Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Marjorie Kinnon Rawlings - Part 3





Coming out of the bedroom area you walk along a covered outdoor porch area.  From here you can see the garden Marjorie used to grow her produce and the flowers that decorated her home.  It is the same size and is tended now by a local Master Gardener.   Prevalent on the farm were pecan trees but she got rid of them because she didn't like them and replanted orange trees.   




To the right of the garden is the outhouse that was in use at least until the new toilet was installed.  The red flag was used to let others know the facilities were in use.  Strangely, the front was screened and spray painted a zig-zag to give the user a modicum of privacy.




This is a view from the back yard from the garden.   




This is the dining room.  Marjorie loved to cook and actually wrote her own cookbook, the Cross Creek Cookbook.  She once wrote that she would prefer to prepare a perfect meal more than writing a perfect paragraph.   All of this furniture and things were Marjories and you can see the ever-present flower that she insisted on having in every room.  


I took this picture because this is where Marjorie would sit in the nearest chair (more on that later) and have her guests sit around the table.  Whenever Robert Frost, one of her dearest friends,  would visit they would read poetry to each other: Marjorie in closest and Robert in the one to her left.  They would read till the early hours or until Marjorie passed out from too much alcohol.  



These dishes were made especially for MKR.  They depict scenes of her life at Cross Creek.  The lower one on the left is the neighbors pig that she shot after it wandered over too many times.  She told the farmer the she was going to if it escaped its pen again, and danged if she didn't.  To her credit, this was excuse again for another party - she invited the neighbors over for a hog roast.  The owner of the pig didn't attend.     



Now the reason Marjorie didn't let anyone sit in that one chair at the dining room table was because she thought it rude to have guests sit where they had to look out on the outhouse.  



Fascinating piece of furniture.  




This is a closeup of the plate resting on that table.  Marjorie, a lush herself, probably reveled in this plate, which shows a guy in a traditional Friar's robe guzzling some wine.  


This is the kitchen where she loved to cook.  



This is an icebox that sits outside in a porch area where veggies were processed.  Once when everyone was outside a raccoon got in the box and when the ice man opened the door it gave him such a fright that he never delivered again.    



This is the bell with which Rawlings would ring to alert the neighbors that she needed them.  Along these same primitive ways of communicating, we also learned that the train that went through this are would communicate with the people through use of their horn.  Apparently there was a code with number of whistles that would relay pertinent info regarding weather, especially hurricanes and other things of importance to people in small-town Florida. 




 As we leave Marjorie's home I thought I'd include what greets you before you enter the farm.  Marjorie must have been a hoot to be around. Hard drinking, hard eating, hard driving lady but who could write something like this - as gentle and melodic as a hummingbird in flight.   I can't wait till The Yearling is on TMC again.  And Cross Creek with Mary Steenburgen and Sam Shepard is in my Netflix queue.

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