Sunday, November 23, 2008

B Is For Barns

I have been writing a farm life column in an agricultural newspaper for about 10 years. I keep expecting to run out of things to write about every two weeks, but thus far life has provided me with ample material.

Sometimes the deadline looms and the subject matter just refuses to surface. That means that sometimes I produce a column that I hope and pray people are too busy to read. Such was the case last year when I was so busy with holidays and year end bookkeeping duties that I actually spelled out the word "thankful" and wrote about one item for each letter in the word. It reminded me of a sophomore creative writing assignment that I may or may not have assigned when I was teaching English in the late 1990s.

This year I am equally busy during the end of this month, when Thanksgiving interrupts the Christmas preparations and the accountant wants the books and the banker wants the balance sheet. My creativity suffers. At some point near 1 a.m., with the deadline looming, I thought to myself, "Spelling out 'thankful' wasn't so bad last year. That lady at church said she really liked it. I think I'll just do that again."

That is how I came to write another column that resembles a sophomore creative writing assignment. And, because I am still not feeling very creative, I'm going to share it with my blog readers.

One letter at a time.

Just so you can fully appreciate the quality writing here.

Without further ado, I present to you why I feel "blessed" this year. One letter at a time. Just be thankful that "blessed" has one less letter than "thankful."

B - Barns
While this one might not make the top of everyone’s list, I am thankful for the blessing of barns for many reasons. Barns exemplify the country way of life, which I hold dear.

The most prominent barn in my life was erected by my grandfather, whose hands cut the trees and made them into the strong beams that still shelter my dad’s livestock from the storms. The lessons I learned in that barn went far beyond the care of the livestock within it. That barn was instrumental in shaping my life, and I truly appreciate the shelter that a barn can provide from a storm’s fierce winds that have the power to take your breath away.


The hay loft of the barn of my childhood, which was the scene of countless hunts for new batches of kittens


Anonymous said...

I don't think it's corny at all! In fact, I'm on the edge of my seat for L. I love the picture of the barn and the mental image of you hunting for kittens is too cute. I stand in awe of the life you have chosen, the ways that were passed down to you. You are indeed Blessed.

Love, Whitney

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

I'm corny too- my Christmas letter is every letter of Merry Christmas. You're not alone!
And thanks for the memories--I can almost smell the hay while looking for kitties!

Plowing and Sowing said...

For a young boy in East Texas, a barn provided endless entertainment and education...and a few "whippin's" as well. I guess that was part of the education.

The W.O.W. factor said...

...and rope swings from the highest peak, letting go, making sure you land in the deepest part of the loose hay filled loft...lest you make a crash landing on the wooden floor...or the support beam on the aft side!
I love barns! I used to spend many a nite sleeping in the loft and all that sought warmth or solitude as I did!

Haf Dozen Reasons....... said...

Your father built his own barn? How awesome is that!!!!

DayPhoto said...

You have a cool barn!


Julie said...

I love old barns too. In fact - one day (before I became a farmwife and still had time) my girlfriend and I drove around the countryside just photographing old barns. The pictures now decorate our family room. If you ever run out of farm topics, email me. I can't write, but I always love talking to other farm wives (there's so few of us left!). When I worked in town and mentioned having to make a field supper for the men who were combining the corn - I got the dumbstruck looks. Then one woman asked, "What's a Field Supper?" I thought it was pretty self explanatory.

Star said...

The thought of your grandfather hewing the trees and fitting the beams and putting up the barn brought tears to my eyes, and made me think--again--of all the sacrifices our forefathers (and "foremothers!") made to create a good life for themselves, their families and their new nation. Happy (Always Count Your Blessings) Thanksgiving to all.

Blog Directory - Blogged