, waiting below and beneath her as she plummeted down the many miles. On her hands and knees she died. Alone on the porch. Still clutching for what did not exist.
Philip K. Dick (A Maze of Death)
Real patriotism embraces the wholly immovable belief that without freedom, the essence of the human soul and the life-breath of the human spirit is doomed to perish for lack of space and absence of light.
Craig D. Lounsbrough (A View from the Front Porch: Encounters with Life and Jesus)
I would entertain the apparently fading idea that patriotism that serves the self is greed dressed in the garments of liberty and adorned with the fashion accessories of other associated patriotic notions.
Craig D. Lounsbrough (A View from the Front Porch: Encounters with Life and Jesus)
Chelsea, I knew when you showed up on my porch that you were going to be trouble. You were bossy and annoying and you brought sunshine into a very dark time in my life. You saved me when I didn’t even know I needed saving. I love you for that. I will always love you for that.” He raised her hand to his lips and kissed the backs of her knuckles. “Please say you’ll stay in my life and make trouble with me forever.
Rachel Gibson (Nothing But Trouble (Chinooks Hockey Team, #5))
I think we need to consider a radical rewrite of any form of patriotism that serves the individual at the expense of the community, as that is nothing more than patriotism to one's own small and solitary cause.
Craig D. Lounsbrough (A View from the Front Porch: Encounters with Life and Jesus)
The next day, when I came home from the library, there was a small, used red record player in my room. I found my mother in the kitchen and spotted a bandage taped to her arm. “Ma,” I asked. “Where did you get the money for the record player?” “I had it saved,” she lied. My father lived well, had a large house and an expensive imported car, wanted for little, and gave nothing. My mother lived on welfare in a slum and sold her blood to the Red Cross to get me a record player. “Education is everything, Johnny,” she said, as she headed for the refrigerator to get me food. “You get smart like regular people and you don’t have to live like this no more.” She and I were not hugging types, but I put my hand on her shoulder as she washed the dishes with her back to me and she said, in best Brooklynese, “So go and enjoy, already.” My father always said I was my mother’s son and I was proud of that. On her good days, she was a good and noble thing to be a part of. That evening, I plugged in the red record player and placed it by the window. My mother and I took the kitchen chairs out to the porch and listened to Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony from beginning to end, as we watched the oil-stained waters of the Mad River roll by. It was a good night, another good night, one of many that have blessed my life.
John William Tuohy
When you have a child, you have to put things aside, though. You have to live for them, if not for yourself. I was aware of this. I knowed that I could not let myself die inside, so I struggled through and made a way for myself. Most important, I tried to find a way to get joy into my life. I made a way for the possibility of joy. I looked for it anywhere I could find it. I got up early and stepped out onto the porch to see day come in.
Silas House (A Parchment of Leaves)
Finn told me once, as we sat on the porch watching the sun go down, that one thing he remembered our mom telling him was that life sometimes gives you a tiny moment of peace when you need it most. And that you had to be careful and look out for it or you'd miss it. He'd said it just as the last sliver of the sun dipped below the horizon, leaving a flaming pick summer sky behind. We sat quiet in the still heat, and I'd thought I understood what he meant then, because it felt so good and safe to be sitting there with him next to me. Now though, I understood it with a depth that made me want to laugh and cry at the same time, and I wished more than anything I could tell him.
Jessi Kirby (In Honor)
Wait here.” I ran back up to my room to grab his blue-and-black plaid flannel shirt, still in my possession. Back on the porch, I handed it over. “My shirt. I forgot you had it.” “It’s ‘my’ shirt. You need to go home tonight and sleep in it. I made the mistake of washing it and now it doesn’t smell like you anymore.” He turned the shirt over and over in his hand, laughing and shaking his head. “And I want it back first thing in the morning. You read me?
Emma Scott (How to Save a Life (Dreamcatcher, #1))
But he was going to wake in the cold on the porch, with the same dying heart he’d had all his life. And with his son’s severed head on his chest, staring at him. He was going to learn exactly what he’d bought for himself, for his family.
Jonathan Moore (Close Reach: A Novel)
Ah, grief, I should not treat you like a homeless dog who comes in the back door for a crust, for a meatless bone. I should trust you. I should coax you into the house and give you your own corner, a worn mat to lie on, your own water dish. You think I don't know you've been living under my porch. You long for a real place to be readied before winter comes. You need the right to warn off intruders, to consider my house your own and me your person and yourself my own dog.
Denise Levertov (Life In the Forest)
What I saw was more than I could stand. The noise I heard had been made by Little Ann. All her life she had slept by Old Dan's side. And although he was dead, she had left the doghouse, had come back to the porch, and snuggled up by his side.
Wilson Rawls (Where the Red Fern Grows)
Nestled... In the dappled Spring sunlight peeking through oaks, maples, and Tulip poplar is a country house with pale-yellow siding. Across a corner of the weathered, wooden-slatted front porch, a vine lazily stretches to find a spot in the sun.
Christina M. Ward (organic)
We have forfeited our calling for the simple reason that we’ve ignored the God who says that the ‘possible’ is never bound by the ‘probable,’ and instead we’ve dutifully heeded the god of fear that incessantly says the ‘possible’ is anything but ‘probable.
Craig D. Lounsbrough (A View from the Front Porch: Encounters with Life and Jesus)
I can hear the moths crackling and burning on the bulb, I see myself as one of them, flitting around this porch light. I can imagine me bewitched by the wink and sparkle, but I couldn't imagine myself taking up camp here, forever. I am suddenly abundantly aware that this is not even summer yet. This is just a porch with a jerrybuilt swing and creaky planked floors, a frayed recliner, and splays of gray hairs just (now) taking root. I remember that first summer when we strung sprinklers like toy lanterns...
Heather Angelika Dooley (Ink Blot in a Poet's Bloodstream)
I love when I'm outside, feeling the sun on my skin. The grass, and the cats on the porch, and myself, all thirsting after the warmth, and finding it, make me know that there's something mighty about our planet and the whole works out there in the universe.
Jane Hamilton (The Book of Ruth)
Across the street and down the way the other houses stood with their flat fronts. What was it Clarisse had said one afternoon? “No front porches. My uncle says there used to be front porches. And people sat there sometimes at night, talking when they wanted to talk, rocking, and not talking when they didn’t want to talk. Sometimes they just sat there and thought about things, turned things over. My uncle says the architects got rid of the front porches because they didn’t look well. But my uncle says that was merely rationalizing it; the real reason, hidden underneath, might be they didn’t want people sitting like that, doing nothing, rocking, talking; that was the wrong kind of social life. People talked too much. And they had time to think. So they ran off with the porches. And the gardens, too. Not many gardens anymore to sit around in. And look at the furniture. No rocking chairs anymore. They’re too comfortable. Get people up and running around. My uncle says . . . and . . . my uncle . . . and . . . my uncle . . .” Her voice faded.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
There were bright balloons flying on both sides of the porch announcing the specialness of this day. It was what balloons did best, staying useful only for the amount of time your celebration lasted, physical symbols of that blast of happy and deflating when real life came back.
Lisa Burstein (Again)
Having no music doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. There're lots of other sounds that take its place -- the chirping of birds, the cries of all sorts of insects, the gurgle of the brook, the rustling of leaves. Rain falls, something scrambles across the cabin roof, and sometimes I hear indescribable sounds I can't explain. I ever knew the world was full of so many beautiful, natural sounds. I've ignored them my entire life, but not now. I sit on the porch for hours with my eyes closed, trying to be inconspicuous, picking up each and every sound around me.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Siren I became a criminal when I fell in love. Before that I was a waitress. I didn't want to go to Chicago with you. I wanted to marry you, I wanted Your wife to suffer. I wanted her life to be like a play In which all the parts are sad parts. Does a good person Think this way? I deserve Credit for my courage-- I sat in the dark on your front porch. Everything was clear to me: If your wife wouldn't let you go That proved she didn't love you. If she loved you Wouldn't she want you to be happy? I think now If I felt less I would be A better person. I was A good waitress. I could carry eight drinks. I used to tell you my dreams. Last night I saw a woman sitting in a dark bus-- In the dream, she's weeping, the bus she's on Is moving away. With one hand She's waving; the other strokes An egg carton full of babies. The dream doesn't rescue the maiden.
Louise Glück
This book is, in a way, a scrapbook of my writing life. From shopping the cathedral flea market in Barcelona with David Sedaris to having drinks at Cognac with Nora Ephron just months before she died. To the years of sporadic correspondence I had with Thom Jones and Ira Levin. I’ve stalked my share of mentors, asking for advice. Therefore, if you came back another day and asked me to teach you, I’d tell you that becoming an author involves more than talent and skill. I’ve known fantastic writers who never finished a project. And writers who launched incredible ideas, then never fully executed them. And I’ve seen writers who sold a single book and became so disillusioned by the process that they never wrote another. I’d paraphrase the writer Joy Williams, who says that writers must be smart enough to hatch a brilliant idea—but dull enough to research it, keyboard it, edit and re-edit it, market the manuscript, revise it, revise it, re-revise it, review the copy edit, proofread the typeset galleys, slog through the interviews and write the essays to promote it, and finally to show up in a dozen cities and autograph copies for thousands or tens of thousands of people… And then I’d tell you, “Now get off my porch.” But if you came back to me a third time, I’d say, “Kid…” I’d say, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Chuck Palahniuk (Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life After Which Everything Was Different)
Edward Lasco was on the screened porch of his rented house in a comfortable but not elegant older section of the town where he'd lived for the past fifteen years when his wife, Elise, who six months before had left him and moved to a nearby city to work in a psychiatric hospital, came around the side of the house and stood beside the screen looking in. She had on a business outfit—natural linen suit, knee-high boots, dark glasses with at least three distinguishable colors tiered top to bottom in the lenses—and she carried a slick briefcase, thin and shiny. Her hair was shorter than he'd seen it, styled in a peculiar way so that it seemed it spots to jerk away from her head, to say, "I'm hair, boy, and you'd better believe it." Edward had come outside with a one-pint carton of skim milk and a ninety-nine-cookie package of Oreos and a just-received issue of InfoWorld, and he was entirely content with the prospect of eating his cookies and drinking his milk and reading his magazine, but when he saw Elise he was filled with a sudden, very unpleasant sense that he didn't want to see her. It'd been a good two and a half months since he'd talked to her, and there she was looking like an earnest TV art director's version of the modern businesswoman; it made him feel that his life was fucked, and this was before she'd said a word.
Frederick Barthelme (Two Against One)
If the only thing I did for the rest of my life was treat others kindly, file manila folders, and sit on the porch watching the grass grow it would be enough. It had to be. I did the math. The number of people who actually achieve a significant legacy is trifling compared to the vast number who go from birth to death living relatively unremarkable lives (at least on the surface). And maybe that wasn't the failure I'd been conditioned to believe. Maybe there was something to be said in praise of an outwardly unremarkable life. Maybe there were deep everyday forms of magic that had nothing to do with profound acomplishments or a Twitter feed that resonated down through the ages.
Clara Bensen
As a Bolling in Feliciana Parish, I became accustomed to sitting on the porch in the dark and talking of the size of the universe and the treachery of men; as a Smith on the Gulf Coast I have become accustomed to eating crabs and drinking beer under a hundred and fifty watt bulb - and one is as pleasant a way as the other in passing a summer night.
