Don’t Slam The Screen Door!

If you grew up like I did you probably heard, “Don’t slam the screen door,” a lot. Living in the country and having no AC meant windows wide open and screen doors on both front and back to let in cool air and possibly an oscillating fan. Even the entrance to our little county store had a wide screen door with a metal advertisement attached to it.

And try as you might, it was next to impossible not to slam a screen door, especially if you were running outside with a hand full of watermelon slices. No better place to eat and spit watermelon seeds than under a shade tree. And in case you’re wondering, yes, our family lived a lot like the Waltons on TV except we lacked the indoor plumbing and phone.

As kids—six of us— we would run in and out of that screen door and let it slam behind us. And yep, sometimes we had to carefully open and close that door ten times as punishment for slamming it. At night, Daddy would lock the screen with a little hook and eye at the top, which could have been jerked loose by anyone, but it felt safe since strangers seldom traveled our country roads. 

Now I love my air-conditioned home where storm doors replaced screen doors years ago, but I also miss those long ago days. I miss kids running in and out of the house and hearing the slamming of those squeaky, old screen doors. 

But I’ve found a treasure. A little cottage in Arkansas that I escape to as often as possible. It actually has a wooden screen door from an outside deck to a covered, screened-in deck and I like to let that door slam as I walk through. It’s a welcome sound. Familiar. A piece of my past and I love it. 

However, I long for someone to run through that screen door and let it bang behind them while I’m quietly relaxing on the porch swing of the inside deck so I can yell, “Don’t slam the screen door,” like I heard as a kid so may years ago. 

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