There is something most friendly about a front porch that seems to amble lazily from one end of the house to another.
It’s where couples steal a first kiss before someone inside flips on a bright yellow light bulb. It’s where neighbors shout ‘Good morning!’ as they pick up the morning paper in their robes. It’s where children capture fireflies in Mason jars with holes poked in the lid.
Front porches are made for fun, and they almost seem to have come from another time — a simpler time.
Cars slow down when they cruise the 1900 block of Story Street at the north end of Boone; drivers strain to catch a glimpse of that sweeter day and age when front porches were the heart of a neighborhood. They can almost taste the lemonade waiting in an iced pitcher on the small bistro table at one end of the porch.
Ron and Shirley Walrod have lived in this sprawling two-story home for 18 years, transforming the porch into a retreat worthy of Mayberry RFD.
“In the evenings, we come out here and sit — and there’s something special about just watching the cars go by,” says Shirley. “We would like to sort of revive those days when people sat on a porch and friends came to visit.”
The Walrods have done their part to make the porch an inviting place. Seating is abundant, from overstuffed pillows on a wicker chair and loveseat, to a cozy bistro table where Shirley likes to take her morning coffee.
From end to end, antiques and garage sale finds decorate the porch, which is transformed with each changing season. Overhead, a ceiling fan provides cooling comfort on warm summer days.
While the front porch is welcoming to friends and neighbors, the Walrods also enjoy a more private retreat in their backyard. Here, hidden from public view, visitors will find a pond and multiple water features, as well as sculptural pieces and plants galore.
“It’s been a hard summer on plants,” Shirley notes, but the couple continues to plant and they are constantly adding to their collection.
Most of all, they enjoy the fact that the porch faces east while the backyard faces west, giving them an option to seek the shade or sunshine as temperatures and changing seasons dictate.