Walker Percy (The Moviegoer)
Sethe, if I’m here with you, with Denver, you can go anywhere you want. Jump, if you want to, ’cause I’ll catch you, girl. I’ll catch you ’fore you fall. Go as far inside as you need to, I’ll hold your ankles. Make sure you get back out. I’m not saying this because I need a place to stay. That’s the last thing I need. I told you, I’m a walking man, but I been heading in this direction for seven years. Walking all around this place. Upstate, downstate, east, west; I been in territory ain’t got no name, never staying nowhere long. But when I got here and sat out there on the porch, waiting for you, well, I knew it wasn’t the place I was heading toward; it was you. We can make a life, girl. A life.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
My uncle says the architects got rid of the front porches because they didn’t look well. But my uncle says that was merely rationalizing it; the real reason, hidden underneath, might be they didn’t want people sitting like that, doing nothing, rocking, talking; that was the wrong kind of social life. People talked too much. And they had time to think.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
Things I've Learned in 18 Years of Life   1) True love is not something found, rather [sic] something encountered. You can’t go out and look for it. The person you marry and the person you love could easily be two different people. So have a beautiful life while waiting for God to bring along your once-in-a-lifetime love. Don't allow yourself to settle for anything less than them. Stop worrying about who you're going to marry because God's already on the front porch watching your grandchildren play.   2) God WILL give you more than you can handle, so you can learn to lean on him in times of need. He won't tempt you more than you can handle, though. So don't lose hope. Hope anchors the soul.   3) Remember who you are and where you came from. Remember that you are not from this earth. You are a child of heaven, you're invaluable, you are beautiful. Carry yourself that way.   4) Don't put your faith in humanity, humanity is inherently flawed. We are all imperfect people created and loved by a perfect God. Perfect. So put your faith in Him.   5) I fail daily, and that is why I succeed.   6) Time passes, and nothing and everything changes. Don't live life half asleep. Don't drag your soul through the days. Feel everything you do. Be there physically and mentally. Do things that make you feel this way as well.   7) Live for beauty. We all need beauty, get it where you can find it. Clothing, paintings, sculptures, music, tattoos, nature, literature, makeup. It's all art and it's what makes us human. Same as feeling the things we do. Stay human.   8) If someone makes you think, keep them. If someone makes you feel, keep them.   9) There is nothing the human brain cannot do. You can change anything about yourself that you want to. Fight for it. It's all a mental game.   10) God didn’t break our chains for us to be bound again. Alcohol, drugs, depression, addiction, toxic relationships, monotony and repetition, they bind us. Break those chains. Destroy your past and give yourself new life like God has given you.   11) This is your life. Your struggle, your happiness, your sorrow, and your success. You do not need to justify yourself to anyone. You owe no one an explanation for the choices that you make and the position you are in. In the same vein, respect yourself by not comparing your journey to anyone else's.   12) There is no wrong way to feel.   13) Knowledge is everywhere, keep your eyes open. Look at how diverse and wonderful this world is. Are you going to miss out on beautiful people, places, experiences, and ideas because you are close-minded? I sure hope not.   14) Selfless actions always benefit you more than the recipient.   15) There is really no room for regret in this life. Everything happens for a reason. If you can't find that reason, accept there is one and move on.   16) There is room, however, for guilt. Resolve everything when it first comes up. That's not only having integrity, but also taking care of your emotional well-being.   17) If the question is ‘Am I strong enough for this?’ The answer is always, ‘Yes, but not on your own.’   18) Mental health and sanity above all.   19) We love because He first loved us. The capacity to love is the ultimate gift, the ultimate passion, euphoria, and satisfaction. We have all of that because He first loved us. If you think about it in those terms, it is easy to love Him. Just by thinking of how much He loves us.   20) From destruction comes creation. Beauty will rise from the ashes.   21) Many things can cause depression. Such as knowing you aren't becoming the person you have the potential to become. Choose happiness and change. The sooner the better, and the easier.   22) Half of happiness is as simple as eating right and exercising. You are one big chemical reaction. So are your emotions. Give your body the right reactants to work with and you'll be satisfied with the products.
Scott Hildreth (Broken People)
Meridian First daylight on the bittersweet-hung sleeping porch at high summer; dew all over the lawn, sowing diamond- point-highlighted shadows; the hired man's shadow revolving along the walk, a flash of milkpails passing; no threat in sight, no hint anywhere in the universe, of that apathy at the meridian, the noon of absolute boredom; flies crooning black lullabies in the kitchen, milk-soured crocks, cream separator still unwashed; what is there to life but chores and more chores, dishwater, fatigue, unwanted children; nothing to stir the longueur of afternoon except possibly thunderheads; climbing, livid, turreted alabaster lit up from within by splendor and terror -- forded lightening's split-second disaster.
Amy Clampitt
What is God doing in my life? In the mornings, I wake to find that he has traced the world in silver. Every blade of grass. Each pumpkin on the porch. In the afternoons, I find him washing these fields with the mellow sunlight of autumn. He has gilded every rail in the fence and the sheet metal roof of the old red barn. He has transformed familiar trees into something otherworldly.
Christie Purifoy (Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons)
Sometimes on the front porch, sometimes at the river, sometimes up by the pond. Didn’t matter where: that was our thing, talking in the evenings. What we’d done at work, who we’d seen. That was all good and well, but there was more. We’d talk about what we wanted out of life. We’d talk about the future. Updates we might make to the farm. Places we wanted to take our children. How we wanted to be.
Kimi Cunningham Grant (These Silent Woods)
The problem is everyone, even Black people, believes that Black poverty is the worst poverty in the world, and Black urban poverty, forget it, and all urban Blackness always scans as poverty, which means people only love us as fetish. No one is sentimental about poor Black people unless they're wise and country and you could put a photograph of them on a porch with a quilt behind them in a museum.
Danielle Evans (The Office of Historical Corrections)
Irving’s story is the simplest. Whether by nature or as the result of his many troubles, Irving asked little of life and in that he was adequately answered. The group home kept him safe. The rocking chairs on the front porch were comfortable and the voices in his head weren’t too intrusive or demanding. From him I learned that sometimes when we strive less we end up with more of what we actually need.
Theresa Brown (The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives)
I think you marry the one who, when everything else is stripped away—money, job, arguments, disagreements—he’s still the one you’d want to sit with on the porch and . . . just . . . do nothing. Or do anything.” I looked down at my fingers spread out on top of the rolling cart next to me, each nail painted a smooth, glossy mother-of-pearl. Not a speck of dirt in sight. “Pick the one who matters more than all the stuff of life.
Lauren K. Denton (Glory Road)
Last weekend, grandad and I sat on the porch in silence at sunset. We admired the grapes hanging on the vines. Time passed and it did not matter. That moment was precious, that moment was to be cherished. That moment was a healer. That moment was rich, comfortable and words were unneeded. We had each other sitting side by side and the luxury of a moment lived in its full presence. That is all that mattered. The best things in life are really free.
Ana Ortega
I prayed that the Lord would help me to see my life from his point of view. It was then that I noticed it: as I looked around my house, I had dozens of PRIDE posters, T-shirts, coffee mugs. The flag that waved in the breeze at my porch was a PRIDE flag. Pride had become my best friend. In the LGBT world, we defined pride as a healthy self-esteem. But something started to crack a little and I dared to just ask the question: was I domesticating a tiger?
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ)
I imagined that a better world would be less complicated, less involved, and with less need to mass produce doorknobs and lock sets, electric outlets, power cords, frozen chicken wings, packages of steak, rubber bands, and a million little foam earbuds that slip over the broadcasting end of an iPod. I'd stand staring at Jenna's room, the recycling porch, and imagine what my life would be like if I could squeeze all my worldly possessions into a space like that.
Dee Williams
Before she could say anything more, Sabella swung around at the sound of Noah’s Harley purring to life behind the garage. God. He was dressed in snug jeans and riding chaps. A snug dark T-shirt covered his upper body, conformed to it. And he was riding her way. “Is there anything sexier than a man in riding chaps riding a Harley?” Kira asked behind her. “It makes a woman simply want to melt.” And Sabella was melting. She watched as he pulled around the side of the garage then took the gravel road that led to the back of the house. The sound of the Harley purred closer, throbbing, building the excitement inside her. “I think it’s time for me to leave,” Kira said with a light laugh. “Don’t bother to see me out.” Sabella didn’t. She listened as the Harley drew into the graveled lot behind the house and moved to the back door. She opened it, stepping out on the back deck as he swung his legs over the cycle and strode toward her. That long-legged lean walk. It made her mouth water. Made her heart throb in her throat as hunger began to race through her. “The spa treated you well,” he announced as he paused at the bottom of the steps and stared back at her. “Feel like messing your hair up and going out this evening? We could have dinner in town. Ride around a little bit.” She hadn’t ridden on a motorcycle since she was a teenager. She glanced at the cycle, then back to Noah. “I’d need to change clothes.” His gaze flickered over her short jeans skirt, her T-shirt. “That would be a damned shame too,” he stated. “I have to say, Ms. Malone, you have some beautiful legs there.” No one had ever been as charming as Nathan. She remembered when they were dating, how he would just show up, out of the blue, driving that monster pickup of his and grinning like a rogue when he picked her up. He’d been the epitome of a bad boy, and he had been all hers. He was still all hers. “Bare legs and motorcycles don’t exactly go together,” she pointed out. He nodded soberly, though his eyes had a wicked glint to them. “This is a fact, beautiful. And pretty legs like that, we wouldn’t want to risk.” She leaned against the porch post and stared back at him. “I have a pickup, you know.” She propped one hand on her hip and stared back at him. “Really?” Was that avarice she saw glinting in his eyes, or for just the slightest second, pure, unadulterated joy at the mention of that damned pickup? He looked around. “I haven’t seen a pickup.” “It’s in the garage,” she told him carelessly. “A big black monster with bench seats. Four-by-four gas-guzzling alpha-male steel and chrome.” He grinned. He was so proud of that damned pickup. “Where did something so little come up with a truck that big?” he teased her then. She shrugged. “It belonged to my husband. Now, it belongs to me.” That last statement had his gaze sharpening. “You drive it?” “All the time,” she lied, tormenting him. “I don’t have to worry about pinging it now that my husband is gone. He didn’t like pings.” Did he swallow tighter? “It’s pinged then?” She snorted. “Not hardly. Do you want to drive the monster or question me about it? Or I could change into jeans and we could ride your cycle. Which is it?” Which was it? Noah stared back at her, barely able to contain his shock that she had kept the pickup. He knew for a fact there were times the payments on the house and garage had gone unpaid—his “death” benefits hadn’t been nearly enough—almost risking her loss of both during those first months of his “death.” Knowing she had held on to that damned truck filled him with more pleasure than he could express. Knowing she was going to let someone who wasn’t her husband drive it filled him with horror. The contradictor feelings clashed inside him, and he promised himself he was going to spank her for this.
Lora Leigh (Wild Card (Elite Ops, #1))
I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and took a walk around the house. Alex’s mother cat just had a batch of baby kittens and I sat on the porch and just kept looking at them. It was a revelation! Without drugs! Without anything but kittens whose fur is like all the softness in the world put together. It was so soft that when I closed my eyes I wasn’t sure I was even touching it, I put the little gray one, named Happiness, up to my ear, and felt the warmth in her tiny body and listened to her incredible purring. Then she tried to nurse my ear and the feeling in me was so big I thought I was going to break wide open. It was better than a drug trip, a thousand times better, a million times, a trillion times. These things are real! The softness was not a hallucination; the sounds of the night, the cars swishing by, the crickets. I was really there. I heard it! I saw it and I felt it and that’s the way I want life to always be! And that’s the way it will be!
