The Smokehouse


 smoke-house-at-farm The smokehouse had been built in the early 1900’s and was used by previous generations of Hubby’s family to smoke the meat from the livestock they raised for food.

But during Hubby’s parents’ generation, they stopped raising and butchering their own meat, so Grandpa cleaned out the smokehouse and let his grandchildren play in it.  

So, the little two-room smokehouse became a playhouse for our children and their cousins.  And, one of the games they frequently played when they were all together at Grandma and Grandpa’s was a version of hide and seek that involved the smokehouse.  The girls (there were quite a few more of them) would hide around the farm, and the boys would find them and put them in the back room of the smokehouse that they called the jail. 

  kids-playing-by-smoke-house  Hubby surprised some of the girls (DD’s the oldest one) one time when they were hiding behind the smokehouse from the boys.

kids-playing-by-smoke-house-too1 I don’t want to cast aspersions on the loyalty to the “girl team” of this niece, but she seems to suddenly be awfully buddy buddy with these two from the “boy team”!  Oh wait a minute.  They’re her brothers.  Maybe she’s brokering a deal.

DD mentioned to me one time that once in a while the “jail” room in the smokehouse had a funny smell and she suspected the boys sometimes used it as a bathroom.  But, I told her I felt sure they weren’t doing that and reminded her that it used to be a smokehouse, so it was to be expected that there might be some residual animal smells.  That idea seemed to satisfy her and she never mentioned it again.  But years later when Hubby had to dismantle the falling-down smokehouse, I remembered DD’s long ago comment and we had to chuckle.  When he got the door to the back room, aka jail, out in the bright sun, he could see faintly scrawled on it, “Jail and Bathroom”!  What is it they say?  “To a little boy, all the world is a bathroom!”

For almost a century that little brick building had served Hubby’s family, first to help put food on the table, and then to entertain our children (and apparently sometimes to save a little boy a trip to the house!).

13 Responses to The Smokehouse

  1. chrissy says:

    Cute! A fun memory for everyone! But a little icky too, so true, but icky!

  2. Beth says:

    I have to tell you, I would have LOVED a little house like that to play in! We were very into make-believe, and I’m sure we would have had lots of great games of “house” and “school” there. Love the “jail” idea! So fun!

    How are you feeling, Sandra?

    • Sandra says:

      Beth — I’m so glad to get your comment! I am having trouble with my blog (wordpress is working on it) and I can’t see this post! So, yours and Chrissy’s comments tell me that at least readers can see it! btw, do both of your comments show up when you view it? I have such a love/hate relationship with technology. 😦

      I’m almost completely healed and feeling great! Going to be in a style show on Friday, that I’ll probably show some pictures of. Very fun to have a stylist pick some clothes for me! Thanks for your concern, young friend.

  3. Julie says:

    I remember playing hide and seek at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and that the boys used the smokehouse was a Jail. I also remember never, ever going into the smokehouse. I was a little too young at the time to understand why I shouldn’t go in there, I was just always told not to go in there. I think I was afraid of what was in there, even though I really had no idea what was in there. Now I understand!
    Thanks for sharing the great pictures and the story with them.
    Have a great week!
    Julie 😀

  4. Beth says:

    Yes–I can see all the comments. I don’t remember seeing Chrissy’s when I commented this morning–but I might have just not noticed.

    Hope your computer starts behaving itself soon.

    I’m so glad you’re feeling mostly better!!!

  5. Sandra says:

    Julie — I found it a little spooky too, but it seemed like most of the kids enjoyed it. Your reluctance to go to “jail” may be why both your sisters are in this picture, and not you!? I think that may make you the smart one! 🙂 The farm was fun for all of you wasn’t it. Great memories.

    Beth — A “miracle” happened right after I took wordpress’ advice and “deleted cookies”! So, I’m back in action.

    btw, I should have pointed out to you that even though this little building looks nice and neat from the outside, it wasn’t really very nice inside, in fact kind of spooky for some of the littler kids (see Julie’s comment). Not very much light, just dirt floor, and I think some old bricks and wood in piles in corners. So, don’t wish too much that you could have played in there — you and Julie might have preferred playing school in the house! 🙂

  6. Julie says:

    Yes, I have wonderful memories of the farm and playing with all of my cousins there whenever we had a family get together. We all had great times playing at the farm.
    I agree with you that the reason I was not in that photo is probably b/c I was the ‘smart’ one sitting out on the porch swing not playing around the smokehouse with the others. 🙂

  7. Sandra says:

    Julie — You would think the rest of the girls would have figured out eventually that that was more fun too! 🙂

  8. Hilary says:

    Aww that’s such a sweet tale. How nice to know that little smokehouse has served so many. Well told, my friend. 🙂

  9. Sandra says:

    Hilary — Thank you, as always, Hilary. You are such a receptive audience! 🙂

  10. Aaron says:

    I can confirm that the inscription on the door was an accurate description for the use of the back room. 🙂

  11. Sandra says:

    Aaron — I’m not thrilled that you’ve now confirmed my worst fears! 🙂

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