Once upon a barn


I passed this old barn on the way home from the shore and had to stop and get a couple of photos as barns are getting few and far between. We had a barn at the side of our property when I was little, the old red type with a silo. It didn’t house any livestock then, but it had in the years  before. Pigs, cows and horses all had found shelter there in prior days. The gate along the road was still there and we would swing on it, the loft had some hay remaining in it, but it was too dark and scary to do more than peek at. And the dairy room and pig sty were so completely dark that we never ventured in. The silo came down before my memory. A man stopped and asked if her could buy it for the wood which he wanted to use in his house. I have been told that when he took it down the inside surface of the wood was polished smooth by the years of grain passing over it on its descent. The whole barn eventually was taken down, the huge hand hewn beams off to new homes as decorative elements. The granary went next, years later, and I have no idea what happened to the old equipment it had inside. Only a few people know that a barn ever stood right by the side of Swaggertown Rd, the barnyard has filled in with a variety of trees and the foundation is buried beneath years of leaves and roots. I remember sitting on the roof of the old pig sty, it was an easy clamber if you knew where to place toes and fingers. It allowed a “just above street level” view of the road and a quiet place to think. There was so little traffic in those days a car was something to look at as they passed by the secret spot. There is only 1 photo I know of that shows the barn, I wish there were more taken from all angles and both inside and out. But that is not the case so I have to rely on my memory of it, faulty at best. When I see a barn I often think of the one I knew in childhood, how the bits of hay smelled, how it felt when my brother pulled the big, sliding, door shut behind me saying he had locked it, how the tall grass tickled when we walked through it, the warning to stay away from the old barn well. All of it mixes in my mind like hay dust caught in sunbeams, glinting and spinning as they go by. A barn is a romantic image most of us hold in our minds of an item we revere, but no longer have personal use for in our daily lives. But we are drawn to them nonetheless.


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