Beatrice Sparks (Go Ask Alice)
A man who wants to wake up only to you. Loves listening to everything your intriguing brain has to share. Gets lost in you, your eyes, your hair, your grace—and your lack of grace. A man happily stomaching your failed cooking attempts with only a small, well-hidden grimace. Someone who would describe their perfect night as drinking a bottle of wine with you on the porch while you read the best parts of your trashy novels aloud. The best part of their life is the part they share with you.
Amy Alves (The Experiment (Landry Love, #1))
You came all this way for a whore?” Albert asked, and Royce shot him a harsh look. “Don’t call her that if you want to live a long and happy life,” Hadrian said as they dismounted. “But this is a whorehouse—a brothel, right? And you’re here to see a woman, so—” “So keep talking, Albert.” Hadrian tied his horse to the post. “Just let me get farther away.” Gwen saved our lives,” Royce said, looking up at the porch. “I beat on doors. I even yelled for help.” He looked at Albert, letting that image sink in. Yes, I yelled for help. “No one cared.” Royce gestured toward Hadrian. “He was dying in a pool of blood, and I was about to pass out. Broken leg, my side sliced open, the world spinning. Then she was there saying, ‘I’ve got you. You’ll be all right now.’ We would have died in the mud and the rain, but she took us in, nursed us back to health. People were after us—lots of people … lots of powerful people—but she kept us hidden for weeks, and she never asked for payment or explanation. She never asked for anything.” Royce turned back to Albert. “So if you call her a whore again, I’ll cut your tongue out and nail it to your chest.” Albert nodded. “Point taken.” Royce climbed the steps to the House and rapped once. Albert leaned over to Hadrian and whispered, “He knocks at a—” “Royce can still hear you.” Hadrian stopped him. “Really?” “Pretty sure. You have no idea how much trouble I got into before I learned that. Now I never say anything I don’t want him to know.
Michael J. Sullivan (The Rose and the Thorn (The Riyria Chronicles, #2))
They did not awaken quickly, nor fling about nor shock their systems with any sudden movement. No, they arose from slumber as gently as a soap bubble floats out from its pipe. Down into the gulch they trudged, still only half awake. Gradually their wills coagulated. They built a fire and boiled some tea and drank it from the fruit jars, and at last they settled in the sun on the front porch. The flaming flies made halos about their heads. Life took shape about them, the shape of yesterday and of tomorrow. Discussion began slowly, for each man treasured the little sleep he still possessed. From this time until well after noon, intellectual comradeship came into being. Then roofs were lifted, houses peered into, motives inspected, adventures recounted. Ordinarily their thoughts went first to Cornelia Ruiz, for it was a rare day and night during which Cornelia had not some curious and interesting adventure. And it was an unusual adventure from which no moral lesson could be drawn. The sun glistened in the pine needles. The earth smelled dry and good. The rose of Castile perfumed the world with its flowers. This was one of the best of times for the friends of Danny. The struggle for existence was remote. They sat in judgment on their fellows, judging not for morals, but for interest. Anyone having a good thing to tell saved it for recounting at this time. The big brown butterflies came to the rose and sat on the flowers and waved their wings slowly, as though they pumped honey out by wing power.
John Steinbeck (Tortilla Flat)
Anyone who could have seen her in front of the mirror, in ecstasy over her own regal gestures, would have had reason to think that she was mad. But she was not. She had simply turned the royal regalia into a device for her memory. The first time she put it on she could not help a knot from forming in her heart and her eyes filling with tears because at that moment she smelled once more the odor of shoe polish on the boots of the officer who came to get her at her house to make her a queen, and her soul brightened with the nostalgia of her lost dreams. She felt so old, so worn out, so far away from the best moments of her life that she even yearned for those that she remembered as the worst, and only then did she discover how much she missed the whiff of oregano on the porch and the smell of roses at dusk, and even the bestial nature of the parvenus. Her heart of compressed ash, which had resisted the most telling blows of daily reality without strain, fell apart with the first waves of nostalgia.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
Once when Boughton and I had spent an evening going through our texts together and we were done talking them over, I walked him out to the porch, and there were more fireflies out there than I had ever seen in my life, thousands of them everywhere, just drifting up out of the grass, extinguishing themselves in midair. We sat on the steps a good while in the dark and the silence, watching them. Finally Boughton said, “Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.” And really, it was that night as if the earth were smoldering. Well, it was, and it is. An old fire will make a dark husk for itself and settle in on its core, as in the case of this planet. I believe the same metaphor may describe the human individual, as well. Perhaps Gilead. Perhaps civilization. Prod a little and the sparks will fly. I don’t know whether the verse put a blessing on the fireflies or the fireflies put a blessing on the verse, or if both of them together put a blessing on trouble, but I have loved them both a good deal ever since.
Marilynne Robinson (Gilead)
THE FOOL WHO FEEDS THE MONSTER. I knew I had to find this century-old drawing, though I wasn’t sure why. As I rode the escalator through the glass canyon of the atrium and into the bowels of the central branch of the Los Angeles Public Library to search for it, it struck me that I wasn’t just looking for some rare old newspaper. I was looking for myself. I knew who that fool was. He was me. In addiction circles, those in recovery also use the image of the monster as a warning. They tell the story of a man who found a package on his porch. Inside was a little monster, but it was cute, like a puppy. He kept it and raised it. The more he fed it, the bigger it got and the more it needed to be fed. He ignored his worries as it grew bigger, more intimidating, demanding, and unpredictable, until one day, as he was playing with it, the monster attacked and nearly killed him. The realization that the situation was more than he could handle came too late—the man was no longer in control. The monster had a life of its own.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
I was thinking about Leon and our affinity for busyness, when I happened upon a book called In Praise of Slowness, written by Carl Honoré. In that book he describes a New Yorker cartoon that illustrates our dilemma. Two little girls are standing at a school-bus stop, each clutching a personal planner. One says to the other, “Okay, I’ll move ballet back an hour, reschedule gymnastics, and cancel piano. You shift your violin lessons to Thursday and skip soccer practice. That gives us from 3:15 to 3:45 on Wednesday the sixteenth to play.” This, I suppose, is how the madness starts. Pay close attention to the words Honoré uses to describe this fast-life/slow-life dichotomy. “Fast is busy, controlling, aggressive, hurried, analytical, stressed, superficial, impatient, active, quantity-over-quality. Slow is the opposite: calm, careful, receptive, intuitive, unhurried, patient, reflective, quality-over-quantity…. It is seeking to live at what musicians call the tempo giusto—the right speed.”* Which of those lifestyles would you prefer?
Philip Gulley (Porch Talk: Stories of Decency, Common Sense, and Other Endangered Species)
You might if you had a gun, he told Bookbinder. With his left hand the old man moved the shawl. It slid off his lap soundlessly onto the porch. He was holding trained on Sutter an enormous old dragoon revolver, and its hammer was thumbed back. It so surprised Sutter that he released his grip on the goat. When it jerked away and fled, Sutter looked down at the knife he was holding. It ain’t loaded, he said. I done a lot of foolish things in my life, Bookbinder said, but I ain’t never threatened to kill a man with a empty pistol.
William Gay (Twilight)
Sighs, the rhythms of our heartbeats, contractions of childbirth, orgasms, all flow into time just as pendulum clocks placed next to one another soon beat in unison. Fireflies in a tree flash on and off as one. The sun comes up and it goes down. The moon waxes and wanes and usually the morning paper hits the porch at six thirty-five. Time stops when someone dies. Of course it stops for them, maybe, but for the mourners time runs amok. Death comes too soon. It forgets the tides, the days growing longer and shorter, the moon. It rips up the calendar. You aren't at your desk or on the subway or fixing dinner for the children. You're reading People in a surgery waiting room, or shivering outside on a balcony smoking all night long. You stare into space, sitting in your childhood bedroom with the globe on the desk. Persia, the Belgian Congo. The bad part is that when you return to your ordinary life all the routines, the marks of the day, seem like senseless lies. All is suspect, a trick to lull us, to rock us back into the placid relentlessness of time.
