Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ode to a Root Cellar

I'm an old fashion kind of girl.
I like the way things are done the old fashion way...
Dishes by hand at the kitchen sink.
Laundry blowing on the line out back as they dance dry in the sun.
Gardens weeded in the early morning or the cooling part of the evening.
Playing...I mean working with the irrigation water...
Bottling and drying produce *when it's on*. The reward of a hot job well done and seeing the beautiful results.
It gives me a chance to slow down for a few minutes in an ever hurrying world.

I have noticed a little building to the side of an old house we pass, every time we go over the hill to visit the valley, last time we stopped so I could take a few pictures. (Honey gets a little embarrassed when I do this sort of thing) I walked up to the door and knocked, no answer, so I walked around the corner of the tree shaded abode to see if I could locate an owner, to ask permission.

There was a younger-ish woman folding clothes just inside the back door calling out to her children playing in the back yard. I made myself known from a distance, so as not to frighten either of us, and she smiled as she brought her folding out to visit. I asked if I could take some pictures of the root cellar, she told me that around back was a door to get in the top part and smiling gave me the tiny tour. 

Later we asked Honey's Mom about the little structures. Some, like my Grampa's, were humble dirt holes with a dirt covered roof, complete with trap door, a rickety wooden ladder the only means of entry leading into the depths of the cool chamber, others more elaborate structures, often mimicking the house it went with. She told us that when she was little, she would hide in the top part of her Gramma  Pherson's root cellar, but can't remember what, if anything, was kept in there. The cement room half was lined with shelves holding assorted jars of produce from the family's combined garden's, orchards, and berry picking outings from the year. Along with barrel's filled with sawdust, hiding carrots, beets and other assorted *roots*, with net bags overhead filled with onion's, apples or bag's of flour and other necessities.
A store against want.

Many things from the past have gone by the way side, sadly, root cellars are one of them. Every now and again you can glimps on of the all to often unkempt skeletons standing as silent monuments of sorts...yet they are still very much alive and well in hearts, minds, and maybe even a yard or two, of the old fashioned folk...

Smile and remember;
We're fool's whether we dance or not. So we might as well dance.

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