Picture of Vera Jane Cook

Vera Jane Cook

Chatter Cottage: Lemonade Days

I’ve always loved a front porch, especially those big wrap around white porches. Chatter Creek has a small front porch, but plenty room for two rockers and lots of flowers. The deck is in the back on the creek and when the sun hits the front porch too hard, the deck is cool. When the deck is cool we can rock on the front porch in the sun and sip lemonade.

Let’s see, lemonade reminds me of scratched knees from too much tree climbing, crickets chirping and birds waking me at dawn. I guess when I think of lemonade I think of front porches and being a kid. I wasn’t a country kid, I was raised in New York City but I went to the country most summers and envied all the other kids who got picked up by big yellow school buses, had country lanes to walk and big back yards to play hide and seek in. I played hide and seek in the living room with my mother who always found me behind the wing chair.

I love the country, all seasons but especially in summer when you can’t even see our house there’s so many trees that hide it, that kind of envelope it in long leafy limbs. We’ve got a family of ducks that swim up and down stream in the creek and a barrage of birds, some of them quite unexpected like the big brown ones with long flat beaks.

I could be a country girl listening to the music of my soul in the stillness and forgetting that there are things like politics and hatred and unrest. I could walk the lanes with the words of my next novel swimming around in my head like the distant remembrances of my life. When I’m in the country I dare to dream. I don’t need Armani suits or earrings from Tiffany or season tickets to the Met. I just need a pail of dirt, a pretty flower and a glass of lemonade to sip on my front porch as I watch the deer across the road, visit with the hummingbird and kiss back the breeze that rustles through my hair.