I grew up in a house with a whopper of a front porch on it, one that wraps halfway around the side and can hold almost all of my cousins and me at the same time.

My current home also has a front porch, complete with enough personality to make it my favorite part of the house.

There is a place to fly the American flag on our front porch and room for a comfy wicker rocking chair that is just my size.

But the best thing about my front porch is the sound of birds singing in the trees, something I can’t hear when I’m dealing with the chaos that looms on the other side of our front door.

The constantly ringing telephone cannot be heard and neither can the sound of battling Zich boys.

Drake, Josh, SpongeBob and the other stars of Nickelodeon have to stay in our living room. They can’t come out and bug me with their silly antics.

As for Ron and the boys, they have to come to me if they need something, which never happens if I’m inside the house.

Best of all, I’m usually halfway through my second Fudgsicle before anyone even notices I’m gone. Fudgsicles are by far the best treat to enjoy while relaxing on my front porch.

My number one drink of choice is lemonade … pink lemonade.

I don’t mind if Ron or one of the boys decides to join me during my self-imposed solitude. It gives me a rare chance to devote all my attention to one individual Zich.

Tommy and I read a book on the porch last month, both of us sitting in the porch swing and me constantly reminding him to keep still. (The swaying swing makes me seasick, another reason I prefer the rocking chair.)

He agreed that it didn’t seem like homework with the two of us sitting outside, enjoying the spring breeze.

I guess the only image missing from this peaceful little getaway I have described is that of Glory, stretched out by my chair, having her ears rubbed.

It’s not going to happen. Glory would only stay on the front porch if we tied her down and even then, she’d be fighting to escape so she could run up and down the sidewalk, sniffing at the neighbors.

My little escapes to the front porch don’t last very long, maybe five or 10 minutes at the most, unless I’m reading something really interesting. But just knowing I have them to look forward to has made many difficult mornings more bearable.

By four o’clock, I’m sitting in my rocking chair, enjoying the long, sunny afternoons this time of the year delivers.

It’s my own version of "time out" for a busy mom/writer/teacher.

I didn’t begin my daily front porch escapes until late spring, when the temperatures were more to my liking, but I plan to make it part of my routine.

When the cooler temperatures come rolling in next fall, I’ll just have to find a warmer place to hide!

Pam Zich has moved eight times in 17 years of marriage to her Marine Corps husband. E-mail her at or find the Zichs online at

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