Tonight we had to make an emergency chicken feed run, despite a looming storm in the forecast. The sun was shining when we left and it was supposed to be a very quick trip. Quick there, quick back.
Not quick enough, unfortunately.
The children and I got caught in tornado storm warnings and had to drive for 25 minutes with tree branches falling all around us, half-an-inch hail pelting us, lightening cracking on all sides of the car, thunder booming in our ears, 55 mile an hour winds blowing us all over the road and dark, ominous terrible skies. It was very, very scary. I have never been so scared driving. I was all nerves and even stopped to seek shelter at a home (not our own) only to find no one was there (this, my friends, is HUGE!). The radio man said "get into hallways", "get into basements", "get away from windows" and that would have been swell if we were near a hallway and not completely surrounded by windows. He said "Do NOT go OUTSIDE!" Hmph. Instead, we were smack dab in the eye of the storm and I was praying...praying we would make it home in one piece.
We did (praise God!) but when we did, where once was found this:
Instead I found this:
The Middle Barn, which was in a very sad state of disrepair, had finally succumbed to its fate. I knew that it was bound to happen~ the years of saving it had long past~ and I know if ever it were to have fallen-there was no better time than when no one was nearby to get hurt. And I am incredibly grateful that though it fell, it did not damage any other outbuildings (or equipment) on the way down.
But even with all of that, it felt very much like a death had occurred. That a piece of the Place had died. And in a very real way, it did.
All those muscled and sweaty men and horses working together to build this barn, hoist all those immense hand-hewn beams, all those homemade wooden pins, all that stone hauled in....all the wood prepared...all those Newmans working for a purpose and now it is gone. Rubble.
I was recently shown a picture from when my father-in-law was just a baby of a large picnic gathering where everyone was standing in front of the barns. We are having one such gathering on Saturday... I told my father-in-law I would like to plan to take a picture just like that, standing in that very spot with all the family around us. "Before the barn falls down." Two days shy of the party, I guess that idea wasn't meant to be.
Now it is just the little Granary with a very broken down cow barn across the road. It is sad and lonely across the road now.
I never thought I would be the kind of person to mourn a barn...but I guess it turns out...I am.