She has stood here in this space for more than 100 years. I fell in love with her the minute we drove in the driveway in the year 2000.
Every weekend we would leave the bustling city and drive to the bucolic country looking for our retirement home. While the description of most of the places listed in the acreage part of the real estate section of the paper did not in any way meet our expectations or their descriptions, we kept looking and hoping and wishing.
Then one weekend on the advice of the receptionist in my building whose friend had a farm for sale, we ventured up north to check it out. Unlike other weekends, this one held hope - lots of hope. First of all, lilacs welcomed us up the drive. My Guy will vouch for this - as we drove past the bushes into the open area of the yard, I said, "I could live here." The barn - the circle drive around the yard - the ten acres - the house from the outside - made me feel like I was home. Then we looked through the house and I was sold. I could have moved in that day. I was in love.
I've always thought of my barn as "her" - a mother building who has housed many children. How many calves were born in this barn, nourished in this barn, sheltered in this barn, were milked in this barn and maybe their lives ended in this barn. Countless.
Not many families have lived on this land...families who came here, lived here, loved here and stayed here until they couldn't.
Then last week I came home from the east and noticed my barn - her roof was sagging more than ever. The sun had weathered the south side and the freezing rain added too much weight and finally the snow must have been just too much in her weakened state. A couple of days ago, I took some winter pictures after the snow and ice. It was very cold and I couldn't get a good shot of my barn. So I took pictures of our trees and the yard so I wouldn't have to get my boots on and plow through the snow to get the picture of my barn.
Yesterday my Guy came in and said, "The roof gave way on the barn." I went out to look and my tears froze on my face. The one end of the roof had given way. She has stood vigilant over this farm all these years. Now her demise is more certain.
When we moved here, I wanted to use my barn for weekend tag sales. My Guy said it wasn't safe. The roof on the back side needed repair. We asked his brother who knew something about fixing up old barns. He crawled up in the hay loft to look at the damage. The estimate was devastating...I would have to win the lottery to repair her roof.
I had envisioned using the wooden stalls where the animals had been corralled for my repurposed, recycled and refurbished goods. I kept pushing to clean her up and power wash her and it would be so nostalgic and fun. It never happened. We never even stored much of anything within her walls. Now we never will.
Her shell will probably stand longer than we will. Built before 1900, she is constructed of tamarack trees. We won't be able to really access the damage on the inside until spring I guess. Aging is a fact of life. I know that - I just thought she'd live forever. Sometimes I am surprised by the things that tug at my heart. She did and does. I love my barn.