Ask Me First!

Paula Deen’s Savannah Style Porch

Earlier in the week, I was going to write a post about how I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate Christmas this year because of how it’s gotten away from being about the Miracle of Jesus’ birth and the gracious gift of our salvation, an is more about earthly romance, i.e., getting a boyfriend or girlfriend, getting engaged, and/or married, and making sure you either get or give the biggest and most priciest gift.
I got about halfway through the post and decided that I sounded like Debbie Downer and deleted the entire thing. I decided to stop playing the part of Scrooge and instead to go retro and do a small little country Christmas along the lines of how my parents did Christmas when I was a kid – a simple tree, some nice decorations, some sweet treats, and a few modestly priced presents. No need to go into debt.

At this point, your probably asking, ‘What has that got to do with the picture of Paula Deen’s Savannah style porch pictured above. Everything!

For the last two years, even during the controversy, I’ve been trying to replicate that porch, as best I could, given my limited finances and space.

Two years ago, I bought the furniture. Last year, I bought some of the accessories. And they’re not cheap, mind you. And this past summer, I bought planters, flower pots, and flowers, but not the giant pricey ferns, of course.

And when the summer slipped into fall, I changed the décor to one that was more appropriate. Out went the summery petunias and I went shopping for fall foliage in tones of yellows, reds, purples, and oranges.

Yesterday, on my day off, I left home around 11:00 a.m. headed for Walmart to do my usual shopping and hunt for some Christmas décor for the porch that now had a large white wicker chair, two white plastic resin chairs, a white plastic resin table with a clear green plastic leaf shaped tray on it, a sage green set of shelves stocked with bronze planters, yellow watering can, clay duck planters, a plaque that read Home Sweet Home, blue & white faux ‘Ming dynasty’ planters, a black crate full of old telephone books, and a few gardening tools. Also, there was a garden statutory shaped like a little puppy that read, ‘God Bless My little Dog’ that sat beside the big white wicker chair along with more flower pots.

My plan was to take the yellow, red, and purple flowers out of the pots and put in fake poinsettia plants, and also, to do the traditional green garland with large red bows all around the perimeter of the porch.

Well, just imagine my shock and horror when I returned home at around 5:30 yesterday evening to find everything, and I do mean, EVERYTHING gone from my porch. There was not a chair, a plant, a flower, or a twig left on that porch. Nothing. Even the shelving was gone and everything on it.

No, let me correct that. The only thing left on that porch was an old campaign flyer from the November elections and the paint. That was it.

All my hard work, and money, wiped out. Gone. Obliterated.
And in that second as I stood there contemplating what had happened and who had done this awful thing, it occurred to me that this is exactly what had happened in my life. People, who had no business what so ever, making a decision for me had made decisions that had wiped out and obliterated my life. My life, thanks to those decisions, was like that porch. Empty and that was the real reason I didn’t feel like celebrating Christmas.

It also came to me that this is why you’ve had to listen to some deranged freak, at Church and at work, for the last three decades – because someone who’d never met me, never asked how I felt, never asked what I thought, never asked what was important to me, had made an uninformed decision. This is why things are so screwed up. Nobody bothered to ask before taking action.

If someone had bothered to ask, I would have said, “What I wanted was my furniture on my porch! What I wanted was to come home and put up Christmas decorations.

What I got was the realization that I will not be having a little country Christmas, nor will I be making any effort now or in the future to restore that porch or the things broken in my life.

I think I’ll just going to live with that porch the way it is.

And to the thief, if it wasn’t my landlord who took my stuff, Merry Christmas and that stuff will look fantastic with a ribbon of garland and bows. And don’t forget a small pine tree in the corner with simple country decorations.
A Tiny Kitten With A Big Mouth (an empty front porch)

Eliza D. Ankum
Author of
Flight 404
Ruby Sanders
STALKED! By Voices




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