An old barn can be a beautiful structure. But mainly it is a busy place that needs tending in order to stay useful for the many tasks involved in running a farm. Our barn is a tired old structure. It no longer houses animals, which means it is in constant need of repair as there is no heat generated by cows, pigs or goats. The old hoses have been removed as well as most of the watering bowls. In spite of this, we remain terribly attached to our barn.
This barn of ours is a bit like a storage area for someone’s garage sale… We keep our patio chairs and tomato cages there. Garden hoses are stored in the old chicken coop. Our old ping pong table gets used about once a year out there. There are ancient bicycles in case visitors want a bike ride. Our son and daughter, who no longer live at home here, manage to each have an area for storing their junk.
The old beams are huge and hand hewn. In the 1930s, a silo was built inside the barn…an unusual location for sure! We have built a staircase from the upper level to the lower. We modernized the electricity inside…of necessity. A new back door was made by our son. Huge numbers of tiny glass window panes were replaced by father and son. The raccoons, squirrels and pigeons all claim the barn as theirs. And here we thought it was ours, a place to keep the mower and garden supplies over the winter… We also store wood there for our wood stove.
We should have cleaned out the barn this winter before the busy days begin. But we didn’t. As I took a tour this morning, I see much too much that needs doing! But every year, a little bit more gets accomplished.
There’s always something that requires work in a barn. It is a sponge for repairs! But we love it, and when we see neighbor barns deteriorating and crumbling to the ground, it is an emotional thing indeed.
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