Lucia Berlin (A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories)
It’s your life time that is short and running out all the time So what are you doing taking drugs? Why are you putting cigarette smoke in those beautiful lungs of yours? What are you drinking that poison for? Weeks ago sections of this city burned to the ground For nothing Months ago my best friend was shot in the face and killed on my front porch For nothing Life time’s up for him You’re different You’re alive, you’re breathing I’d like to see you stay that way Don’t do anything for nothing You’re too important This trip is all about you
Henry Rollins (See A Grown Man Cry/Now Watch Him Die)
Publishing a book, Watching its ways Force me to look At a screen for days "Be still, be still", My heart screams for life But I must check its sales, It's reviews, its likes. Another Instagram poet Who's dying And doesn't know it, Untying an underlying Knot of desire To be liked and admired For people to love what transpires From my mind, but I'm tired Of the social machine Producing my insecurity Hoping someone will follow me And like all my poetry From this point forth, find me nowhere, Socially unseen, Just on the back porch, without a care And without a screen
Eric Overby (Senses)
Not just one day, you will live many days,” the doctor would answer, “you will live months and years, too.” “But what are years, what are months!” he would exclaim. “Why count the days, when even one day is enough for a man to know all happiness. My dears, why do we quarrel, boast before each other, remember each other’s offenses? Let us go to the garden, let us walk and play and love and praise and kiss each other, and bless our life.” “He’s not long for this world, your son,” the doctor said to mother as she saw him to the porch, “from sickness he is falling into madness.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov: A Novel in Four Parts With Epilogue)
Not just one day, you will live many days,” the doctor would answer, “you will live months and years, too.” “But what are years, what are months!” he would exclaim. “Why count the days, when even one day is enough for a man to know all happiness. My dears, why do we quarrel, boast before each other, remember each other’s offenses? Let us go to the garden, let us walk and play and love and praise and kiss each other, and bless our life.” “He’s not long for this world, your son,” the doctor said to mother as she saw him to the porch, “from sickness he is falling into madness.” The
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov: A Novel in Four Parts With Epilogue)
never so happy in my whole life. Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines he wrote a poem And he called it “Chops” because that was the name of his dog And that’s what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and a gold star And his mother hung it on the kitchen door and read it to his aunts That was the year Father Tracy took all the kids to the zoo And he let them sing on the bus And his little sister was born with tiny toenails and no hair And his mother and father kissed a lot And the girl around the corner sent him a Valentine signed with a row of X’s and he had to ask his father what the X’s meant And his father always tucked him in bed at night And was always there to do it Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines he wrote a poem And he called it “Autumn” because that was the name of the season And that’s what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and asked him to write more clearly And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because of its new paint And the kids told him that Father Tracy smoked cigars And left butts on the pews And sometimes they would burn holes That was the year his sister got glasses with thick lenses and black frames And the girl around the corner laughed when he asked her to go see Santa Claus And the kids told him why his mother and father kissed a lot And his father never tucked him in bed at night And his father got mad when he cried for him to do it. Once on a paper torn from his notebook he wrote a poem And he called it “Innocence: A Question” because that was the question about his girl And that’s what it was all about And his professor gave him an A and a strange steady look And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because he never showed her That was the year that Father Tracy died And he forgot how the end of the Apostle’s Creed went And he caught his sister making out on the back porch And his mother and father never kissed or even talked And the girl around the corner wore too much makeup That made him cough when he kissed her but he kissed her anyway because that was the thing to do And at three A.M. he tucked himself into bed his father snoring soundly That’s why on the back of a brown paper bag he tried another poem And he called it “Absolutely Nothing” Because that’s what it was really all about And he gave himself an A and a slash on each damned wrist And he hung it on the bathroom door because this time he didn’t think he could reach the kitchen.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Samuel had strengthened the blood-tie between them, but no more than this. They would cherish each other in sickness and in health, walk through life sharing its pleasures and its sorrows, sleep side by side at night in the little room above the porch, grow old and frail, resting at last, not parted, in Lanoc Churchyard—but from the beginning to the end they would have no knowledge of one another. Janet’s feeling for Samuel ran parallel to her feeling for Thomas. The one was her husband, the other was her child. Samuel depended on her for care and for comfort until he should grow old enough to look after himself. She washed him and dressed him, seated him beside her in his high chair at table and fed him, helped him with his first steps and his first words, gave him all the tenderness and the affection he demanded from her. She gave to both Thomas and Samuel her natural spontaneity of feeling and a great simplicity of heart; but the spirit of Janet was free and unfettered, waiting to rise from its self-enforced seclusion to mingle with intangible things, like the wind, the sea, and the skies, hand in hand with the one for whom she waited. Then she, too, would become part of these things forever, abstract and immortal. Because
Daphne du Maurier (The Loving Spirit)
You can have that life,” he told her. “It’s right there for you to take.” “I love you,” Eve quickly countered. “Loving me hurts you, doesn’t it?” Beckett asked, looking down. “No, you don’t have to tell me. I know. I can smell it. I can smell the pain coming off of you,” he said, looking at the floor. “You had love before and a future. What does loving me get you, Eve? What does it get you?” He stood, angry with himself. “I don’t need to get anything from you. It’s the way it is. There’s no changing that.” She gripped the porch railing. Beckett stepped close to Eve and tenderly tucked a lock of hair that had escaped her ponytail behind her ear. “You’re saying goodbye,” she said, her eyes full of questions. “Do you know there are other little girls out there like that one? I lived with a few of them. They would sell their souls for a mother like you.” At the word mother Eve’s chin crumpled. She tried to hold back the tears, but they wouldn’t obey. “See that? It’s what you need. You need that—a little kid calling you Mom.” Beckett put his arms around her as she shattered. The pain she kept hidden surfaced from where it had been smoldering. When he felt her knees weaken, he hugged her harder. “That’s right. It’s okay. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, baby. You want normal.” He guided her to the chair he’d vacated. “There’s a guy out there who’ll hold your hand. There’s a little girl out there. She’s waiting for you. It’ll be okay. It’ll be okay.” He knelt in front of her and rubbed her arms. She slapped at his hands, letting outrage carry her words. “I don’t want another man. I want you. I’ve killed for you. I’ve protected you. What the hell do you think you’re doing? Do you honestly think these hands that kill can hold a child?” She held her fingers in front of her face. “Yes. Absolutely. Don’t you know, gorgeous? Mothers are some of the most vicious killers out there, if their kids are threatened. You just have more practice.” He took her hands and kissed them. “I’ve lost too much. I can’t lose you. Don’t make me. Please. I’ll beg you if I have to.” She watched his lips on her palms. He shook his head and used her own words against her. “The hardest part of loving someone is not being with them when you want to be.” He stood, and she mirrored his motion,already shaking her head. “Don’t say it.” Beckett ignored her; he knew what he had to do. He had to set beautiful Eve free to find that soft, touchable woman he’d seen her become with the little girl.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
This pandemic is world reset. We have a chance to change the world. What is has proven is no matter what your politics, no matter what your religion, no matter what your job status. We are all brother and sister in the world together. Human kindness has come out in so many ways. Can't buy a mask people make it for you. Don't have food, let me drop some off at your porch. Love is all around you. All you have to do is look! I think the world need a hippie right now and I am going to be a tad optimistic. Some advise from the original hippie. Love Thy Neighbor As Yourself. Let's have that as the new rule in this world reset.
Johnny Corn
What’s going on?” He looked up at me, a scowl marring his cherubic features. “Bloody handcuffs—made of steel, which has too much iron, which means I can’t go anywhere.” “Well, yes, clearly, but what’s going on?” “Search me. Oh wait, they already did. You know, I take back everything I said about you being my only friend. I don’t like you at all. No amount of fun makes up for all the pain and annoyance you introduce into my life.” “Right back at ’cha,” I muttered, walking past him. I wished I had Tasey, but then again, being armed right now was probably a bad idea. I wondered why no one was watching Jack, but that was quickly answered when I walked past the corner of the unattached garage and had a view of the wraparound porch. Arianna stood there, continuing her verbal abuse, surrounded by a dozen uniformed men. I shouldn’t have found the sight amusing, but she had all of them fighting with one another. Clearly her vampire powers of compelling people were in full force, but since she could only push someone in a direction they were inclined to go anyway, the only police she could affect were those that felt some sympathy for her. Those ones were passionately arguing with the others to leave Arianna the creatively-cuss-laden-adjectives alone.
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
I’d been reflecting on this--the drastic turn my life and my outlook on love had taken--more and more on the evenings Marlboro Man and I spent together, the nights we sat on his quiet porch, with no visible city lights or traffic sounds anywhere. Usually we’d have shared a dinner, done the dishes, watched a movie. But we’d almost always wind up on his porch, sitting or standing, overlooking nothing but dark, open countryside illuminated by the clear, unpolluted moonlight. If we weren’t wrapped in each other’s arms, I imagined, the quiet, rural darkness might be a terribly lonely place. But Marlboro Man never gave me a chance to find out.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
I trudge toward the porch, entertaining the idea of running the other way. But technically, I shouldn't be in any trouble. It wasn't my car. I'm not the one who got a ticket. Samantha Forza did. And the picture on Samantha Forza's driver's license looks a lot like Rayna. She told Officer Downing that she swerved to keep from hitting a camel, which Officer Downing graciously interpreted as a deer after she described it as "a hairy animal with four legs and a horn." Since no one formed a search party to look for either a camel or a unicorn, I figured we were in the clear. But from Mom's expression, I'm miles from clear. "Hi," I say as I reach the steps. "We'll see about that," she says, grabbing my face and shining a pen light in my eyes. I slap it away. "Really? You're checking my pupils? Really?" "Hal said you looked hazy," she says, clipping the pen back on the neckline of her scrubs. "Hal? Who's Hal?" "Hal is the paramedic who took your signature when you declined medical treatment. He radioed in to the hospital after he left you." "Oh. Well, then Hal would have noticed I was just in an accident, so I might have been a little out of it. Doesn't mean I was high." So it wasn't small-town gossip, it was small-county gossip. Good ole Hal's probably transported hundreds of patients to my mom in the ER two towns over. She scowls. "Why didn't you call me? Who is Samantha?" I sigh and push past her. There's no reason to have this conversation on the porch. She follows me into the house. "She's Galen's sister. I didn't call because I didn't have a signal on my cell. We were on a dead road." "Where was Galen? Why were you driving his car?" "He was home. We were just taking it for a drive. He didn't want to come." Technically, all these statements are true, so they sound believable when I say them. Mom snorts and secures the dead bolt on the front door. "Probably because he knows his sister is life threatening behind the wheel." "Probably.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Oh God,was all Keeley could think. Oh God, get me out of here. When they swung through the stone pillars at Royal Meadows,she had to fight the urge to cheer. "I'm so glad our schedules finally clicked. Life gets much too demanding and complicated, doesn't it? There's nothing more relaxing than a quiet dinner for two." Any more relaxed, Keeley thought, and unconsciousness would claim her. "It was nice of you to ask me, Chad." She wondered how rude it would be to spring out of the car before it stopped, race to the house and do a little dance of relief on the front porch. Pretty rude,she decided.Okay, she'd skip the dance. "Drake and Pamela-you know the Larkens of course-are having a little soiree next Sunday evening.Why don't I pick you up at eightish?" It took her a minute to get over the fact he'd actually used the word soiree in a sentence. "I really can't Chad. I have a full day of lessons on Saturday. By the time it's done I'm not fit for socializing.But thanks." She slid her hand to the door handle, anticipating escape. "Keeyley,you can't let your little school eclipse so much of your life." Her and stiffened,and though she could see the lights of home, she turned her head and studied his perfect profile. One day,someone was going to refer to the academy as her little school, and she was going to be very rude.And rip their throat out.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
The Garden of Proserpine" Here, where the world is quiet; Here, where all trouble seems Dead winds' and spent waves' riot In doubtful dreams of dreams; I watch the green field growing For reaping folk and sowing, For harvest-time and mowing, A sleepy world of streams. I am tired of tears and laughter, And men that laugh and weep; Of what may come hereafter For men that sow to reap: I am weary of days and hours, Blown buds of barren flowers, Desires and dreams and powers And everything but sleep. Here life has death for neighbour, And far from eye or ear Wan waves and wet winds labour, Weak ships and spirits steer; They drive adrift, and whither They wot not who make thither; But no such winds blow hither, And no such things grow here. No growth of moor or coppice, No heather-flower or vine, But bloomless buds of poppies, Green grapes of Proserpine, Pale beds of blowing rushes Where no leaf blooms or blushes Save this whereout she crushes For dead men deadly wine. Pale, without name or number, In fruitless fields of corn, They bow themselves and slumber All night till light is born; And like a soul belated, In hell and heaven unmated, By cloud and mist abated Comes out of darkness morn. Though one were strong as seven, He too with death shall dwell, Nor wake with wings in heaven, Nor weep for pains in hell; Though one were fair as roses, His beauty clouds and closes; And well though love reposes, In the end it is not well. Pale, beyond porch and portal, Crowned with calm leaves, she stands Who gathers all things mortal With cold immortal hands; Her languid lips are sweeter Than love's who fears to greet her To men that mix and meet her From many times and lands. She waits for each and other, She waits for all men born; Forgets the earth her mother, The life of fruits and corn; And spring and seed and swallow Take wing for her and follow Where summer song rings hollow And flowers are put to scorn. There go the loves that wither, The old loves with wearier wings; And all dead years draw thither, And all disastrous things; Dead dreams of days forsaken, Blind buds that snows have shaken, Wild leaves that winds have taken, Red strays of ruined springs. We are not sure of sorrow, And joy was never sure; To-day will die to-morrow; Time stoops to no man's lure; And love, grown faint and fretful, With lips but half regretful Sighs, and with eyes forgetful Weeps that no loves endure. From too much love of living, From hope and fear set free, We thank with brief thanksgiving Whatever gods may be That no life lives for ever; That dead men rise up never; That even the weariest river Winds somewhere safe to sea. Then star nor sun shall waken, Nor any change of light: Nor sound of waters shaken, Nor any sound or sight: Nor wintry leaves nor vernal, Nor days nor things diurnal; Only the sleep eternal In an eternal night.
