There are some things that are just so much better when you do them in a barn!
Whether it’s squarein’, folkin’, cloggin’, or stompin’, the dances are da bomb.
It could be fiddlin’ or pickin’ and grinnin’ too, the music hits all the right notes.
If stichin’ and bitchin’ is your thing, a quilting bee could be the answer.
Meeting your sweetie on a Saturday night, or cruising and schmoosing at a Sunday social? Both could land you smack dab in the middle of a damned good roll in the hay.
Not that I had any such experience, but when the gals of the FHA ‘colluded’ with the boys of the FFA…there was usually chaff involved. (Chaff – the technical term for ‘honey, brush your britches off!)
No matter what it is, it’s just better in a barn.
This love affair with barns isn’t geographical. No matter what part of the world you live in…you’ll see evidence of local customs and ethnic traditions in the barns that dot the countryside. And whether there’s a floor (or sumpin’)being laid or a roof (or sumpin’) being raised, chances are you’ll find it’s for/with the community (or sumpin’).
That’s the draw for me, and it has been a life long one. The architectural type and features give us the biggest clues as to the who, the what, the where, and the when.
But it’s the condition of the barn that gives us the why.
Is it a model for advances in the industry, surrounded by shiny equipment and smelling of fresh mown hay and odor d’cow?
Or is it a sad landmark of better times? Rusting tractors, broken fences, over grown pastures and paddocks with just a whisper of what once thrived there?
Why is that barn falling in on itself…
…and the one down the road a bright red beacon of hope?
Why is the barn so big and the house so small?
And so on…
Growing up in dairy country, barns were as common a sight to me as high-rises and tenements are to city dwellers. But common or not, I’ve been drawn to them for as long as I can remember.
Maybe it was the stories my father would tell of life on the farm; drinking the milk raw, taking the cream right off the top, smokin’ corn silk in corn cobs, telling of things one did ‘behind’ the barn?
Or my own memories of tire swings hung in the space between the giant barn doors, or pushing my oldest brother (I swear he jumped) out of the hay loft doors ’cause there was a bee headed my way? I think perhaps being around folk who didn’t think “What, were you raised in a barn?” is an insult, may have had something to do with it.
One day, when I’m better equipped to do so, I’d like to tour our beautiful country just to photograph farms and barns. Or parts of barns. Or things that go in barns. Or…you get the idea.
When traveling, my driver is always saying “Look Babe, there’s a silo”. He gets me.
Or when I’m running the dirt roads with Supe, he’s always suggesting this path or the other because “There’s a great barn down here”. He gets me too.
This is not a unique idea by a long shot…I’m sure if I Googled it, I’d come up with thousands who’ve done that very thing, and done it extremely well. But that does not daunt me. I know what I like and I know taking snaps in a drive by is not very professional, but it’s what I do.
One lesson I’ve learned in the time it’s taken me and my third eye to become better acquainted is that, we each have our own perspective; we each see the beauty and the ugly in our own way; we each do what we do for our own reasons; and our eyesight is but a tool…
It is our hearts that are our true guide to what we capture and why.
So, if you’re keen on barns and the like, or just want to see the barn dance so far…you can see it on this page
Just remember…where there’s a barn, there’s a barn dancer.
And I’m one of ‘em.