I sure would’ve hated to be behind that truck when they all started falling. It made me think of a happening many years ago while I was driving back to Mason City from Clear Lake on Hwy 106. It was a windy day like today, and in the distance I could see a big open-bed truck coming towards me loaded with bales of hay. As that truck was about 100 ft. from me, all I could think of was, “I hope those bales of hay don’t start falling off.” Well, that’s exactly what they did, and my windshield was hit by the first one that fell. That bale exploded before my eyes when it hit my car. Thank goodness my windshield didn’t shatter, and no cars close behind since my knee-jerk reaction was to slam on my brakes. To this day, I can’t believe how the force of that heavy bale didn’t at least crack my windshield or create any dents in my car. Since my vehicle at the time was an old “tank”, I fully believe they don’t build them like they used to.
The highlight of my day happened while at one of my acreage appointments. That particular building site has the most charming 100+ year old barn on it which the owner has faithfully maintained. He did make some modifications on the main level, but at least he kept the back end of it pretty much as it was when it was used for milking. Seeing those stanchions, resurrected many visuals and fond memories of the milking barn we had when I was a child.
There’s something terribly wholesome about those milking barns–especially during the winter months. The sights, sounds, and smells were all so good to the point I considered myself blessed to be witnessing the essence of humanity’s connection to animals, and all the while knowing I was a part of that wholeness. It makes me a little sad in knowing that many of our youth, and even those living on milking farms, have no concept of the connection I felt. We can thank our modern technologies for today’s hands-free milking.
After giving the main floor of his barn a thorough inspection, I climbed up the ladder leading to the haymow so to have a good look at its supporting timbers which always reminds me of the ceilings in gothic churches with their exposed open beams. Since the owner was there showing us around, I think he must’ve sensed how fascinated I was with his barn, so he made sure to share a few touching stories about it. He informed me that the barn was built in 1910 by a father and his son. I didn’t say anything, but I’m sure it took more than just two men to get those monster roof beams in place. I did notice the the builders used the mortise and tenon technique for its main joints.
As I was heading off to my next appointment, I noticed how his barn could be seen in the distance of at least a mile. Yes, my walk down memory lane in that barn today reminded me how fortunate I was to have lived some of my younger years in the midst of home-grown wholesomeness. Wishing you all a memorable day tomorrow, and be sure to share a few good childhood stories yourselves while together with family and friends.