Algernon Charles Swinburne (Poems and Ballads & Atalanta in Calydon)
On my second afternoon at Grandma’s, she waved me over from where I was sitting on the front porch, waiting for the mailman. She introduced herself as Roberta and asked me to run to the store for a pack of Newports. When I returned, she waved away the change and proceeded to dazzle me with her exotic life story. She had once been married to a sword swallower who was now in jail where he belonged. Her second husband, the Canuck, God love him, was dead. Roberta had traveled with the Canuck to both Alaska and Hawaii and liked Alaska better. She’d dreamed President Kennedy’s assassination the week before it happened. She had been a vegetarian since the day in 1959 when she opened up a can of beef stew and found a baby rat.
Wally Lamb (She's Come Undone)
So some hope. I am going to be honest. It's gonna get way worse. Brace yourself. BUT ALSO know there is a new tomorrow. Be grateful for everyday you are on this big blue marble because death is for a real long time. Life is brief. The world is better with you on it. Trust me when I say I understand how you feel! I understand depression. You know what helps. I say read a book or watch comedy, not mine necessarily. Just think about it. Who moves you? What comedy do you love? Not into comedy, listen to music, hell go to your porch and watch what's going on. Wild life isn't just lions and frogs but also squirrels and Birds. Like someone fun? Watch him or her or they or whomever. Look you'll get through this! Stay in together!
Johnny Corn
Well,” Leigh said, because there was nothing else. She looked back at the picture of herself and Pam in the blue dresses. “We did have it easier than she did. I’m sure we did. And I should thank her for that, I guess.” Pam nodded. She looked calm, untroubled. Leigh, tapped her foot on the ottoman and glanced at her mother’s photographs. “But it felt like that was all she saw when she looked at us.” She leaned forward to get Pam’s attention. She wanted her sister to understand, to see things the way she had. “You know? I always felt like she never saw me, me as a individual. Do you know what I am saying? She gave us everything she ever wanted. But she never thought about what we wanted that it may be different. Or that we might need something that she didn’t. She never saw us separate from herself. She never saw us.” She paused, nodding in agreement with herself. That was it. She decided. She’d never put words to the feeling before, but that was it. That had been the whole trouble between them. But when she looked back at Pam, her satisfaction vanished. Her sister’s mouth was pulled tight, her eyes wide. She looked away from Leigh, saying nothing, still the loyal confidante. But Leigh already knew. She knew what she couldn’t guess before, what Pam thought of the two of them on the porch swing, Kara talking, Pam listening. Leigh didn’t have to guess anymore. She could hear the words come out of her daughter’s mouth as clearly as they’d just come out of her own.
Laura Moriarty (The Rest of Her Life)
Once again this unspeakable man had caused her to make a complete fool of herself, and the realization made her eyes blaze with renewed fury as she turned her head and looked at him. Despite Ian’s apparent nonchalance he had been watching her closely, and he stiffened, sensing instinctively that she was suddenly and inexplicably angrier than before. He nodded to the gun, and when he spoke there was no more mockery in his voice; instead it was carefully neutral. “I think there are a few things you ought to consider before you use that.” Though she had no intention of using it, Elizabeth listened attentively as he continued in that same helpful voice. “First of all, you’ll have to be very fast and very calm if you intend to shoot me and reload before Jake there gets to you. Second, I think it’s only fair to warn you that there’s going to be a great deal of blood all over the place. I’m not complaining, you understand, but I think it’s only right to warn you that you’re never again going to be able to wear that charming gown you have on.” Elizabeth felt her stomach lurch. “You’ll hang, of course,” he continued conversationally, “but that won’t be nearly as distressing as the scandal you’ll have to face first.” Too disgusted with herself and with him to react to that last mocking remark, Elizabeth put her chin up and managed to say with great dignity, “I’ve had enough of this, Mr. Thornton. I did not think anything could equal your swinish behavior at our prior meetings, but you’ve managed to do it. Unfortunately, I am not so ill-bred as you and therefore have scruples against assaulting someone who is weaker than I, which is what I would be doing if I were to shoot an unarmed man. Lucinda, we are leaving,” she said, then she glanced back at her silent adversary, who’d taken a threatening step, and she shook her head, saying with extreme, mocking civility, “No, please-do not bother to see us out, sir, there’s no need. Besides, I wish to remember you just as you are at this moment-helpless and thwarted.” It was odd, but now, at the low point of her life, Elizabeth felt almost exhilarated because she was finally doing something to avenge her pride instead of meekly accepting her fate. Lucinda had marched out onto the porch already, and Elizabeth tried to think of something to dissuade him from retrieving his gun when she threw it away outside. She decided to repeat his own advice, which she began to do as she backed away toward the door. “I know you’re loath to see us leave like this,” she said, her voice and her hand betraying a slight, fearful tremor. “However, before you consider coming after us, I beg you will take your own excellent advice and pause to consider if killing me is worth hanging for.” Whirling on her heel, Elizabeth took one running step, then cried out in pained surprise as she was jerked off her feet and a hard blow to her forearm sent the gun flying to the floor at the same time her arm was yanked up and twisted behind her back. “Yes,” he said in an awful voice near her ear, “I actually think it would be worth it.” Just when she thought her arm would surely snap, her captor gave her a hard shove that sent her stumbling headlong out into the yard, and the door slammed shut behind her. “Well! I never,” Lucinda said, her bosom heaving with rage as she glowered at the closed door. “Neither have I,” said Elizabeth, shaking dirt off her hem and deciding to retreat with as much dignity as possible. “We can talk about what a madman he is once we’re down the path, out of sight of the house. So if you’ll please take that end of the trunk?” With a black look Lucinda complied, and they marched down the path, both of them concentrating on keeping their backs as straight as possible.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Courtney, I had this all planned out, and I wanted to make it so special for you, but something just came over me, and I…well, shit…I couldn’t wait another minute. I love you, Courtney. I want to love you for the rest of my life. I want to wake up to you every morning and lie down next to you every night. I want to make love to you on our kitchen island as much as we want to. I want to sit with you on the back porch and watch you while you’re lost in one of your books. I want to see your stomach getting bigger with our kids, and hell, I even want to fight with you and then have make-up sex. I want the world for both of us, and more than anything, I want to make all your dreams come true. I want to be your Prince Charming, Courtney. I want to be your everything. Will you marry me?
Kelly Elliott (Broken Dreams (Broken, #2))
i’m willing to gamble with my life. i won’t gamble with theirs. they don’t deserve that.” “you don’t have to,” andrew said. “i do, and i say the odds are good.” neil said nothing. andrew hooked his fingers in the collar of neil’s shirt and tugged just enough for neil to feel it. “i knew what i’m doing. i knew what i was agreeing to when i took kevin’s side. i knew what it could cost us and how far i’d have to go. understand? you aren’t going anywhere. you’re staying here.” andrew didn’t let go until neil nodded, and then he reached for neil’s hand. he took his cigarette back, put it between his lips, and pressed a warm key into neil’s empty palm. andrew used this key to unlock the front door and then took it off the ring on the porch. now he was giving it to neil. - neil & andrew
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
Elizabeth, do you remember Jerusalem? The pools of Bethesda, the porch and the water where the lame and halt used to wait for the angel to stir the water for them? There was a beggar there. His body was broken and feeble. He was so weak and lame, he was unable to walk, unable even to stand. Do you remember him, Elizabeth? Do you know who I mean?” “Yes, I remember. He was one of the crippled. And my Brother healed him.” “Do you remember how long he waited?” “I don’t remember specifically, but it was a long time.” “Thirty-eight years, Elizabeth. Almost his entire life. Thirty-eight years he suffered alone, waiting patiently. Yet whenever the angel came, he never could reach the water in time, for he was too weak and feeble to be the first to the pool. Can you imagine his discouragement?! Can you imagine how he felt? Thirty-eight years he suffered, waiting for a miracle. He felt so sick and abandoned, so completely alone, for there was no man to carry him and no one who cared. “And sometime in your mortal life, you will feel like this man. You will feel sick and abandoned, unable to deal with the challenges of the world. You will want to be healed, but there will be no one there. And when you feel that way, Elizabeth, I want you to remember this man. Remember that Christ healed him when no one would carry him to the pool. When he felt most alone, after patiently waiting so long, the Savior came out of nowhere and made him whole. There will be times you feel you have been abandoned, but that is never so. Your Brother will heal you. Our Father will always look after you.
Chris Stewart (Great and Terrible: The Complete Series)
Friendship is such a strange, unexpected thing. It can creep up on you when you least expect it, from the least likely places. I never could have imagined I’d become friends with a Syrian man from 6,000 miles away, a Muslim man whose children call him Abba. In the last year, Mohammad has changed my life in ways difficult to explain or describe. The coffee, the drives to Philadelphia, the chats on my front porch. There’s one thing I know for sure. If you insert me into the story of the good Samaritan, I’m not only the good Samaritan; I’m not only the one who stopped to help. I’m also the man lying along the side of the road, beaten down. I’m the one dying from selfishness and hypervigilance and fear. The role of the good Samaritan, in a role reversal I couldn’t have seen coming, has been taken on by Mohammad. Before I even knew him, he called me friend.
Shawn Smucker (Once We Were Strangers: What Friendship with a Syrian Refugee Taught Me about Loving My Neighbor)
The World At Large Ice-age heat wave, can't complain. If the world's at large, why should I remain? Walked away to another plan. Gonna find another place, maybe one I can stand. I move on to another day, to a whole new town with a whole new way. Went to the porch to have a thought. Got to the door and again, I couldn't stop. You don't know where and you don't know when. But you still got your words and you got your friends. Walk along to another day. Work a little harder, work another way. Well uh-uh baby I ain't got no plan. We'll float on maybe would you understand? Gonna float on maybe would you understand? Well float on maybe would you understand? The days get shorter and the nights get cold. I like the autumn but this place is getting old. I pack up my belongings and I head for the coast. It might not be a lot but I feel like I'm making the most. The days get longer and the nights smell green. I guess it's not surprising but it's spring and I should leave. I like songs about drifters - books about the same. They both seem to make me feel a little less insane. Walked on off to another spot. I still haven't gotten anywhere that I want. Did I want love? Did I need to know? Why does it always feel like I'm caught in an undertow? The moths beat themselves to death against the lights. Adding their breeze to the summer nights. Outside, water like air was great. I didn't know what I had that day. Walk a little farther to another plan. You said that you did, but you didn't understand. I know that starting over is not what life's about. But my thoughts were so loud I couldn't hear my mouth. My thoughts were so loud I couldn't hear my mouth. My thoughts were so loud.
Modest Mouse
With that he turned to go, and walking, bareheaded, to the outside of the little porch, took leave of her with such a happy mixture of unconstrained respect and unaffected interest, as no breeding could have taught, no truth mistrusted, and nothing but a pure and single heart expressed. Many half-forgotten emotions were awakened in the sister’s mind by this visit. It was so very long since any other visitor had crossed their threshold; it was so very long since any voice of apathy had made sad music in her ears; that the stranger’s figure remained present to her, hours afterwards, when she sat at the window, plying her needle; and his words seemed newly spoken, again and again. He had touched the spring that opened her whole life; and if she lost him for a short space, it was only among the many shapes of the one great recollection of which that life was made.
