Mud Room

When Arlene’s cousin Mira was visiting last weekend, I asked if houses in upstate New York have mud rooms. She said no, but that they should.

A mud room is something like a vestibule, preferably a space that you can close off. It’s where you can take off your muddy boots and snowy hat and mittens so you don’t track mud and drip melting snow all over the rest of the house. It’s pretty handy in northern New England. In Casco we have a mud room between the front door and the living room. Here’s what it looked like two weekends ago:

On the bench are Maplewood mittens from Robin Hansen’s Favorite Mittens book, in opal yarn and a hat from Bartlett Mills 3-ply fisherman’s yarn with a couple of inches of silk blend inside the folded-over part for an extra-soft ear part.

The snowshoes are not for decoration. When there’s two feet of snow on the ground, you need them even to fill the bird feeders, to say nothing of getting around the property if you want to go for a walk on our trails.

Well, the leftmost pair of snowshoes may be for decoration. It’s the oldest of the lot, with real babiche (rawhide) webbing. We’ve never put bindings (the gizmos that hold your boots to the snowshoes) on that pair, which means we’ve never been able to use it. The middle pair dates from the ’70s, with neoprene webbing. The one you see on the right is a modern one. It’s lots easier to put on and take off than the middle pair, but somewhat less effective at keeping you on top of the snow.

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