Watching the sun go down on the front porch – have these days disappeared?

Watching the sun go down


Dorothy Graham Gast

My earliest memory is watching the sun set as I leaned against my grandfather’s wicker rocker while he held my little brother. I must have been three. Grandpa’s house faced west and we loved to watch the clouds change color and shape as the sun sank beyond the horizon.BlueSky

Grandpa might say, “Do you see the purple cloud that looks like an elephant?” and I looked among the shapes in the colorful sky to find his choice. Then we’d notice that the next cloud looked like frying pan and giggle at the thought of frying an elephant in a skillet.

When the last bit of orange sun sank out of sight, we’d sigh and look for the evening star so we could recite “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight” so we could make a wish. As dusk settled objects lost their color and became black silhouettes against a blackening sky. We counted stars as they became visible and anticipated the call to come in and get ready for bed.

Before television and air conditioning, whole families escaped the evening heat in chairs on the front porch talking about the day, or plans for tomorrow. Whole genealogies were traced so often that small listeners could anticipate phrases and sentences describing their long dead ancestors.porch1

“Sunset and evening star” was about more than “crossing the bar”, but a regular part of living. It was a time of reflections, meditation, of sharing the beauty of nature and the sweetness of family harmony.

Now it seems only honeymooners and retirees grab the luxury of watching the sun go down.

Faith and Courage: A Novel of Colonial America Inspired by real people and actual events, the family saga of colonial America continues with Ambrose Dixon’s family. Faith and Courage presents the religious persecution of Quakers in Pre-Revolutionary War days of America intertwined with a love story.


About Dorothy Graham Gast

Dorothy Gast lives in Romulus, Alabama on the Graham family farm. She taught in Tuscaloosa County Schools for nearly 30 years.
She has a ”Mine, yours, and Ours” family. She has volunteered in numerous organizations after her husband’s eight year struggle with Alzheimers’ ended.
She helped organize a volunteer fire department after she was 60 and served as board secretary and nationally certified firefighter after extensive training.
Her attempts to get the community reading failed, but she contributed books to the new Sipsey Valley high school from the library in her home friends helped her establish.

She is known locally by the silhouettes she cuts free hand of children. She began to write nostalgia stories after a grandson asked her to write down the stories often told at family events.

One Response to Watching the sun go down on the front porch – have these days disappeared?

  1. Debbie says:

    Lovely story Dorothy… I was born in 1962 and have vivid memories of sitting on the front porch with the “old folks”. I sadly believe, my generation was probably the last to have the priviledge of making these wonderful memories.

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