Charles Dickens (Dombey and Son)
He says, "Are you a dead man now?" It's a flood inside me, I see all those places and people again. I hold the kid on her porch and go by the name of Jimmy to a marvelous old woman. I watch a girl run with the most glorious, bloodied feet in the world. I laugh with the thrill on a religious man's face. I see Angie Carusso's ice-creamed lips and feel the loyalty of the Rose boys. I watch the darkness of a family lit up by the power and the glory, let my mother unleash the truth and love and disappointment of her life, and sit in a lonely man's cinema. Looking into the mirrored glass, I stand with my friend in a river. I watch Marvin Harris push his daughter on a swing, high into the sky, and I dance with the love and Audrey for three minutes straight... "Well?" he asks again. "Are you looking at a dead man?" This time, I answer. I say, "No," and the criminal speaks. "Well, it was worth it, then...
Markus Zusak (I Am the Messenger)
We've simply become too attached to work," I explained. "We've become too addicted to working and we need to balance our lives with a little idle activity like sitting on porches or chatting with neighbors." "I would HATE that!" she answered with a moo of disgust. "I LOVE to work! I can't stand just sitting around. Work makes me happy." This woman, by the way, is one of the most grounded, cheerful, and talented people I know. She's also not an outlier. I've had this conversation many times over the past few years with both friends and strangers and I often get some version of, "but I love to work!" in response. The question for me wasn't whether people enjoyed their work but whether they needed it. That was the question that drove my research. The question I asked hundreds of people around the country and the essential question of this book: Is work necessary? A lot of people will disagree with my next statement to the point of anger and outrage: Humans don't need to work in order to be happy. At this point, in our historical timeline, that claim is almost subversive. The assumption that work is at the core of what it means to lead a useful life underlies so much of our morality that it may feel I'm questioning our need to breathe or eat or sleep. But as I examined the body of research of what we know is good for all humans, what is necessary for all humans, I noticed a gaping hole where work was supposed to be. This lead me to ask some pointed questions about why most of us feel we can't be fully human unless we're working. Please note that by "work" I don't mean the activities we engage in to secure our survival: finding food, water, or shelter. I mean the labor we do to secure everything else beyond survival or to contribute productively to the broader society - the things we do in exchange for pay.
Celeste Headlee (Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving)
He drove me home, through all the windy roads of his ranch and down the two-lane highway that eventually led to my parents’ house on the golf course. And when he walked me to the door, I marveled at how different it felt. Every time I’d stood with Marlboro Man on those same front porch steps, I’d felt the pull of my boxes beckoning me to come inside, to finish packing, to get ready to leave. Packing after our dates had become a regular activity, a ritual, an effort, on my part, to keep my plans moving along despite my ever-growing affection for this new and unexpected man in my life. And now, this night, standing here in his arms, the only thing left to do was unpack them. Or leave them there; I didn’t care. I wasn’t going anywhere. At least not for now. “I didn’t expect this,” he said, his arms around my waist. “I didn’t expect it either,” I said, laughing. He moved in for one final kiss, the perfect ending for such a night. “You made my day,” he whispered, before walking to his pickup and driving away.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
To eat responsibly is to understand and enact, so far as one can, this complex relationship. What can one do? Here is a list, probably not definitive: 1. Participate in food production to the extent that you can. If you have a yard or even just a porch box or a pot in a sunny window, grow something to eat in it. Make a little compost of your kitchen scraps and use it for fertilizer. Only by growing some food for yourself can you become acquainted with the beautiful energy cycle that revolves from soil to seed to flower to fruit to food to offal to decay, and around again. You will be fully responsible for any food that you grow for yourself, and you will know all about it. You will appreciate it fully, having known it all its life. 2. Prepare your own food. This means reviving in your own mind and life the arts of kitchen and household. This should enable you to eat more cheaply, and it will give you a measure of “quality control”: You will have some reliable knowledge of what has been added to the food you eat. 3. Learn the origins of the food you buy, and buy the food that is produced closest to your home. The idea that every locality should be, as much as possible, the source of its own food makes several kinds of sense. The locally produced food supply is the most secure, the freshest, and the easiest for local consumers to know about and to influence. 4. Whenever possible, deal directly with a local farmer, gardener, or orchardist. All the reasons listed for the previous suggestion apply here. In addition, by such dealing you eliminate the whole pack of merchants, transporters, processors, packagers, and advertisers who thrive at the expense of both producers and consumers. 5. Learn, in self-defense, as much as you can of the economy and technology of industrial food production. What is added to food that is not food, and what do you pay for these additions? 6. Learn what is involved in the best farming and gardening. 7. Learn as much as you can, by direct observation and experience if possible, of the life histories of the food species. The
Wendell Berry (Bringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food)
EVERY MORNING SHE WOKE EARLY, still listening for the clatter of Ma’s busy cooking. Ma’s favorite breakfast had been scrambled eggs from her own hens, ripe red tomatoes sliced, and cornbread fritters made by pouring a mixture of cornmeal, water, and salt onto grease so hot the concoction bubbled up, the edges frying into crispy lace. Ma said you weren’t really frying something unless you could hear it crackling from the next room, and all her life Kya had heard those fritters popping in grease when she woke. Smelled the blue, hot-corn smoke. But now the kitchen was silent, cold, and Kya slipped from her porch bed and stole to the lagoon. Months passed, winter easing gently into place, as southern winters do. The sun, warm as a blanket, wrapped Kya’s shoulders, coaxing her deeper into the marsh. Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land that caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
And then she knew. No vision had ever terrified him. Never. In seventeen years. It was as if his own life were at stake. But he didn't See his own future. He only saw other's. She suddenly had a terrible feeling that she knew exactly whose future he'd Seen. Her voice was a whisper. "Do I get hurt?" His face contorted, but he didn't say anything. "Oh my god. Do I die?" He closed his eyes. "Oh." The air rushed out of her lungs on that one word. She was going to die. Luke's voice was tight, tortured when he said, "We gotta go." He bent down to pick up Sera's bag again, then headed out the door. Sera looked down at her feet. Their book bags lay there. She should probably pick those up, she thought. Luke was already on the porch, waiting. She reached down and grasped the bags, then woodenly stepped outside. Luke stared at her a moment, searching her face, then reached around her and locked the door. He started down the steps, but her voice stopped him. "Luke?" He turned to look at her. She was going to die. She knew she was going to die. But she couldn't stop herself from asking even though she already knew the answer. "Have you ever had a vision that didn't come true?" she said. "Ever?
Jen Meyers
I’d gone on dates with every flavor of cute boy under the sun. Except for one. Cowboy. I’d never even spoken to a cowboy, let alone ever known one personally, let alone ever dated one, and certainly, absolutely, positively never kissed one--until that night on my parents’ front porch, a mere couple of weeks before I was set to begin my new life in Chicago. After valiantly rescuing me from falling flat on my face just moments earlier, this cowboy, this western movie character standing in front of me, was at this very moment, with one strong, romantic, mind-numbingly perfect kiss, inserting the category of “Cowboy” into my dating repertoire forever. The kiss. I’ll remember this kiss till my very last breath, I thought to myself. I’ll remember every detail. Strong, calloused hands gripping my upper arms. Five o’clock shadow rubbing gently against my chin. Faint smell of boot leather in the air. Starched denim shirt against my palms, which have gradually found their way around his trim, chiseled waist… I don’t know how long we stood there in the first embrace of our lives together. But I do know that when that kiss was over, my life as I’d always imagined it was over, too. I just didn’t know it yet.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
She stands at the hairpin turn on Night Road. On either side of her, giant evergreens grow clustered together, rising high into the blue summer sky. Even now, in midday, this stubbled, winding ribbon of asphalt holds the morning mist close. This road is like her life; knee deep in shadow. Once, it had been the quickest way home and she’d taken it easily, turning onto its potholed surface without a second thought, rarely noticing how the earth dropped away on either edge. Her mind had been on other things back then, on the miniutae of everyday life. Chores. Errands. Schedules. She hadn’t taken this route in years. Just the thought of it had been enough to make her turn the steering wheel too sharply; better to go off the road than to find herself here. Or so she’d thought until today. People on the island still talk about what happened in the summer of ’04. They sit on barstools and in porch swings and spout opinions, half truths, making judgments that aren’t theirs to make. They think a few columns in a newspaper give them the facts they need. But the facts are hardly what matter. If anyone sees her here, just standing on this lonely roadside in a gathering mist, it will all come up again. Like her, they’ll remember that night, so long ago, when the rain turned to ash….
Kristin Hannah (Night Road)
1860 there had risen in West Dougherty perhaps the richest slave kingdom the modern world ever knew. A hundred and fifty barons commanded the labor of nearly six thousand Negroes, held sway over farms with ninety thousand acres tilled land, valued even in times of cheap soil at three millions of dollars. Twenty thousand bales of ginned cotton went yearly to England, New and Old; and men that came there bankrupt made money and grew rich. In a single decade the cotton output increased four-fold and the value of lands was tripled. It was the heyday of the nouveau riche, and a life of careless extravagance among the masters. Four and six bobtailed thoroughbreds rolled their coaches to town; open hospitality and gay entertainment were the rule. Parks and groves were laid out, rich with flower and vine, and in the midst stood the low wide-halled “big house,” with its porch and columns and great fireplaces. And yet with all this there was something sordid, something forced,—a certain feverish unrest and recklessness; for was not all this show and tinsel built upon a groan? “This land was a little Hell,” said a ragged, brown, and grave-faced man to me. We were seated near a roadside blacksmith shop, and behind was the bare ruin of some master’s home. “I’ve seen niggers drop dead in the furrow, but they were kicked aside, and the plough never
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk)
At a time when moguls vied to impress people with their possessions, Rockefeller preferred comfort to refinement. His house was bare of hunting trophies, shelves of richly bound but unread books, or other signs of conspicuous consumption. Rockefeller molded his house for his own use, not to awe strangers. As he wrote of the Forest Hill fireplaces in 1877: “I have seen a good many fireplaces here [and] don’t think the character of our rooms will warrant going into the expenditures for fancy tiling and all that sort of thing that we find in some of the extravagant houses here. What we want is a sensible, plain arrangement in keeping with our rooms.”3 It took time for the family to adjust to Forest Hill. The house had been built as a hotel, and it showed: It had an office to the left of the front door, a dining room with small tables straight ahead, upstairs corridors lined with cubicle-sized rooms, and porches wrapped around each floor. The verandas, also decorated in resort style, were cluttered with bamboo furniture. It was perhaps this arrangement that tempted John and Cettie to run Forest Hill as a paying club for friends, and they got a dozen to come and stay during the summer of 1877. This venture proved no less of a debacle than the proposed sanatorium. As “club guests,” many visitors expected Cettie to function as their unlikely hostess. Some didn’t know they were in a commercial establishment and were shocked upon returning home to receive bills for their stay.
Ron Chernow (Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.)
