This post is for all you city-slickers out there. All of you who get great joy out of living where the action is, where you can walk the busy city streets and get wonderful cityscape shots. Of course, the other half (you know there are always two kinds of people) will be drawn into my post just because you feel it; you feel the pure joy of driving in the country in the spring past all those wonderful working farms.
Mike, over at Mike’s Look at Life told me he can never pass up a good barn. I too have had a long-time fascination with barns. Maybe it was because I spent so much time with my grandparents who were small-time farmers. Grandpa taught me how to drive on a Farmall Cub when I was 13. He let me drive it all by myself, on the road, from his plot at Ready’s farm on Portage Lake, to their cottage about a mile away. I still remember, at a younger age, feeling the warm, fine, black muck between my toes as I put the potatoes in holes grandpa dug. It was important work and we were a good team. Grandma sat in the shade of the big oak tree cutting the potatoes so there was an eye on each piece.
My very favorite memory is swaying on a swing hung from that very big oak tree, teaching the rows of vegetable plants how to sing. I don’t sing (they didn’t do so good either) but I am a teacher at heart – and an introvert and love the quiet solitude of the country. It makes me wonder if these early experiences formed where I found joy throughout my life or whether there is a genetic predisposition that pulls me to these things.
I grew up in small towns and then moved to the suburbs when I was just entering my teens. The school I started in 7th grade was a new district formed by consolidating a large number of one-room schools. It was called Northwest Agricultural School. They didn’t teach agriculture but they did have a Future Farmers Association. The odds were pretty great that I would marry a farmer – but I didn’t. As a teen, I have very fond memories of visiting my friend Sally and playing in their barn. I learned to love the smell of cows when I visited the dairy farm of my friend Phyllis.
Now I live in a suburban neighborhood, but surrounded by fields. I can hear the tractors plowing the fields close by. In the evening I can hear cows baying (I think that is what it would be called). One of my greatest joys is driving down my country roads and seeing the softly rolling hills of farmland, with the crops changing through the seasons.
I’ve done a couple of other posts on barns here and here. Friend Julie and I have spent a couple mornings wandering around some barns. She has a very interesting image of a barn window that you can see by clicking on this link. Julie is just entering the blogging community so give her a warm welcome! I also suggest you follow her because her photos will be worth seeing and she has the soul of a philosopher.