Hello; come on in.
Welcoming Mat is placed at My Back Door
Young and new to the farming operation, I quickly learned where to place the welcoming mat in my old farmhouse. That was at my old rickety back door. I assumed we would welcome guests and family in the clean front door and leave the back door for farm traffic. This door is where the dirt, the mud, the manure, the straw, and the greasy, stinky clothes travel through daily—the connection from our house to the farm.
Stepping on My Welcoming Mat
I used to be horrified at the mess and the smell the guest endured to get up into my house. But farmers don't necessarily work that way; at least mine doesn't. You see, you never know who is going to follow my farmer in the back door. It was usually a feed salesman or seed salesman, an insurance agent, or a hungry farmhand. It didn't matter to my farmer; he welcomed them in the back door. They were served a glass of lemonade or a cold ski and continued with their meeting at my kitchen table. When the meeting was over, and their glasses were empty, they followed my farmer out my back door.
Our kids followed suit as they grew older and had friends out to visit. It didn't matter to my kids; they were welcomed in the back door. And yes, I cleaned that door daily but one kiddo or farmer through that old door, and it was dirty again. Straw. Dust. Dirt. The smells. It was never-ending. I swear, it doesn't matter if they strip naked outside and walk-in; there is still an odor or dirt at my old rickety back door. Farm life is just dirty and smelly.
You're Not a Guest; You're Family
I am sure you are thinking the same thing. So I questioned myself, as most farmwives do, how am I going to stop this mess? Can't they clean off outside with a hose or something? I would also ask myself, "Aren't the guest going to leave my house horrified at the mess at my back door?"
My answer now is no. We live in reality here on the farm, and that includes the dirt at my door. I learned along the way; if you walk in my back door with my farmer or one of my kiddos, you are not a guest; you are family. When you visit, you will step on my welcome MatMat into my home, through the straw, the manure smell, and the muddy boots at my back door and be greeted with a glass of sweet tea because that's Just Farm Life.