It isn’t surprising at all that I developed my writing skills from someone. That someone happens to be my Dad. This is a piece that he wrote several years ago for Christmas for his parents.
If a barn could talk, oh the stories it could tell. It was the place we started and finished every day, and always asked ourselves: why the hell do we do this anyway?
It’s not what we do, but who we are and the day we quit, a part of us would surely die.
It’s the place where you see life and death the same day. The barn was the place that made you do what you have to do when it ought to be done, the way it ought to be done whether you want to do it or not. A place that taught you the true meaning of hot (that god forsaking hay mow in mid-July) or cold (frozen barn cleaner in mid-January.
You learn to love the simple things: the smell that comes from curing hay that enters the barn or new bib overalls when you put them on. The feeling you get to look at a mow full of hay from floor to peak and remembering the sweat from the entire week. The pride of beating the rain, knowing the last load is in, and the thirsty corn field is getting a drink again. Or the disappointment of knowing your entire your entire hay crop is down when the rain is coming down. The pride you take in laying a level on the edge because you know it’s straighter than any hedge.
The games we played when the barn was empty. It was cold in the winter and kept us comfy. The morning surprises, the water pipe that broke (and yes, manure floats), the fresh cow that never got in the pen and all the cows that found the gate left open again. And you can bet it all happened on a Sunday.
So thanks Mom and Dad for the lessons we learned. We were never rich or famous, but we had more behind that old barn door. I don’t give a darn… I was raised in the barn.