Spent a little time the last few mornings sitting on my front porch.
I left my phone in the house, took a cup of coffee and the almost famous dogs – Sarge and Bentley – with me, and we just sat outside enjoying the cool mornings.
Actually, that’s not correct. I was sitting. Sarge and Bentley? Not so much.
My dogs are true East Texas Couch Hounds when they’re inside, content to snooze the morning away on the couch, recliner or my lap. But let them out the door, and they turn into the canine version of the Energizer Bunny.
Sarge is almost nine and has slowed down a little, but he’ll still chase a bird or squirrel if one dares to enter his yard.
We adopted Bentley, so I’m not sure exactly how old he is, but anything that moves outside is fair game. He chased his shadow for a solid three minutes one morning while Sarge simply looked at me with an “Is it too late to send him back?” expression on his face.
Pretty sure my big brothers looked at my dad that same way a few times when I was little. Probably more than a few.
I’m not sure why I don’t do this more often. I love my little house and the comfort and security I feel inside, but I always learn something when I pull up a chair and observe life from my front porch.
Take birds, for instance.
I’m not sure how many different species of birds are in and around my yard, but it seems like dozens on any given day. Some are beautifully colored. Some are very plain, and others are downright ugly. Some sing beautifully, and some are a little hard to listen to. But, they sing anyway, and they all seem to have a good time.
Evidently, it doesn’t take much to make a bird happy. A little sunshine, a little food and some good friends to hang out with who don’t worry about color, appearance or talent.
People could learn a lot from birds.
From Sarge and Bentley, I get a reminder about patience and persistence.
Sarge tolerates his “little brother,” as long as Bentley doesn’t scare off the bird or cat he is stalking, and Bentley never gives up on his quest to catch one of the squirrels that frolic about – even though he has about as much chance of catching one as I do.
I also learn about people.
There’s a four-way stop sign on the corner where I live. About half the people who come down my street blow through the signs without slowing down. Some slow down a little to check for the police, but don’t come to a complete stop. Others stop, look in both directions and then move along.
That’s life, I guess.
Some folks simply can’t be bothered with rules, even those put in place for their safety and the safety of others. Others really want to follow the rules, but only when it’s convenient for them, and there are people who would never think of breaking the rules.
I’ve been all of the above at certain points in my life, so I try not to judge anyone. But, I will say this without hesitation.
If you’re one of those people who speed through life and never slow down long enough to listen to the birds singing, or watch puppies play in the yard or wave at someone sitting on the front porch enjoying a cup of coffee, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Heck. If I could teach Sarge or Bentley how to make coffee, I’d probably never leave my porch again.