Friday, January 22, 2010

Built for Outdoor Living

We visited Beaufort, South Carolina shortly before Thanksgiving and everywhere we went people commented on how wonderful the weather was and how great it was to live in the South. (Perhaps they were playing to my Midwest accent.)At any rate, we had fun walking around town and looking at some fabulous old homes, all built with outdoor living in mind. For example, the front porches on the house pictured above anticipated people spending a lot of quality time escaping the heat of the house during the summer and, in this particular case, catching cool breezes from the bay. Air conditioning has changed our connection with the outdoors. It is easy to retreat into an air conditioned home and forget completely about the weather and the outdoors in general. I think that causes us to miss something important in life. Sure, escape uncomfortable weather when you can, but come back out every now and then to sit in some favorite retreat on the porch overlooking the garden, or sit in a spot with the garden all around you like the bottom picture. Part of the lifestyle garden is keeping in touch with nature and you can't do that holed up with air conditioning. Those front porches evoke romantic nostalgia for a reason. They were and continue to be great places to spend time.