The Milk House

A Reflection by Cathy MacLean

The little house on on our property was once a “milk house.”

A milk house, as the word implies, was a small building used to keep anything that had to do with “milk” such as skim milk, pails, strainers, and a churn. Fresh milk was stored elsewhere, in the cellar or over at the well.

My mother-in-law, Loretta, told when she came to the farm in the twenties as a young bride, the milk house even held the wood stove in the summer. Out through the one little window went the pipe. This was all to keep the house cool, especially when the American relatives came to visit!

Over the years our milk house has housed many things. These days, it is the playhouse of my great granddaughter, Marley and her friend, Nicole. They are four and five years old.

To them the milk house takes turns being a house or a store. Right now, it is a store.

There are bottles, cups, vases, plastic fruit, and bread which seems to be crumpled paper in bread bag. There are toys, “for the kids”, a few basics like a red little red lantern, plastic spoons, cups and tin pot with a handle and lid.

This is the way the operation works. Sometimes one or the other of them is the clerk or the shopper. Sometimes, they change roles too to include me. Sometimes they send me “home.”

The milk house has gone through many stages, but for me the ultimate is to see my great grand daughter become part of its history. She and her cousin Nicole were talking about it one day, and  as she was leaving Nicole said, “I love this place”. What more can I say?

What “heritage buildings” or important family spaces do you recall? What places have influenced your life? You are welcome to “leave a reply” and share your comments.

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