I adore old barns and have a collection of photos I’ve snapped of many them over the years. But there is one old red barn that I’ll never, ever forget.
We answered an ad for free laying hens a few years ago, posted by an elderly couple who had a few too many Red Stars in their coop. When we arrived at their homestead, they greeted us warmly and showed us around what was once a bustling little farm.
“Here’s where we grew hay and kept our cattle and horses,” the old man pointed to a now empty field and worn down paddocks. There were antique pieces of farm equipment and other goodies strewn all about, which they delighted in showing off and we chatted about how much we love that sort of thing, too, but it was the barn that kept grabbing my attention. It had immediately caught my eye when we pulled into the drive. I mentioned to them just how much I love old barns.
“Do you mind if I snap a few pictures of it for my collection?” I asked.
“Of course not! Would you like to see the inside, too? You’ll love it even more!” the old woman shot back with a big smile. He nodded in agreement. My heart leapt! Of course I’d love to see the inside! I imagined it was filled with empty stalls and old piles of hay or maybe a few old tractors or even some vintage cars, since plenty of old barns and outbuildings are known to hold such treasure.
Whatever was in there, I definitely wanted to see it!
She began to explain to us as we walked toward it how they had come to acquire the barn. It wasn’t always there. Her husband had known the original owner who lived a few miles up the road. He had bought it from the Sears catalogue and was going to tear it down to build a new barn when they offered to buy it and move it to their property (not an easy feat!). As she explained all this to me, she opened the door and we stepped in. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing!
It was definitely NOT what I expected.
“My husband makes furniture in his free time now,” she explained as I took it all in.
She showed me the pictures of when they moved the barn, which was quite impressive!
“But the best part is the upstairs, come on, I’ll show you!” she delighted in my reactions, I could tell. As we wound our way up the old staircase, my jaw nearly dropped.
“This is where we hold get-togethers with family and friends, we love to do square dancing and throw parties up here and just have a good time,” she giggled. You could feel the energy of the space and it was amazing.
I imagined the smiling faces and laughing grandkids as I took it all in.
“Our son does flooring for a living and did that wall for us,” she boasted. By that point I was nearly speechless. I was so blown away and I knew I’d never see another barn like this. I got her permission to take pictures of it all so I could always treasure the moment.
Of course she was happy to oblige. We left that day with our Red Stars and a warm feeling in our hearts knowing that old barns and good, salt of the earth types are still around.