In the country, hallways and alleyways are often crammed with tools, coats, hats, hay and feed, not to even mention dogs and cats. The hallway and alleyway to home, barn and stable give additional shelter and protection during a rain or busy day. Mudrooms are quite common on farms and ranches as well as wide porches, some extending all around the house. Porches may be a place to relax, but the porch chairs and swing share space with barrels, boxes and rope. It’s not all neat and tidy on the ranch.
Here is the hallway in our home that extends out onto a small, front porch that has a couple of rope-crossed chairs and flower pots. The barn cats often come up to the front porch to lounge because it faces north and has ample shade. The front porch is merely an entryway for the house, but the back porch extends the length of the house.
The hallway has a hat and coat rack on the right side of the photograph. I have counted as many as ten hats and caps on the rack, and during the winter, coats and rain gear hang appropriately for convenient use.
The second photograph of the hallway, illuminated by the modern invention of flash, illustrates the glass hutch with books, photographs, Native American pottery, prehistoric-lithic tools, horse bits and spurs. Hallway as museum.
In the old days before air conditioning, porches would be screened-in and iron bedsteads would be moved out onto the porch so that you could sleep in the mild night air. I was not interested in sleeping on a bed on a porch, but preferred to sleep under a sheet within the house, tolerating the heat until morning. I might move a pallet into the hallway beside the screen door. Hallway as bedroom.
The barn alleyway this morning shows hay bales from Arizona. These bales weigh 100 lbs. and are three-stringed — barely manageable. The first set of bales on the wooden plat is alfalfa; the second set is coastal bermuda. These bales provide about a week-and-a-half of hay to four horses. I have been cleaning out the barn and opted to put the hay in the alleyway for a time to allow the barn to dry out and give me some room to move tools and implements around.
Hallway and barn alleyway — country-style — have multiple uses and are always comfortable spaces for storage and resting. Let the cool, fresh air flow down the barn alleyway and things are good whether you are from the city or country.