Reflections by the Sea: Back porch

Published 11:32 am Sunday, October 23, 2022

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By Betsy Ore Glass

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. – 1 Timothy 6:17 NIV

I long to have an old-fashioned back porch, but in the days of decks and patios, many of the newer homes don’t have them anymore. I think by eliminating the concept of the back porch, we have lost a bit of Americana. My husband’s grandmother, who lived in a small eastern North Carolina town, had a back porch and it was the entrance that friends and family used. The sound of the squeaky screened door swinging open announced one’s arrival. An old discarded kitchen table was used to hold the overflow of canned vegetables when the kitchen couldn’t store any more. We might even see a pile of greens from the garden, probably collards, sitting on a chair waiting to be taken in and cleaned for Sunday dinner.  My grandmother’s back porch at the beach was similar, yet there were differences. Beside her back door were pails with newly picked shells and pieces of driftwood for the day’s fire. On the ledges of the porch sat larger shells, bottles that had washed up from the sea and potted plants that had might be shedding too many leaves to stay inside.  Leaning up against the wall would be a crab net and a fishing rod or two for handy access up the path to the beach. Both grandmothers were very different and both also left a positive, loving indelible mark on the lives they touched. Neither one of them was wealthy or had riches, but they did have God as the center of their life and they felt that was all the riches they needed.

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God gives us the freedom to celebrate our individuality and to plot our course in life, with His help, of course. What we do with our life, our space is largely left up to us. Things will influence us, but in the end, we are allowed the gift of Free Will, and have many choices in front of us no matter what our age is. Many people think that walking with God means to give up their personality, become serious and no longer partake in things that bring enjoyment, but that is not true. We can still serve a gracious God and place Him first in all we do and find contentment and enjoyment in our daily lives, too. He delights in the desires of our heart and is happy when we are happy. We can have rich lives in a variety of different ways and He will anoint us if what we do is in His Will. If we had a back porch, what would it look like? What would it say about us? Are we rich in all the right things?

Betsy Ore Glass has long-standing ties to the Outer Banks. From Virginia Beach, her family bought a vacation cottage in the 60s and her love of the area began. Later in the 90s, Betsy and her husband bought a weekend cottage and introduced the area to their children. Then Betsy’s parents retired to KDH where the family gathered often. Reach her at To learn more about her new book, Reflections by the Sea, visit



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