2021 September 25

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CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY

Yesterday I began giving you a tour of Grandpa’s home. We were just about to step into the kitchen. I believe the kitchen was the largest room in the house. Where Granddad’s bedroom was always dark and spooky, the kitchen seemed to always be full of warmth and light, even at night.

The doorway we just stepped through was at the kitchen’s northwest corner. To the left was a door behind which were the stairs leading upward to the bedrooms. 

Straight ahead was a plain four legged table large enough for six and could be made larger, though there were seldom more than Mom, Grandpa, and myself. Table was covered with a large, plain white tablecloth of some heavy almost canvas-like material. It was centered on the west facing of the two windows. This one, like the two in the livingroom was adorned with a lace curtain and a roller shade. 

To the left was a long counter with drawers and doors enough to hold everything needed in the kitchen. This is where Mom would layout a clean dish towel, dust it with flour, and knead bread dough. At the end of the counter, behind what appeared to be another cupboard door, was the flour bin. It was hinged at the bottom and tilted out to reveal enough flour to make many loaves of bread, pies, cakes, and cookies. At the other end of the counter was a similar bin, also hinged at the bottom. This bin had a decorative metal screen in the front. This is where the potatoes were stored after being brought in from the root cellar.

In the corner of the northeast wall was a narrow, deep pantry. It always smelled of onion and garlic from those dried braided vegetables hung at the far reaches of the space. The shelves were lined with jars of mostly home-canned vegetables. There were also of jars of head cheese made from that head I talked about earlier. There were also jars of canned carp. (Wait a minute … some of you just turned up your nose at caned carp, didn’t you? I’ll bet if you tasted it, you couldn’t distinguish it from canned salmon.)

Next to the pantry door was the cook stove, also fueled by kerosene. As I recall the stove, it was heavy like cast iron with a yellowed enameled finish. The stove was sandwiched between the pantry door and the door to the enclosed back porch. We will get to that porch later.

The kitchen sink was attached to the east wall next to the backdoor. It was heavy, deep, and wide with a perpetual orange stain from the heavy mineral content of the well water. There was no cabinetry under the sink. It just hung suspended in midair like some magician’s trick.

Above the sink and to the right, in the south wall, was the second window, which looked out onto the backyard, the root cellar, outhouse, and granddad’s shed. Smaller than the other window, it was bordered by short red and white gingham curtains.Above the sink and to the right, in the south wall, was the second window, which looked out onto the backyard. Smaller than the other windows, it was bordered by short red and white gingham curtains.

The refrigerator lived along that wall also. It was a large white box on tall legs with a crown of condenser coils on top. That refrigerator was already an antique when I was a boy. It would jolt to life with a jump when a cooling cycle began and hum an angry tune the whole time it ran.

Next to the refrigerator and in the southwest corner stood a tall piece of white painted furniture, a sideboard, a pie safe, or something else. I’m having trouble visualizing it. 

Neither can I remember the floor. It could have been wood, tile, or linoleum.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll take you upstairs to see the bedrooms.

TO BE CONTINUED

°°°°°°°°°°°°

At one time I had a lot of things in large gray crates stored in the back of the pickup. We then started using the truck to pick up food to take to the food pantry. And also aluminum cans to take to the metal reclamation center. I took my stuff out to make room for the others. However, we really needed to get them out of the apartment. So today, we organized them and lugged them back into the truck.

Good night and God bless

©2021 Thomas E Williams

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