Noble Barns

The classic Iowa barns. Mostly post and beam construction. Sounds like an avatar for an internet business. Write a post or however you catch the moment and beam it out over the internet. Or maybe just barely under it. One wouldn’t necessarily want to get caught in the spotlight when the wrong search engine fires up and starts spinning around. It’s best to be out of phase when the all seeing eye of Google scans by. To be oriented correctly to slip through the openings of the dragnet when those on high come dredging by. To have a little hyssop on the lentil to belie that passing over angel of death. That beam above the posts that frame the threshold out of hearth and home.

Even if your home is nothing but a hearthless barn. Any shelter from the wind and rain. Or snow. I started this post to talk about the barn. Not any particular barn but the concept of the barn. Basically a barley urn, according to Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary circa 1972. A place to store barley. Maybe initially but by the time I came along they were used to store about anything. I’d say horses but the horses were gone. The horse barns weren’t gone yet though. Neither were the cows, hogs, hay, straw, oats, and machinery. Today the machinery and hay is about all I use the barns for. They are worth their weight in rust as a place to keep my old paintless equipment in, bull or no bull.

I haven’t seen a new barn built since I helped build one down in Texas one hot summer years (and years) ago. Unless you count the imitation barn that was put up to be called a corn crib in town a few years ago. It’s used as a gas station office and a Dominoes pizza place. And this dominoes doesn’t deliver. The same guy built a house to look like a barn a few years before that. But a new barn shaped like a barn to be used to store stuff in I haven’t seen built since that one in Texas back in the early 1980’s. Granted that Texas barn was on an acreage not a farm. And it was going to store video game and vending machines instead of barley. But it was built like a real barn with a fancy hip roof and everything.

I can remember back when we were kids the barn becoming a spaceship on long rainy days. We would climb all the way to the top of the hay. Then climb the ladder on the end of the barn all the way to the top window up under the peak on the gable end. We would stand side by side on the 2×6 ledge below the window and take turns looking out the window into the falling rain. We thought the rain looked like the stars that used to stream by on Star Trek. So our imaginations would conjure up a space based reality we could run with all day. It beat the usual pastime of jumping off the hay bales into a pile of loose hay at the bottom. It also beat the work we usually had to do in that very same barn.

Back then we grew to like rainy days. Out in one of our classic Iowa barns


red barn : Old Barn       red barn : The towering peak of the roof of an historic old German style Bank Barn.