Dreaming About Muddy Places-Ranchwife Slant-5-1-13

Posted May 1, 2013 at 8:00 am

Unlike the “Great Room”, the “Living Room”, or the “3-car garage,” a “Mudroom” is dedicated to, and contains exactly what the room’s name implies.

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Today’s homes have entryways, breezeways, foyers, and atriums. Farm and ranch houses have mudrooms; unless it’s a house like ours. Our home’s entrance has always been through our kitchen. My family’s dirty footwear and winter gear congregate in the small space in front of the kitchen door or outside on the front porch.

Farm and ranch homes are the only houses in America that dedicate a room to the earth and I want one! Mudrooms vary in size but the one thing that’s collectively the same is that it’s a place where all things wet, mud and manure-covered are kept when not being worn. It’s the room that reflects the daily activity as well as the dirtiness of its residents the most.

The average American woman typically dreams of a house that’s big, has a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms, maybe a state-of-the-art kitchen, a room with big picture windows that frame a fantastic view, a gargantuan walk-in closet, or a craft room with customized storage. A ranch wife’s dream home is simple: it has a MUDROOM—a country luxury I’ve never had.

Women who have had souvenirs from the calving barn, corrals, driveway and other outdoor locations, show up on their floors understand why a farm or ranch home should be built around a mudroom. It’s the most vital of all living spaces for peace and harmony among farm and ranch families and a woman’s sanity.

For years I have dreamed of the night when I would be able to make it to the bathroom without stumbling or tripping over scattered boots or stepping in a cold puddle of melted snow in the dark. Soon (I hope), there will be no more dealing with a cluster of footwear, caked-on, manure-slimed overalls and chore coats, ice cream buckets of food scraps for the chickens or barn cats, and the box of discarded newspapers near the kitchen door. We’ve tussled with boots and crumpled mucky rugs in the way of the door or grumbled about boots that were cold and filled with snow from being left outside on the porch. After 18 years that’s about to change.

Our old front porch was removed and hauled down to the burn pile. The porch roof was propped up, footings were dug, and now we are awaiting concrete to be poured. Not being able to use the small designated area we had for mud, snow, and manure-clad footwear in front of the kitchen door has further proven just how badly we truly need a mudroom. Using the back porch and entering the house through the living room has been an even bigger pain.

Mud, dirt clods, bits of hay, and snow are a big part of our family life and dedicating a room to the messiness of our lives will soon be the most prized space of our home. I may not have an asphalt driveway, garage, spare room, or guest bathroom, but I am going to have a mudroom! If you don’t understand what’s so exciting about getting a mudroom, then I guess you just have to live out here to get it. It’s a rural thing.

Dreaming About Muddy Places