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.
Hubby surprised some of the girls (DD’s the oldest one) one time when they were hiding behind the smokehouse from the boys.
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!).