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The View from Here

When it’s too wet to play in the yard, or I just don’t feel like tromping through the mud, I like watching my daughter draw with her chalk on our front porch. I think her artwork adds a rather avant-garde edge to the bricks; my wife doesn’t. Fortunately, chalk washes away simply enough.

Much has been written in recent years lamenting the cultural loss of our front porches. As Mississippi and the South have embraced suburbia, a treacherous homogenization has set in. Air conditioning, television and planned residential developments which don’t have any room for a simple, honest, earthy front porch have driven us inside and far away from our friends, family and neighbors. Of course the funniest thing about those neighborhoods are how the developers cut down all of the trees and then name roads “Persimmon Way,” “Oak Street,” “Maple Drive,” “Pinehaven Place” or “Magnolia Blossom Trail.” Nothing quite like a touch of pre-packaged, low-maintenance bit of Mother Nature wrapped in clich


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