The Cellar


The cellar was not attached to the house. It was about thirty feet from the back porch. I dont really know how big it was but as a kid it seemed pretty big to me. It was brick lined with a dome ceiling and a dirt floor. A big wooden slab door made it very dark . There were shelves along each side wall and several wooden box containers on the floor. Mom kept all the home canned fruits vegetables and meat on the shelves. The boxes were used for potatoes and onions.

The cellar was also used as a storm shelter. Dad was afraid of tornadoes because he was in one as a kid. When the sky looked ominous and the wind started to howl dad would tell all of us to get to the cellar. It was my job to make sure all the kids were accounted for. Mom would get a couple old blankets to take down so wed have something to sit on.

The storms were always loud with thunder and wind. When the wind threatened to tear off the cellar door dad mounted the stairs and grabbed hold, fighting to keep his grip as the door shook violently. When dad thought it was safe he would lift the door just enough to peak out to see if the storm was almost over and see if the barn and house were still there. Sometimes the storm lasted a long time , At other times it was over in no time at all.

The cellar door made a good play area. It had a slight slope so I would take one ball and put it at the bottom of the door, take another ball at the top and let it roll to see if I could hit the ball at the bottom.

When I got old enough to lift the door mom would send me down to bring up some of the potatoes or canned vegetables. I hated that job because it was so darn dark down there and there was a plentiful supply of spiders and others bugs.

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