Nighttime Porch Party ~ and a Marriage Secret

I wish someone had shared this marriage secret with me years ago, but I doubt I’d have listened. Saturday night my husband and I were watching TV. “Wanna have a porch party?” I said.

“Right now?”

“Why not? I’ll make coffee and cut some raspberry cheesecake.”

We started having porch parties about three years ago. Every morning we start our day together on the front porch, but nighttime porch parties are magical too.

Surrounded by crickets and a blanket of darkness, we speak in quiet, almost reverent tones.

“What’re you thinking?” I whispered.

“Oh, nothing.”

“Yes you are. Tell me.”

“Just wishing one day we could drive ROUTE 66  together… in a muscle car I’ve restored.”

“Really? That’s what you were thinking?”

He nodded.

“Make it happen, and I’ll go.”

My answer surprised both of us.

 “You serious?” he said.

“Sure, why not.”

“Well, all right then. One day we’re going.”

We talked about places we’d stop along the way, how we’d need a camper–something big enough to pull his car, and also have a small kitchen so we could cook gluten-free for me. (I have CELIAC DISEASE.)

My reaction amazed me because…

I didn’t respond like the Old Julie.

I didn’t analyze his bucket list dream to death.

I didn’t try and convince him that driving Route 66 in a muscle car wasn’t practical.

Nope. I didn’t do any of that.

Instead, something fresh and shiny and new rose inside of me.

A spirit of adventure.

 SURRENDERING to God makes marriage is a lot more fun!

This story to be continued…some day. 🙂


Picture courtesy of

Gluten-Free raspberry cheesecake is made with MI-DEL GINGER SNAPS as a crust. 🙂

P.S. Here’s Rick’s story in Guideposts about a muscle car he restored.





























  1. I’m smiling from ear to ear!!!! I so want you 2 to do this…and blog about it and take pictures and tell us all the lessons you learn. And I want to embrace a bit of that spirit of adventure too. love you and that handsome hubs! xoxo

    • I know– I know, Rob. I’d LOVE to write about this. We talked about it this a.m. at the porch party. Wouldn’t that be amazing!!!!!

  2. ps…can’t wait to tell Ricky’s BFF about this …he will LOVE it! xo

  3. Wow, this was GREAT Julie…I can almost see it:) Which muscle car will Ricky take? That would help complete the vision for us guys:) What WONDERFUL experiences come with surrender, huh? Funny, God kind of had me there in a sense this morning too. I think I am going to start some porch parties too. Just gotta get a porch:) Thank you!

    • Tom, how could I have forgotten to share that crucial piece of info??!!

      I just called him to make sure I get it right–it’s a 68 Roadrunner, Sunset Pearl Orange color.

      You gotta start having porch parties. Heck, they can be anywhere. Our ceiling fans do come in handy in the summertime though….

  4. You’ve inspired me Julie- With children still at home- I find my practical side outweighing the adventurous- the mother still outweighing the romantic- I’m going to invite Jeff to a porch party Saturday night- Beth is staying with Micah and Adi- We’ll have to dream ourselves up some dreams! Hugs and thanks!

    • Ohhhh, Cindy, I’m thrilled for you! I’m telling you–it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. It’s free. It doesn’t take long. Be sure and remember the Porch Party rules. No nagging. We can’t talk about anything negative…only positive stuff. You can dream. Sometimes we read the Bible. You will love it!

      We still have one at home. He’s 21…not sure that really counts as a child living with us. :/

      Let me know how it goes!

  5. Georgia says:

    Love, love, love your story, Julie. I too want to be more receptive to adventure and not analyze and “what if” everything to death. Thank you for sharing with us!!

    • Georgia, you’re speaking my language. FOR YEARS I lived this way. But I promise, there’s another way to live.

      You gotta do it, my friend! XOXO

  6. Sidetracked to Rick’s story…I couldn’t help but feel elated that he achieved his dream of restoring that ‘bird. I hope that’s the car you guys will drive down Route 66! What fun you’ll have!

  7. And I live about six miles off of Route 66, so you can come and see me – I’ll make the bed and we can have a “back porch” party 🙂 Love this, Julie!

    • No you don’t, Carla!!!!!

      Ahhhhhh, I’d love it!!!! Wo-hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! A back porch party with my friend Carla. We could both blog about it.

  8. My mama was the practical one, pulling Daddy back down to earth when he had his “crazy” dreams. I always have thought I’m a lot like Daddy, but realize more and more how much like Mama I am, practical, wanting everything figured out ahead of time.
    I love that you let your husband dream, that you’re dreaming together.

    • I’ve lived 50 years like your mama, Elizabeth. And a part of me wanted to break free–let go–live! Now I guess I’m becoming more like your daddy and that adventurous side of you.

      And I’m loving it. Thank you, thank you, for “getting” our dream. 🙂

  9. One of our dreams, too! 1968 Candy Apple red Camaro!

  10. Route 66 is a dream of most of our generation, Julie, especially mine. I love road trips, though my hubs doesn’t so much. Maybe I’ll come along as your cook. ;o)

  11. You are so precious, Julie! Route 66 might not run through Idaho, but you would absolutely love the beautiful roads up here in the mountains. Come see me, come see me!! 🙂

    • For sure, Lisa! This morning we talked about the actual route at our porch party. I’m not good with geography and had forgotten it starts in Chicago. :/ Heck, maybe it goes through Idaho??

  12. I just love your Porch Party stories. So precious to be able to hear about the conversations between you and your other half. 🙂 Please tell Rick, his story in Guideposts was perfect – as was his special day, and all the people in it God has blessed him with. Awesome! Keeping that recipe, yummy.
    Love ya, Alisha

    • I sure will, Alisa. Thank you so much for reading and writing. Makes my day to know people actually read what my heart tells me to write.

      🙂 🙂 Keeps me going!

  13. Arie Strobel says:

    You have probably already read Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon, but if not, it’s a perfect read for both of you. One of my office clients/friends did a similar trip when he graduated from Florida State in the early 50s….even 60 years later it is an incredible memory for him. He has traveled the world and married a lovely, lovely woman, and yet this cross country trip with a college buddy still mean so much to him. So HIT THE ROAD, girl!

  14. No, Arie. I’ve never heard of this book. Will definitely find this book! Thanks for the tip. And the encouragement. And for connecting me with my new friend. 🙂

  15. Oh, that sounds like fun! You’re going to have a blast together!

  16. Melinda says:

    My hubby and I AND our kids actually rode part of Route 66, the Arizona part, back in 2012. It is a magic road and I hope you guys get to go soon. Don’t put it off to long..

    Have just found your blog but I’ve signed up to start receiving all your posts I enjoyed the ones I read so much. Don’t know if you remember me, but we went to SGHS together..

    I have a niece that had Celiac’s as well so I know a little about that. She and her hubby prayed for her to be healed and she is now, praise the Lord!

    thanks for sharing, Julie. I look forward to reading more…

    • Really, Melinda?? You’ve done part of Route 66??

      Thank you so much for signing up and finding me. What’s your last name? You aren’t Melinda Snell, are you? Wonderful news about your niece! Wow–

      Love to you today. 🙂

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