|Taken right off the wall for a photo opp|
My house is 139 years old, and it has a lovely back entrance directly into … the basement stairs! As a result, Kris enters the house in his barn clothes, removes them downstairs, and comes upstairs into the rest of the house. No boots and no barn clothes ever enter our regular living area. As an added bonus, our washing machine and dryer are down there. (Yes, the benefits of old houses never end! Would you like to see the creepy cistern? The cement walls? The water that’s designed to drain across the floor like a small river? The fun never ends!)
The farmers I know that build new houses .., always put in a separate entrance, complete with washer and dryer in the same place! If you’re coming home from work and you’re not covered with dirt or animal manure, then by all means use the same entrance. But that brings us to our second one …
When you’re on a farm, you’re going to get your shoes dirty. There’s no avoiding it. Even our driveway is gravel, and our garage isn’t attached. In farmhouses, you take off your shoes, because chances are, you were working with animals or with mud or somewhere that you don’t want anything tracked into your home. I allow exactly one person to wear shoes in my house, and that’s Kris’ grandma, because she can do whatever she wants, whenever. Everyone else? Leave them at the door.
People who are used to coming on farms – builders, salesmen, insurance people – they all know it. Everyone leaves their shoes at the door.
My friend – who’s a farmer and does not have this same rule – thinks it’s ridiculous that I don’t allow shoes but I go barefoot and my kids go barefoot. Point taken. But dirt just doesn’t stick to feet like it does to shoes, and yes, I make my children wash their feet when they come in.
Freezer full of meat
The meat is here! We have a stocked freezer, because we have steers. My kids think chicken and pork are such delicacies because it’s all steak and roasts here, all the time!
Farmers have their own meat, and they also often fill their freezers with 4-H animals, so people can have a variety. I remember my mom calling me from work to ask me to take meat out of the freezer to thaw for dinner, and now I thaw meat for my own family. There’s always something for dinner – even if it’s still frozen.
When my oldest boys were in kindergarten, we were visiting a friend with a farm. She called to her kids, “Get your barn coats!” My son turned to me and asked, “What’s a barn coat?” The fact that he didn’t know was a testament to how young he was, because of course now they all have barn coats. And barn boots. And barn clothes.
Once you wear your clothes to the barn, they’re pretty much just for the barn. Clothes never move in and out of that position. They get relegated to barn status.
Kris will wear jeans until the holes in them are just too big. He will wear shirts from races we’ve done a decade ago. The boys wear the ugliest clothes they own, which are so perfect for the barn and nothing else other than the rag pile. My friend had a ‘farmer day’ at school, and she sent me pictures, and she was wearing the exact boots I wear to the barn. Such accuracy!
Most likely, there will be a truck parked outside a farmhouse. I don’t know how you do some things without a truck, like picking up a calf. It’d be hard to put it in a regular car, but I’ve seen it on the internet! The farm truck is filled with every tool that you will ever need. Everything is in there. If the world is ending, run for a farm truck, because it has everything you need to survive.
Random antique implements
This is standard in a farmhouse, mine included. Bale hooks, ice tongs, saws, pulleys, you name it – you can find it on a farmhouse wall. I even hang some of my great grandma’s wooden kitchen tools on my wall as decoration … and then pluck them off to use them when I bake pies! (That was the most domestic sounding sentence I’ve ever written. Thank you.) I inherited my farm implements when my parents moved out of my house and I moved in, and we keep adding to them, like when my children find them in the haymow or granary or pasture or possibly, the farm truck.
Our houses are weird and wonderful, or as people say, they have a lot of character. They’re full of character! I love my house and on our farm, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. And I’d say that even if it didn’t have a pool. Maybe.
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