I’d better go,” Marlboro Man said, leaning forward and kissing my cheek. I still grasped the diamond ring in my warm, sweaty hand. “I don’t want Mike to burst a blood vessel.” He laughed out loud, clearly enjoying it all. I tried to speak but couldn’t. I’d been rendered totally mute. Nothing could have prepared me for those ten minutes of my life. The last thing I remember, I’d awakened at eleven. Moments later, I was hiding in my bathroom, trying, in all my early-morning ugliness, to avoid being seen by Marlboro Man, who’d dropped by unexpectedly. Now I was standing on the front porch, a diamond ring in my hand. It was all completely surreal. Marlboro Man turned to leave. “You can give me your answer later,” he said, grinning, his Wranglers waving good-bye to me in the bright noonday sun. But then it all came flashing across my line of sight. The boots in the bar, the icy blue-green eyes, the starched shirt, the Wranglers…the first date, the long talks, my breakdown in his kitchen, the movies, the nights on his porch, the kisses, the long drives, the hugs…the all-encompassing, mind-numbing passion I felt. It played frame by frame in my mind in a steady stream. “Hey,” I said, walking toward him and effortlessly sliding the ring on my finger. I wrapped my arms around his neck as his arms, instinctively, wrapped around my waist and raised me off the ground in our all-too-familiar pose. “Yep,” I said effortlessly. He smiled and hugged me tightly. Mike, once again, laid on the horn, oblivious to what had just happened. Marlboro Man said nothing more. He simply kissed me, smiled, then drove my brother to the mall.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
What do I do now?” I ask desperately. “Tell me! What do I do now?” He remains calm. He looks at me closely and says, “Keep living, Ed…. It’s only the pages that stop here.” He stays perhaps another ten minutes, probably due to the trauma that has strapped itself to me. I remain standing, trying to contemplate and recover from what’s transpired. “I really think I’d better go,” he says again, this item with more finality. With difficulty, I walk him to the door. We say goodbye on the front porch, and he walks back up the street. I wonder about his name, but I’m sure I’ll earn it soon enough. He’s written about this, I’m sure, the bastard. All of it. As he walks up the street he pulls a small notebook from his pocket and writes a few things down. It makes me think maybe I should write about all this myself. After all, I;m the one who did all the work. I’d start with the bank robbery. Something like, “The gunman is useless.” The odds are, however, that he’s beaten me to it already It’ll be his name on the cover of all these words, not mine. He’ll get all the credit. Or the crap, if her does a shit job. But I just remembered the I was the one- not him- who gave life to these pages. I was the one who- I tell me to stop. It’s an inner voice and it’s loud. All day, I think about many things, though I try not to. I look through the folder and find everything as he said. All the ideas are written in and people are sketched. Scratchy excerpts are stapled together. Beginnings and endings merge and bend. Hours wander past. Days follow them. I don’t leave the shack, and I don’t answer the phone. I barely even eat. The Doorman sits with me as the minutes pass by. For a long time, I wonder what I’m waiting for, but I understand it’s just like he said. I guess it’s for life beyond these pages.
Markus Zusak (I Am the Messenger)
The next day’s call would be vital. Then at 12:02 P.M., the radio came to life. “Bear at camp two, it’s Neil. All okay?” I heard the voice loud and clear. “Hungry for news,” I replied, smiling. He knew exactly what I meant. “Now listen, I’ve got a forecast and an e-mail that’s come through for you from your family. Do you want to hear the good news or the bad news first?” “Go on, then, let’s get the bad news over with,” I replied. “Well, the weather’s still lousy. The typhoon is now on the move again, and heading this way. If it’s still on course tomorrow you’ve got to get down, and fast. Sorry.” “And the good news?” I asked hopefully. “Your mother sent a message via the weather guys. She says all the animals at home are well.” Click. “Well, go on, that can’t be it. What else?” “Well, they think you’re still at base camp. Probably best that way. I’ll speak to you tomorrow.” “Thanks, buddy. Oh, and pray for change. It will be our last chance.” “Roger that, Bear. Don’t start talking to yourself. Out.” I had another twenty-four hours to wait. It was hell. Knowingly feeling my body get weaker and weaker in the vain hope of a shot at the top. I was beginning to doubt both myself and my decision to stay so high. I crept outside long before dawn. It was 4:30 A.M. I sat huddled, waiting for the sun to rise while sitting in the porch of my tent. My mind wandered to being up there--up higher on this unforgiving mountain of attrition. Would I ever get a shot at climbing in that deathly land above camp three? By 10:00 A.M. I was ready on the radio. This time, though, they called early. “Bear, your God is shining on you. It’s come!” Henry’s voice was excited. “The cyclone has spun off to the east. We’ve got a break. A small break. They say the jet-stream winds are lifting again in two days. How do you think you feel? Do you have any strength left?” “We’re rocking, yeah, good, I mean fine. I can’t believe it.” I leapt to my feet, tripped over the tent’s guy ropes, and let out a squeal of sheer joy. These last five days had been the longest of my life.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
It takes me nearly a half hour to make what should be a ten-minute trip, and by the time I pull up in front of my house, my hands are cramped from my death grip on the steering wheel. It’s not until I step out of the car, my legs feeling like they’re made of Jell-O, that I notice Ryder’s Durango parked in front of me. “Where the hell have you been?” he calls out from the front porch, just as I make a mad dash to join him there. His face is red, his brow furrowed over stormy eyes. “They let us out an hour ago!” I am really not in the mood for his crap. “Yeah, so?” “So I was worried sick. A tornado touched down over by the Roberts’ place.” “I know! I mean, I didn’t know it touched down, but I was still at school when the sirens went off.” I drop my ridiculously heavy backpack and shake the rain from my hair. “Is everyone okay over there?” He runs a visibly trembling hand through his hair. “Yeah, it just tore up their fence or something. Jesus, Jemma!” “What is wrong with you? Why are you even here?” “I’m supposed to stay over here, remember?” “What…now?” I look past him and notice an army-green duffel bag by the front door. He’s got a key--he could’ve just let himself in. “I figured now’s as good a time as any. We need to put sandbags in front of the back door before it gets any worst out, and then we’ve got to do something about the barn. It’s awful close to the creek, and the water’s rising fast.” “Well, what do you propose we do?” “Don’t you keep your guns out there? We should move them inside. And your dad has some expensive tools in his workshop--we should get those, too.” I let out a sigh. He’s got a point. “Can I at least go inside first? Put my stuff away?” “Sure?” He moves to the edge of the porch and gazes up at the sky. “It looks like we might get a break in a few minutes, once this band moves through. Might as well wait for it.” I dig out my keys and unlock the door. I can hear the dogs howling their heads off the minute I step inside. “I’ve gotta let Beau and Sadie out,” I say over my shoulder as I head toward the kitchen. “Take your stuff to the guest room and get settled, why don’t you?” That’s my attempt at reestablishing the fact that I’m in charge here, not him. This is my house. My stuff. My life.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
Can you just imagine the two of them next year at the Phi Delta Carnation Ball?” Laura Grace asks, clapping her hands together. Daddy looks confused. “The two of who?” “Why, Ryder and Jemma, of course.” Mama pats him on the hand. “You remember the Carnation Ball--it’s the first Phi Delta party of the year. They have to go together, right, Laura Grace?” She nods. “We’ve been waiting all our lives for this.” Mama finally glances my way and sees my scowl. “Aw, honey. We’re just teasing, that’s all.” This sort of teasing has been going on my entire life--second verse, same as the first. It’s gotten real old, real fast. “May I be excused?” I ask, pushing back from the table. “You go on and finish your dinner,” Laura Grace says, entirely unperturbed. “We’ll stop teasing. I promise.” “It’s okay. I’m done. It was delicious, thanks. I just need to get some air, that’s all. I’m getting a bit of a headache.” Laura Grace nods. “It’s this heat--way too hot for September.” She waves a hand in my direction. “Go on, then. Ryder, why don’t you go get Jemma some aspirin or something.” I glance over at Ryder, and our eyes meet. I shake my head, hoping he gets the message. “No, it’s fine. I’m…uh…I’ve got some in my purse.” “Go with her, son,” Mr. Marsden prods. “Be a gentleman, and get her a bottle of water to take outside with her.” Ugh. I give up. My escape plot is now ruined. Wordlessly, Ryder rises from the table and stalks out of the dining room. I follow behind, my sandals slapping noisily against the hardwood floor. “Do you want water or not?” he asks me as soon as the door swings shut behind us. “Sure. Fine. Whatever.” He turns to face me. “It is pretty hot out there.” “I near about melted on the drive over.” His lips twitch with the hint of a smile. “Your dad refused to turn on the AC, huh?” I nod as I follow him out into the cavernous marble-tiled foyer. “You know his theory--‘no point when you’re just going down the road.’ Must’ve been a thousand degrees in the car.” He tips his head toward the front door. “You wait out on the porch--I’ll bring you a bottle of water.” “Thanks.” I watch him go, wondering if we’re going to pretend like last night’s fight didn’t happen. I hope that’s the case, because I really don’t feel like rehashing it.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
Sometimes Marlboro Man and I would venture out into the world--go to the city, see a movie, eat a good meal, be among other humans. But what we did best was stay in together, cooking dinner and washing dishes and retiring to the chairs on his front porch or the couch in his living room, watching action movies and finding new and inventive ways to wrap ourselves in each other’s arms so not a centimeter of space existed between us. It was our hobby. And we were good at it. It was getting more serious. We were getting closer. Each passing day brought deeper feelings, more intense passion, love like I’d never known it before. To be with a man who, despite his obvious masculinity, wasn’t at all afraid to reveal his soft, affectionate side, who had no fears or hang-ups about declaring his feelings plainly and often, who, it seemed, had never played a head game in his life…this was the romance I was meant to have. Occasionally, though, after returning to my house at night, I’d lie awake in my own bed, wrestling with the turn my life had taken. Though my feelings for Marlboro Man were never in question, I sometimes wondered where “all this” would lead. We weren’t engaged--it was way too soon for that--but how would that even work, anyway? It’s not like I could ever live out here. I tried to squint and see through all the blinding passion I felt and envision what such a life would mean. Gravel? Manure? Overalls? Isolation? Then, almost without fail, just about the time my mind reached full capacity and my what-ifs threatened to disrupt my sleep, my phone would ring again. And it would be Marlboro Man, whose mind was anything but scattered. Who had a thought and acted on it without wasting even a moment calculating the pros and cons and risks and rewards. Who’d whisper words that might as well never have existed before he spoke them: “I miss you already…” “I’m thinking about you…” “I love you…” And then I’d smell his scent in the air and drift right off to Dreamland. This was the pattern that defined my early days with Marlboro Man. I was so happy, so utterly content--as far as I was concerned, it could have gone on like that forever. But inevitably, the day would come when reality would appear and shake me violently by the shoulders. And, as usual, I wasn’t the least bit ready for it.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Sorrow walked in my clothes before I did. Flocks of shadows followed me. One night I looked at the stars I thought were gods until they disappeared. Some say I smashed my father’s idols and walked away. Or walked towards a desert of barren promises. Or promises that are hummingbirds hovering for a moment then drifting away. Even now, walking towards that mountain, sometimes I will watch my shadow sitting beneath a plane tree, casting dice, ignoring my steps. Some of you made me a founder but it was only that shadow. Some of you made me your father, but it was yourselves you were describing. You plant a tree, you dig a well, and it brings life, that’s all. Everything else is the heart’s mirage. Except what begins inside you. Except Sarah. When she stepped inside my dream the curtains shivered, whole mountains entered the room. It always seemed a question of which love to honor. The land I loved fills with fire. Who should we listen to? It’s true, He offered the world and I offered only myself. But I thought His words were coffins. I was frantic for any scrap of shade. Now everything is shade. Your old newspapers are taken up by the wind like pairs of broken wings. Each window, each door is a wound. One track erases another track. One bomb. One rock, one rubber bullet. What can I tell you? Where have you left your own morning of promises? You remember Isaac, maybe Ishmael, but not the love that led me there. Not Sarah. Just to hear the sound of her eyelids opening, or her plants pushing the air aside as they reach for the sun, twilight filling her fingers like fruit. This afternoon a flock of doves settled on my porch. Their silence took the shape of all I ever wanted to say. Today, the miracle you want aches inside the trees. Why believe anything except what is unbelievable? I never thought of it as a trial, not any of it. Now the leaves turn into messages that are simply impossible to read. The roots turn into roads as they break through the surface. How can I even know what I mean? Beneath the hem of night the rain falls asleep on the grass. We have to turn into each other. One heart inside the other’s heart. One love. One word. Inside us, our shadows will walk into water, the water will walk into the sky. Blind. Faithful. Inside us the music turns into a flock of birds. Theirs is a song whose promise we must believe the way the moon believes the earth, the fire believes the wood, that is, for no reason, for no reason at all.
