26 November 2012

The Old Barn

The big red barn is no more.

The barn was built the same year as the house--1900--but hadn't weathered the years as gracefully.  There were little repairs done here and there but by the time it came into our hands, the roof was in desperate need of replacement.  Unfortunately, the house sucked up our money and time so the old structure continued to age.  Once the roof is gone, the innards of any structure go exponentially fast.
Though we were unable to rescue the barn, it wasn't a complete loss.  We personally used barn wood in everything from our kitchen floor, to nursery shelves, stairwell support beams and crafts.  Once it was listed for sale online, the wood disappeared in a flash.  We asked each person what was to become of the weathered wood and were intrigued by the results: it was to be used in crafts, replace wood in other barns fortunate enough to be saved, put up in homes as accent walls, used in high school musical productions and made into backdrops for amateur music videos.  It was oddly comforting that all the wood taken went to a good home.
It was sort of strange watching the edifice continue to disintegrate.  It wasn't the same feeling as selling a living, breathing, sentient beast but there was certainly a measure of sadness.  The barn had once been essential to the owners but slowly became obsolete.
One of our favorite summer pastimes was to watch the barn swallows swoop after in-flight insects.
There was evidence that children once played in the rafters but it became entirely unsafe.  Still, it was used by everything from bats, barn swallows, racoons, feral cats, foxes to mice, rats, skunks, possums and groundhogs.  Not all of those creatures were welcome, especially when they munched on our poultry or dug holes in the middle of the yard.  So, at the request of the buyers, the barn was to be removed.
Hanging a screen for a Friday night drive-in movie theater.
In ten minutes, the tired old barn was plowed down . . .
 . . . and the dry wood light aflame.
You can bet the fire department showed up with a blaze like that!  The guy knocking down the barn apparently forgot to call and let them know there would be a fire.  Oops.
Then it was just a matter of burying the wreckage in a deep grave.
(Deep enough to give Evelyn and I a bit of vertigo when we stepped too close!)
Our property certainly feels emptier without the barn but it's given way to some space for a paddock or perhaps another barn.
All that's left of the poor old shelter is a dirty wound in the earth where there was once a proud, useful red barn surrounded by lush green grass for hogs, horses and cows to graze.  It certainly is not forgotten, however, in many more ways than one.
Our growing family with the barn as the backdrop.

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