The Barn Dance

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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.
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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?
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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?
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Why is that barn falling in on itself…

Seen better days

Seen better days

…and the one down the road a bright red beacon of hope?
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Why is the barn so big and the house so small?
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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?
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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 through link

Just remember…where there’s a barn, there’s a barn dancer.

And I’m one of ’em.
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6 thoughts on “The Barn Dance

  1. Oh, I’m a barn dancer since early days and know and love exactly what you mean. We even have one now where we celebrate special occasions and the wine harvests conclusion every year. However many takes there are on barns, there are always more to be revealed as we all see the possibilities and past histories differently. Here’s to your barn view covering as much of the world as possible!

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    • I am tickled to know you are a fellow barn dancer! It’s in the blood I think. We too have barns that have been converted to ‘halls of frocklicking fun” for special occasions and I’m happy to see that rather than them falling to ruin. And you’re right…there are always more to be revealed and more than meets the eye. The history of us could very well be tracked through the history these living museums could teach us. I do have some shots of a barn or two in England, but would be a dream come true if I could travel the world on the quest for the ultimate barn dance. 🙂

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    • Thank you Mim. It is and has always been, on my list of things to accomplish. Some may think it a small thing in the grand scheme, but the stories these buildings could tell…xoxo

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  2. The way you write is frolicky, Rhonda – I love it and I love the philosophical undertones – you always make me think! Oh yeah and we have a big red shed (barn) that is about to topple so you better hurry on over here! Love you -Juliexxx

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    • Oh how I would love to capture that big red before it tumbles Jules. Just in case…perhaps you should snap a shot? And I like that idea of my writing being frolicky! Makes me smile to think of it. But then….you always make me smile. Thinking of you and sending much love…xoxo

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