The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

First screened-in porch since I was a kid

When I was little, our family moved into a ranch-style Florida house with a large screened in porch on the back. What a great place to play, have supper, listen to the birds singing in the woods behind our house. Ultimately, the house began to get a little cramped, so we added a bedroom and turned the porch into a so-called “Florida room.”

screenporch05102015My wife and I put a screen door on our 1980s town home leading out onto our deck. When we moved out in 2002, we took the door with us. We hoped one day to have a need for it.

Next, we lived in a house with a back door out onto a concrete patio and talked about building a porch there some day. Never did. Meanwhile, the heavy wood screen door took up space in the garage for 12 years.

When we moved in January to a new house on a corner of the farm where my wife grew up, we were happy to see that it came with a deck. Yesterday, we hired two neighborhood carpenters to add a screen and put up that door. Finally, we have our porch and, even though the door matches the color from two houses ago, it works fine.

Before the screen was up, our indoor cats pestered us about going out on the deck. We didn’t want to get started with them bounding down into the yard and returning with fleas. Last night when we opened the door between the house and the new porch, they didn’t want to go out there. Suddenly, they were scared of it. Let’s hope that’s because it was dark and the spotlight on the corner of the house made the back yard look different.

We’re looking forward to having a nice place to sit and watch the grass grow, and if the cats don’t want to participate, well, then to heck with them.


KIndle cover 200x300Contrary to popular belief, none of our three cats served as a model for the critter in my “Conjure Woman’s Cat” novella. That’s because none of them are psychic (as far as we can tell).


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12 thoughts on “First screened-in porch since I was a kid

  1. Here’s to many years of watching the grass grow from your beautiful screened-in porch. We spend hours every week on ours. Donny and I eat meals out there all the time, and several years ago we added another screen door, this one on the side of it, which leads out to our above-ground pool. We love it out there.

  2. Sounds wonderful! Well, until the cats discover the joys of the porch, then you’ll have to fight them for a space.

  3. There was a lot of wisdom in keeping that screen door all those years! I’ll bet that porch will be a favorite place>

    • The movers wanted to know why we had a door to put in the truck and we just said “because we’re going to screen in a porch.” Should be a nice place to sit.

      • When we moved into this house 20 years ago, we were pleased to have a small screened in porch. It was far from perfect, but I also remember how happy my relatives were when it was built many years before that. I’ve remodeled it now and we have our meals out there on summer evenings. A wonderfully pleasant place to be!

  4. It’s nice to be able to eat out there. We did that on our porch when I was little and it sort of made the meal more special. Your remodeling job is probably paying off big time with more space.

  5. chellecordero on said:

    When we moved into our home 35 years ago we had a covered deck off the kitchen, Mark screened it in with a door to an open section where we grill. Meanwhile our indoor cats get to be as outdoor as they want and I never have worries about other animals (small or large-and our area does have coyotes, deer and bears) or cars. Occasionally we have arguments about them coming in at night but for the most part it works out well.
    Oh btw, the cats merely benefited – the original enclosure was done so our children could take afternoon naps in the porta crib.

    • Sounds like your screened in environment worked out well for everyone. Our cats are basically scared of the outdoors, but I think in time they’ll get used to being on the porch. I’m sure your cats will probably want to go out there when the temperature is below freezing and will think that the weather is our fault–like anything else they don’t approve of. 🙂

  6. As a child, I remember our screened porch and the many evenings we sat with my mother as she recovered from the day of cooking and work, listening to crickets and talking. Those liminal spaces, threshold spaces, are so important, and evidently ones that we most often have to add on ourselves! Many years of enjoyment on yours, Malcolm!

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