Richard Jackson
I’d been reflecting on this--the drastic turn my life and my outlook on love had taken--more and more on the evenings Marlboro Man and I spent together, the nights we sat on his quiet porch, with no visible city lights or traffic sounds anywhere. Usually we’d have shared a dinner, done the dishes, watched a movie. But we’d almost always wind up on his porch, sitting or standing, overlooking nothing but dark, open countryside illuminated by the clear, unpolluted moonlight. If we weren’t wrapping in each other’s arms, I imagined, the quiet, rural darkness might be a terribly lonely place. But Marlboro Man never gave me a chance to find out. It was on this very porch that Marlboro Man had first told me he loved me, not two weeks after our first date. It had been a half-whisper, a mere thought that had left his mouth in a primal, noncalculated release. And it had both surprised and melted me all at once; the honesty of it, the spontaneity, the unbridled emotion. But though everything in my gut told me I was feeling exactly the same way, in all the time since I still hadn’t found the courage to repeat those words to him. I was guarded, despite the affection Marlboro Man heaped upon me. I was jaded; my old relationship had done that to me, and watching the crumbling of my parents’ thirty-year marriage hadn’t exactly helped. There was just something about saying the words “I love you” that was difficult for me, even though I knew, without a doubt, that I did love him. Oh, I did. But I was hanging on to them for dear life--afraid of what my saying them would mean, afraid of what might come of it. I’d already eaten beef--something I never could have predicted I’d do when I was living the vegetarian lifestyle. I’d gotten up before 4:00 A.M. to work cattle. And I’d put my Chicago plans on hold. At least, that’s what I’d told myself all that time. I put my plans on hold. That was enough, wasn’t it? Putting my life’s plans on hold for him? Marlboro Man had to know I loved him, didn’t he? He was so confident when we were together, so open, so honest, so transparent and sure. There was no such thing as “give-and-take” with him. He gave freely, poured out his heart willingly, and either he didn’t particularly care what my true feelings were for him, or, more likely, he already knew. Despite my silence, despite my fear of totally losing my grip on my former self, on the independent girl that I’d wanted to believe I was for so long…he knew. And he had all the patience he needed to wait for me to say it.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Hey,” he said, his hand gently rubbing my back. I heard the diesel rattle of vehicles driving away from the scene. “Hey,” I replied, sitting up and looking at my watch. It was 5:00 A.M. “Are you okay?” “Yep,” he said. “We finally got it out.” Marlboro Man’s clothes were black. Heavy soot covered his drawn, exhausted face. “Can I go home now?” I said. I was only halfway kidding. And actually, I wasn’t kidding at all. “Sorry about that,” Marlboro Man said, still rubbing my back. “That was crazy.” He gave a half-chuckle and kissed my forehead. I didn’t know what to say. Driving back to his house, the pickup was quiet. My mind began to race, which is never good at five in the morning. And then, inexplicably, just as we reached the road to his house, I lost it. “So, why did you even take me there, anyway?” I said. “I mean, if I’m just going to ride in someone’s pickup, why even bring me along? It’s not like I was any help to anyone…” Marlboro Man glanced over at me. His eyes were tired. “So…did you want to operate one of the sprayers?” he asked, an unfamiliar edge to his voice. “No, I just…I mean…” I searched for the words. “I mean, that was just ridiculous! That was dangerous!” “Well, prairie fires are dangerous,” Marlboro Man answered. “But that’s life. Stuff like this happens.” I was cranky. The nap had done little to calm me down. “What happens? You just drive right into fires and throw caution to the wind? I mean, people could die out there. I could have died. You could have died! I mean, do you realize how crazy that was?” Marlboro Man looked straight ahead, rubbing his left eye and blinking. He looked exhausted. He looked spent. We arrived in his driveway just in time to see the eastern sun peeking over the horse barn. Marlboro Man stopped his pickup, put it into park, and said, still looking straight ahead, “I took you with me…because I thought you’d like to see a fire.” He turned off the pickup and opened his door. “And because I didn’t want to leave you here by yourself.” I didn’t say anything. We both exited the pickup, and Marlboro Man began walking toward his house. And then, still walking, he said it--words that chilled me to the bone. “I’ll see you later.” He didn’t even turn around. I stood there, not knowing what to say, though deep down I knew I wouldn’t have to. I knew that just as he’d always done anytime I’d ever been rendered speechless in his presence, he’d speak up, turn around, come to my rescue, hold me in his arms…and infuse love into my soul, as only he could do. He always swooped in to save me, and this time would be no different. But he didn’t turn around. He didn’t speak up. He simply walked toward the house, toward the door on his back porch--the same porch door where, hours earlier, he and I had stood in a complete fit of romance and lust, where the heat between us was but a foreshadowing of the fire waiting for us in that distant prairie.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
I took a shower after dinner and changed into comfortable Christmas Eve pajamas, ready to settle in for a couple of movies on the couch. I remembered all the Christmas Eves throughout my life--the dinners and wrapping presents and midnight mass at my Episcopal church. It all seemed so very long ago. Walking into the living room, I noticed a stack of beautifully wrapped rectangular boxes next to the tiny evergreen tree, which glowed with little white lights. Boxes that hadn’t been there minutes before. “What…,” I said. We’d promised we wouldn’t get each other any gifts that year. “What?” I demanded. Marlboro Man smiled, taking pleasure in the surprise. “You’re in trouble,” I said, glaring at him as I sat down on the beige Berber carpet next to the tree. “I didn’t get you anything…you told me not to.” “I know,” he said, sitting down next to me. “But I don’t really want anything…except a backhoe.” I cracked up. I didn’t even know what a backhoe was. I ran my hand over the box on the top of the stack. It was wrapped in brown paper and twine--so unadorned, so simple, I imagined that Marlboro Man could have wrapped it himself. Untying the twine, I opened the first package. Inside was a pair of boot-cut jeans. The wide navy elastic waistband was a dead giveaway: they were made especially for pregnancy. “Oh my,” I said, removing the jeans from the box and laying them out on the floor in front of me. “I love them.” “I didn’t want you to have to rig your jeans for the next few months,” Marlboro Man said. I opened the second box, and then the third. By the seventh box, I was the proud owner of a complete maternity wardrobe, which Marlboro Man and his mother had secretly assembled together over the previous couple of weeks. There were maternity jeans and leggings, maternity T-shirts and darling jackets. Maternity pajamas. Maternity sweats. I caressed each garment, smiling as I imagined the time it must have taken for them to put the whole collection together. “Thank you…,” I began. My nose stung as tears formed in my eyes. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect gift. Marlboro Man reached for my hand and pulled me over toward him. Our arms enveloped each other as they had on his porch the first time he’d professed his love for me. In the grand scheme of things, so little time had passed since that first night under the stars. But so much had changed. My parents. My belly. My wardrobe. Nothing about my life on this Christmas Eve resembled my life on that night, when I was still blissfully unaware of the brewing thunderstorm in my childhood home and was packing for Chicago…nothing except Marlboro Man, who was the only thing, amidst all the conflict and upheaval, that made any sense to me anymore. “Are you crying?” he asked. “No,” I said, my lip quivering. “Yep, you’re crying,” he said, laughing. It was something he’d gotten used to. “I’m not crying,” I said, snorting and wiping snot from my nose. “I’m not.” We didn’t watch movies that night. Instead, he picked me up and carried me to our cozy bedroom, where my tears--a mixture of happiness, melancholy, and holiday nostalgia--would disappear completely.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
He removed his hand from his worn, pleasantly snug jeans…and it held something small. Holy Lord, I said to myself. What in the name of kingdom come is going on here? His face wore a sweet, sweet smile. I stood there completely frozen. “Um…what?” I asked. I could formulate no words but these. He didn’t respond immediately. Instead he took my left hand in his, opened up my fingers, and placed a diamond ring onto my palm, which was, by now, beginning to sweat. “I said,” he closed my hand tightly around the ring. “I want you to marry me.” He paused for a moment. “If you need time to think about it, I’ll understand.” His hands were still wrapped around my knuckles. He touched his forehead to mine, and the ligaments of my knees turned to spaghetti. Marry you? My mind raced a mile a minute. Ten miles a second. I had three million thoughts all at once, and my heart thumped wildly in my chest. Marry you? But then I’d have to cut my hair short. Married women have short hair, and they get it fixed at the beauty shop. Marry you? But then I’d have to make casseroles. Marry you? But then I’d have to wear yellow rubber gloves to do the dishes. Marry you? As in, move out to the country and actually live with you? In your house? In the country? But I…I…I don’t live in the country. I don’t know how. I can’t ride a horse. I’m scared of spiders. I forced myself to speak again. “Um…what?” I repeated, a touch of frantic urgency to my voice. “You heard me,” Marlboro Man said, still smiling. He knew this would catch me by surprise. Just then my brother Mike laid on the horn again. He leaned out of the window and yelled at the top of his lungs, “C’mon! I am gonna b-b-be late for lunch!” Mike didn’t like being late. Marlboro Man laughed. “Be right there, Mike!” I would have laughed, too, at the hilarious scene playing out before my eyes. A ring. A proposal. My developmentally disabled and highly impatient brother Mike, waiting for Marlboro Man to drive him to the mall. The horn of the diesel pickup. Normally, I would have laughed. But this time I was way, way too stunned. “I’d better go,” Marlboro Man said, leaning forward and kissing my cheek. I still grasped the diamond ring in my warm, sweaty hand. “I don’t want Mike to burst a blood vessel.” He laughed out loud, clearly enjoying it all. I tried to speak but couldn’t. I’d been rendered totally mute. Nothing could have prepared me for those ten minutes of my life. The last thing I remember, I’d awakened at eleven. Moments later, I was hiding in my bathroom, trying, in all my early-morning ugliness, to avoid being seen by Marlboro Man, who’d dropped by unexpectedly. Now I was standing on the front porch, a diamond ring in my hand. It was all completely surreal. Marlboro Man turned to leave. “You can give me your answer later,” he said, grinning, his Wranglers waving good-bye to me in the bright noonday sun. But then it all came flashing across my line of sight. The boots in the bar, the icy blue-green eyes, the starched shirt, the Wranglers…the first date, the long talks, my breakdown in his kitchen, the movies, the nights on his porch, the kisses, the long drives, the hugs…the all-encompassing, mind-numbing passion I felt. It played frame by frame in my mind in a steady stream. “Hey,” I said, walking toward him and effortlessly sliding the ring on my finger. I wrapped my arms around his neck as his arms, instinctively, wrapped around my waist and raised me off the ground in our all-too-familiar pose. “Yep,” I said effortlessly. He smiled and hugged me tightly. Mike, once again, laid on the horn, oblivious to what had just happened. Marlboro Man said nothing more. He simply kissed me, smiled, then drove my brother to the mall.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)