812 - The Home: The Back Porch

From time-to-time I post about my parent's house, the house I grew up in and the house my dad has rebuilt in its entirety.  After all, my dad and 812 are the reason for 173 - following in my father's footsteps is really my way of thanking and celebrating him.

Today I want to show the back porch.  When we first moved into 812, the first floor footprint was a little on the small side, especially for a growing family.  The kitchen, while not small, was laid out kinda wonky, and there was very limited space for things like a wash machine and dryer and a refrigerator.  Back in the day, the back door entered directly into the kitchen and there was a window right next to the door.  Here's a shot:


There's mom, dad's mom and dad!  Over Gramma's shoulder you can see one of the appliances, but what I really want you to notice is that table.  Those tables are very popular in some mid-century modern circles these days - goofy as it is to say, I almost wish I had that table now!  But I digress, the important piece of this picture is the door and window, both of which opened onto the back porch.

From the outside you may get a good sense of it all:


Obviously someone's birthday party - I suppose.  Of course it might have just been a summer day.  Our neighborhood was like that - kids everywhere...all playing together and living in our back yards and the street out front.  Halcyon days for sure!

Alas, the time came when dad decided more room was needed in the kitchen, so off to work he went.


Looks like dad couldn't get the dryer onto the back porch fast enough!  Hey, I just noticed, dad had a Black & Decker Workmate even back then.  I remember him raving about it when he got it, so when I bought 173, that was one of the first tools I bought.  And last year I bought a second one.  I don't think you can have enough Workmates!  (That's not an add by the way!).  


There's Skipper, my childhood dog!  So, I'm not sure what's happening here.  At the bottom of the picture you can see the porch floor, and that big concrete thing - that's the back steps.  Lotsa memories sitting on those steps, and check this out - the step railings were made of pipe.  That pipe railing is where I was initiated into the "stupid-kid-sticks-his-tongue-to-metal-in-the-middle-of-winter" club.  I'm happy to tell you - that's the only time I ever did that!


And that's my big sister.  Of course, if she ever sees this she'll probably kill me!  But, looking past her, you can see the back porch in progress.  The fridge is out there by this time, and dad had installed sliding windows and insulation.  And of course he had to frame in the ceiling to be able to put in sheet rock, and I think he had to frame in the floor to make it level.  Looks like there had been a window to my sister's right too!  I'll have to ask my folk about that...I don't remember that one.


And there's yours truly.  I thought I was something back then, but I guess most teenage boys did!  Oh to have all that hair again!!  But...here you can see a bit of the finished product.  If you look closely you may be able to tell that dad had done a swirl pattern on the ceiling.  He did that kind of treatment in a couple rooms back then and they turned out great!  He still maintains that he was never taught how to do it - he just took a brush and some sheetrock mud (I think) and made the design - impressive! 

There's more to the back porch story, but there were various incarnations over time, so I think I'll treat them as different projects - which is what they were.  But before I go, I should add one more picture...


That's my kid brother, clearly unhappy that he got a bunny cake for his birthday!  My baby sister isn't in this post, and before she sees this and gets all "what about me??"  she comes later!

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