Family Porchtraits

A Collaboration of Meadville Calendar, Meadville Neighborhood Center and Brockman Insurance

This series captures a unique sneak peek into the lives of families waiting out our social distancing order. In this time, families are facing uncertainty and insecurity. Still, in the face of these challenges, some families are finding the silver lining of the COVID-19 outbreak: family togetherness.

Submit your photo and story at

Healthcare Professionals and First Responders, you can also contact us on Facebook ( or email me at  We’d love to add your photos and stories to our Smile Project.

Alec and Brenda Chien

Being quarantined seemed relatively easy compared to the upheaval and suffering so many others are facing. We at first welcomed the forced slowing of a too-busy life and the opportunity to focus on some neglected home-front relationships and projects. Thankful for technology keeping us somewhat connected, we are now really tiring of its limits and yearning to have people in our home, join with our church family, and meet up with community friends! We’re praying for a new bond as a community as we face our challenges ahead TOGETHER.

Melissa and Rob Kebert

Ha! Where do I even start!? These are definitely NOT good times to own a business, we feel as long as we have each other, our wonderful community, the best employees ever and above all our faith,… we are rich beyond means! Oh, and of course we still have our sense of humor! 😁 As my husband often says “Keep calm and carry out”!

Gretchen Wood, Zander Napolitano, Lila Napolitano, Barbara Newcamp, George Stabile

During the COVID-19 lockdown period, our two families spent time at home doing different things and interacting with each other with appropriate social distancing.

Barb and George, both recently retired, spent time working on various projects around the house. George channeled his inner electrician and installed new outlets in the house while Barb tended to her beautiful plants in the back yard. Lots of cleaning and organizing projects and home cooking took place over the many weeks of the stay-at-home order

On the other side of the duplex, Gretchen, a single mother of two, cared for her family. Long-distance learning and schooling at home took up a large part of the day as mom guided Zander (1st grade) through his schoolwork. It was a challenge at first, but after a few weeks, they found a good rhythm and Zander finished his work early. Lila (preschool) joined in the learning doing some of her brother’s 1st grade work and practiced her writing. The afternoons were times to get out of the house and go for walks through the woods and bike rides through town.

Barb and George periodically had backyard fires and the kids would dance and play outside while mom would take a much-needed break inside to have a few minutes alone. Even though our two families are not related, we care about each other very much and feel like we’re a kind of family of our own. This quarantined time, though challenging in it’s own way, brought us all closer together.

The Holt Family – McAlester, Max, Charlie, Sarah

#boysarehome #dadneedsahaircut #collegekidiscool #walkingaroundthehood #firstfamilypicinyears

Sarah Conley and Lauren Anderson

We’ve been enjoying many roommate movie nights.

Andrea, Ethan, and Josh Dalton

This past year has been a whirlwind! We found out we were pregnant in April of last year. Ethan was born a month Early in November. The quarantine and social distancing has let us spend so much more time with our son. We are both working from home right now. Our families miss seeing our little one. We miss them as well. We are really enjoying being able to spend so much time with him and watch him grow and change so much in just 5 months! We are thankful for our Church family who has loved and supported us every step of our journey! Balancing work and an infant has proven to be difficult at times but we are so incredibly blessed!

Erin, Jon, and Libby Frye

Social isolation has allowed us to interact (at a distance of course) with our neighbors in ways we never have before as everyone works and keeps different hours. Our next door neighbor has made masks for everyone who asks. She also took all the neighbors’ porch pictures including the one we submitted. Our 8 year old neighbor learned to ride a bike. She’s an expert now and often asks us to watch her. We are happy to do so!! The laughter from our toddler neighbor playing in his front yard brings smiles to our faces. Even our dog loves him! Sharing pleasantries, stories, and struggles while working in our yards and walking our dogs has allowed us to get to know each other. For that we are thankful!

Merv & Lydia Sommers and Paul Newsome

Time spent together as a family has always been precious for us. Discovering new ways to add joy, peace and love to our new “Everyday Lives” has been a challenge but one we feel we have mastered. We still celebrate the gift of our good health & take comfort in the love of our family. Home is where the heart is!

Eric and Eli Brockman

Jack, Lucy, Gracie, and Jill

Quarantine has given us a chance to slow down and spend quality time at home. My schedule has not changed for work, but the kids rarely leave our property. They have assignments to complete from Seton Catholic School which have kept them busy in the mornings, and then we have spent a lot of time outside on various projects, playing ball in the front yard or hiking in the woods behind the house. We are fortunate because the kids are very close in age and have been able to have someone to play with during this time. They miss their friends and talk about getting together with them as soon as all of this is over. Things have changed, some of it a bit stressful, but overall we have been very fortunate.

Lee Alan Scandinaro and Autumn Mary Vogel

Puzzles. Buffy. Movies. Long walks. Lots of cooking. Projects. Crafts. Birdwatching. Podcasts. Eating, eating, eating.

Four Generations of John Brown

While the tattoo shops were closed due to Covid-19, an amazing artist and friend, Ryan Clark, could still put his skills to work to create a four generation illustration in time for Father’s Day. What better way to celebrate all our John Beers’?

Andy and Sue Kipp

We met up with our friends, Meadville Police Officer Andy Kipp and his wife Sue, a nurse at Meadville Medical Center, to discuss how the lockdown was going for them.  They are both essential workers, so not much had actually changed for them day-to-day, but there days are anything but business as usual. They are being as safe as they can as they go about there important work each day, both being an essential part of the health, safety, and well-being of our community.