A front porch is a magical place. It's public and private. It allows you to be part of the larger world around you while having time to yourself and your family. You can wave hello to your neighbors without having to stop what you are doing or make small talk, or if you're feeling social you can invite them to come join you.
It's the best, and it makes everything and every time (or at least these seven times) better. So go ahead — take a step out your front door and take a seat.
1. Coffee Time
Some of us have no problem jumping out of bed in the morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Others take a more drawn-out approach to waking up, slowly accepting the fact that we have to face the day.
Whichever best describes you, those first few moments can be greatly improved by carrying your coffee out of the kitchen, and taking time to sit with it on the front porch. In particularly hot weather, those (ever-so-slightly) cooler early morning hours might be your only opportunity to enjoy the outside before the heat of the day sets in.
2. Letter-Writing Time
So few people sit down with a pen and paper to write a long letter these days, but the front porch is the perfect location for the activity — especially if you feel like you don't have anything to fill your correspondence with. Narrate a play-by-play of the bird feeder or the progress of the neighbor's garage sale — I guarantee sitting outside will result in loads of inspiration. And don't forget to sit on the front porch while you read the eventual response to your missive!
3. Play Time
Who didn't love making a big ol' mess with finger paints and glitter as a kid? You might be recreating this now with your own children or spending some solo mindfulness time with a mandala coloring book; either way, the front porch is a great spot to indulge your inner creativity. You can find inspiration in nature, and if your kids manage to get more paint on themselves than the canvas it isn't too hard to just rinse them and the entire front porch off in one pass of the garden hose.
4. Nap Time
You might initially think a porch is too loud or not private enough, but taking a nap on the porch has a distinct advantage: It guarantees you won't accidentally sleep the entire afternoon away. While a hammock or rocking chair might be preferred, any ol' chair and a footstool will do. Bonus points if your footstool has a built-in fan.
5. Cocktail Time
Let's be honest — this whole article could have just been seven times to drink an alcoholic beverage on the front porch. Pretty much any activity — from painting your nails to editing your latest manuscript — is improved by the combination of a refreshing beverage and a nice cool breeze. An evening cocktail hour is perfectly suited for the front porch, whether you're enjoying a post-work drink or you're hosting a gathering that spills from the porch into the front yard and maybe even over to your neighbor's lawn.
6. Story Time
Sometimes story time is just you and a good book, or it could be you and a small one curled up on a porch swing practicing your best Wild Things voice. It can also involve a whole gaggle of people hanging on every word as you spin a yarn or recount a misadventure. Whatever your version of story time, the front porch is a place to get lost in or act out a tale.
A pre-bedtime ritual of brushing and braiding your child's hair — or your own! — while sitting on the front porch is a great way to bring your day to a close. And the absence of blue light before bed should make your sleep all the better, so maybe you'll magically become one of those morning people.