Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Memory of a Farmhouse

In the years I lived on the old farmstead, I was married to a coal miner.


Seriously.

And when you are married to a coal miner you become EXTREMELY protective of your claw-foot bathtub!

You do NOT want that black film anywhere near the ancient porcelain surface of your beloved bathing vessel.

Fortunately the ancient, old farmhouse came with both an outside cellar door and a rigged up shower in the basement.

An old shower-head was attached to one of the pipes in the middle of the floor. Rigged up with hot and cold faucets, a drain and a circular aluminum shower curtain rod, it was perfect.

At least I thought so.

My then-husband did not.

He would come home from work covered in grit and black dust and slam those outside cellar doors open.

I, being the always thoughtful wife, would have left clean clothes and his slippers on a chair just outside his cleansing domain. An old bath mat and a plastic lined laundry basket for his heavily grimed work gear completed his deluxe accommodations.

He would grumble and mutter along with the grumble and mutter of old, copper plumbing, and eventually emerge up the narrow basement steps looking for dinner.

Thankfully my tiny laundry room was tucked into a little porch off the kitchen upstairs so I never had to stay in the old, spooky basement very long.

I only stayed long enough to leave clothes and slippers for a coal-miner forced to clean up each night after work in a nasty shower.

This little memory is written in honor of the letter "N" is written in honor of Alphabe-Thursday. "N" is for nasty shower.

To read other 'N' offerings, just click here.


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30 comments:

Maggie said...

Very nasty, not nice at all!

Katie said...

hahah...I don't blame you...I would have sent my sooty husband elsewhere to bathe too!

Donna Heber said...

Great post for the letter "N". I wouldn't want anything to happen to my claw-foot bathtub either! I should have realized there were showers set up in basements just for this reason.

Cheryl D. said...

It sounded like the shower was made just for that purpose! I bet the antique claw tub was gorgeous!

Bossy Betty said...

Hey! I think it's great you gave him that shelter for a shower! I would have been tempted to have him settle for a hose in the yard.

upinthecosmos said...

That stuff gets everywhere.... well I don't know from experience but that's what my mom would say, even thought she doesn't know from experience either! LOL....

LuLu Kellogg said...

We just had our claw foot resurfaced (to the tune of $850.00) so I have a velvet rope around it now! Hehehe!

Love,
LuLu~*xoxo

Judie said...

My youngest brother worked for a paper mill in Alabama, near my home, and he would bring his ash coated clothes to my house to wash. They were pretty smelly! But at least they weren't black with coal dust!!

anitamombanita said...

Ah yes, keep that nasty dirt away from me and my clean tub and linens and food and everything else! heehee

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

I'm pretty sure that coal dust wouldn't have been very good for anyone else either, so I would have wanted a nasty shower in the basement too! Better than a hose in the backyard.

Nezzy said...

I sure don't blame ya one little bit for makin' Coal~Miner take a shower in the basement. Ya'll know how picky and twisted I am!!!

I'd be protectin' my beautiful claw footed tub too!!!

Who'd of thunk it??? Miss Jenny puttin' up a 'nasty' post!!! Heeehehehe!!!

God bless ya sweetie and have a terrific day!!! :o)

Karen S. said...

Oh those nasty dirty joys of life though right! Really crazy about that charming face though...and I too know about scary basements that you really will never ever forget about!!!!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

When I was a kid, my husband worked for about a year in a KY coal mine, so I know exactly what you are taking about. Nasty stuff that gets in everything, leaving a black film...

great photo..

It's All Connected said...

I spend as little time as possible in my scary basement. I had hardly ever been down there until my divorce and then I had to install a new pump. Cured me of my irrational fear of spiders! ~ Maureen

Theresa said...

I took MANY baths in a claw-foot tub:) Memories, some are dirty:) Have a blessed day in your corner of the world! HUGS!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I am so glad he didn't tromp it through the house.

City Share said...

Wow! I would send my husband to the basement to shower too. I can only imagine that otherwise you would end up with sooty foot prints everywhere...not to mention your wonderful claw foot tub.

Sue said...

I would have done the same!

=)

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Coal mining is hard and very dirty work. Glad you had the other cleansing area for him. Great story!

Ames said...

My word! I never, ever would have thought you were a coal miner's wife! You surprise me with every turn Jenny.

Sometimes people go through life thinking others couldn't possibly have a clue about hard times. Just goes to show ya, you can't read a book by it's cover.

So what happens to that tub? Is it hard to come clean?

Love this ongoing story. Until your next installment....
Love ya, mean it!~Ames

edenhills said...

Nasty or not, I don't blame you for not wanting that filth in the house.

Pondside said...

My dad was a coal miner when he and my mum first married. There were showers at the pits, so Dad didn't bring the grime home on himself, but you can imagine that in a coal town, the black was everywhere.

Splendid Little Stars said...

Your farmhouse memories continue to amaze! You paint such vivid pictures.

The basement is the perfect cleanup location for a coal miner. How kind of you to set out clean clothes.

Ms. A said...

For sure a nasty job. Hope safety was a strong point and he wasn't as black on the inside, as they get on the outside.

Sarah in Maine said...

Enjoyed the post...
Nasty stuff, coal dust.
Would love an ole clawfoot tub.
Sigh.

Peace,
Siggi in Downeast Maine

H said...

At the UK coalfields, the miners had showers in the pithead buildings. They cleaned up and changed before they came home.

storybeader said...

I guess I would be grumbling too if I had to shower in the basement. But what about the pipes!? I wouldn't think they would last long. (good P post!) Thanks for all you do with AlphabeThursday - it looks like it's growing with links! {:-D

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Wow! I also didnt know that you were a coalminer's wife! I watched some of the episodes of the tv show Coal and wowee! I have a deep respect for those that work in those conditions! I do not think I could get in some of those tight places that they have to work in!

I definitely like the idea of a separate shower accessible from the outside...my hubby's parent's home had a shower right outside the laundry area...so anyone coming from the beach could shower immediately from the outside without trailing in the sand into their home.

Blessings & Aloha!

taylorsoutback said...

Sounds like a perfectly reasonable arrangement to me! My own husband went from flying multi-million dollar aircraft in Vietnam to working in a huge papermill in northern Wisconsin when he got out of the Army. (Grateful for the job though!) My laundry challenges went from washing fairly innocuous flightsuits to glued on paper pulp covered overalls. It took a while, but he finally did those clothes in the machines the mill provided...whew!

Andy said...

Hello Jenny.
I am such a narcissist that I can't even imagine being covered in that kind of grit & grime. Yuk! How on earth did you ever keep his clothes clean?
Loving this series. Keep them coming.
Thanks for sharing.

No Anguish Or Pain