I love barns. All kinds of barns.
So, what’s with the barn-love? I grew up in the woods, on the shores of a very big lake. No barns in sight. No barns within seventy miles. Rugged shoreline and forests, that was my childhood playground.
But there’s just something about a barn. Maybe it’s in my blood. My parents both grew up on farms. My mom’s parents were still living on their homesteaded 160 acres when my grandpa died. They no longer had any animals in the barn though.
My cousins down the road a-ways, they had dairy cows. Still do in fact. And a hayloft full of fresh hay.
Don’t you just love the smell of a hayloft full of fresh hay?
And kittens. Kittens just go with haylofts like stink on manure, don’t they?
We would spend hours in that hayloft, me and my sisters and our cousins. Chasing down the wild kittens who hid between the hay bales. Jumping from one stack of bales to another. Getting a lot of hay stuck in our clothes, up our nose, in our ears.
Loving every second.
My cousins, now, they were in the know. They grew up on the farm and knew everything about how things ran on the farm. They could drive a tractor. They knew how the milking machines ran. They knew how to catch the piglets when they escaped their pen. They had manure on their boots and dirt under their nails.
I was simultaneously awed and a little bit jealous. Except for the manure. But we loved it there.
Maybe that helped form a seed for my future barn-loving fetish. Or maybe it was just my farming ancestors. Whatever it was, the love of barns lay rather dormant in me for a good many years.
I casually started noticing barns within the last few years. On our cross-country drives to my grandmother's house (she no longer lived on their homestead though), or driving across southern or western MN, or on our way out to WY.
A barn would come into view, and I would suddenly latch onto it with my eyes, which moments before had been gazing unseeing across the wide open spaces of fields and pastures. And no matter what kind of a barn it was, it would hold my gaze the entire time until it disappeared past my window.
Sometimes I would point them out to Papa Bear. Sometimes he would point them out to me.
Eventually we started talking about them as if they were already ours. “Look at that barn, isn’t that hayloft door great?” became, “when we build our barn, wouldn’t we love a hayloft door like that?”
But no barn catches my attention like a round barn. Isn't this one a beauty? She graces the Palouse near Pullman, WA. I drool over this barn. I could live in this barn. Me and the alpacas. And Papa Bear. And the kitty nommers.
Photo from here.Unfortunately, there are not very many of these barns around anymore. (no pun intended… well, maybe a little…)
Photo from here.
Which makes them even more delightful to stumble upon. Like this blue one that Papa Bear and I came across while looking for two other barns we had seen in the Lindstrom area before, while just driving around.
I love just driving around, looking for barns, don’t you?
We took it as a good sign, this blue barn. We had been thinking about moving to the area. To be closer to our alpaca. We had been driving back and forth from Burnsville to Lindstrom, every weekend, to visit her.
That’s 75 miles, one way. Times two. Every weekend. For months. Seven months to be exact.
So we moved from Burnsville to Lindstrom. Because the round blue barn gave us the sign. And because our alpaca was there. Waiting for us.
Well, maybe not waiting for us, but she was there. And we needed to be closer. To her, and to the country, and to this round blue barn.
And so here we are. At home, in the country, dreaming of barns.
What building says “home” to you? I’d love to hear all about it.