I love my porches.
This is my front porch. It's a little dark because I turned off the porch light for just a few minutes. I was trying to get the view of the living room looking in the window straight ahead. As you climb the steps of my front porch, you can look into my living room. It's a very warm and welcoming view as you come up onto the porch. You can see my shadow on the left. Just so you know, shadows add about 25 pounds to your silhouette. In case you were wondering. Plus, I was bent over. Not my best angle. I look much better with only parts of me showing.
Eh, maybe not.
My MIL tells me that when they lived in their previous home, they used to leave their front porch light on until 11:00 pm, every night. Maybe some of you do this too, but we never did when I was growing up. That light went out at 8:00 pm. We didn't want anyone coming to the door any later than that. (One night, someone did come to the door much later than that, but she turned out to be inebriated and thought she lived in our house. The police had to come and help her find her way home.)
But my MIL and FIL left their light on every night until 11:00pm.
What if someone came to the door that late? Would they have answered it?
I'll have to ask her, but I know what she'll say. "Of course we would," she'd say, "They might need help." That's the kind of people my in-laws are. And it turns out, she'd be right. Someone did need help. Only not in the way they thought.
She told me that a neighbor of their's had a husband who worked the overnight shift so she was home alone at night. When my in-laws were leaving that house and moving to the one we live in now, that neighbor came over to say goodbye. She said she would miss their front porch light the most. She told them that she would always look out her window to make sure the light was on. Seeing it, reassured her that she was not alone.
I want to be that kind of neighbor. The one that comforts someone when they're feeling a little scared or lonely.
So now my front porch light stays on until I go to bed. So far, so good.