The Back Porch

I love this simple 1920s/1930s back porch.  It speaks to me of a simpler time but also a time in which even with a little addition, the remainder of the house is untouched – much of this house seems untouched.  It likely enters the kitchen.  It’s a place where you can come in, dust the snow of your shoulders, pound the snow off your shoes.  Take them off.  Hang your old plaid wool coat on the hook and maybe sit on the bench – if there is room for one – and pull off your boots before entering the warm kitchen.  In the kitchen, the potbelly stove still exists.  Now, a newer gas oven and stove exist in this kitchen but the potbelly still warms the space.  The table has an enamel top with a small red decoration along the edges that make it look like the top has a tablecloth on it.  The sink is a large, one basin square porcelain sink with built in porcelain drains on either side, at an angle, so water runs off of them.  Your mother washes her hair in the sink – every Friday evening in the winter and then dries it sitting in front of the pot belly, gently coming and toweling it dry.  She does the same to you.

On Nantucket, we have lost a lot of these little additions or warts as we call them.  Yes, its not original to the house but it shows the evolution of the house just like an outhouse and a scallop shack or shed or an early garage with a bi-fold door.  Outbuildings and warts are all important – it shows how the house was used and how the use of the house evolved as new inventions came to be and new ways of living developed.  It shows how we lived.