Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jane's Clean Dirt Floor

On our way to Jane's, we passed Barkley coming toward us. Barkley was the funniest animal I had ever seen. He was the neighbor's friendly Basset Hound. I could not suppress my giggles at his droopy eyes and drunken walk. He sat on the side of the road, clearly torn between following us and continuing his original direction. Once decided, he left us with the wag of his tail and a "Bar-Rooh!"

Outside of Jane's place was a fenced area containing animals. I watched with bossy disapproval as Walter teased a ram. Walter is my older brother and I usually disapproved of everything he did. The ram did what rams do and rammed the wire fence to try to get to Walter. This was terrifying to me. The fence kept stretching with each attack, but fortunately, it held. 

Jane was a friend of mom's. Her picture in my memory is a pleasant one. She wears a long heavy dark skirt and long brown hair passed her full hips. She is smiling, her chocolate colored eyes twinkle with warmth and kindness. She laughs easily. 

How old was the one room cabin that Jane lived in? It must have been one of the first homes in the quiet area of Warner, New Hampshire.  Herbs were hanging from the ceiling to dry and there was a cast iron wood stove where she did her cooking.  I can vaguely see a patchwork quilt on her rumply (probably feather) bed. It was quite dark, lit with only kerosene lamps, and had a dirt floor. Jane would sweep the floor. This took some explaining for my four-year-old self to understand. Apparently, the dirt compacts into an almost cement like surface, and it can be swept clean.

1 comment:

The Baby Catcher said...

I remember my grandma's basement having a dirt floor, and she swept it too!°Ü°

where is everyone?