The Barn

I have a friend who has a bumper sticker on his truck that reads, “As a matter of fact, I WAS born in a barn.”

I don’t know if he really was born in a barn or not.  I doubt it.  But he’s as country as you can get, so it’s entirely possible.

None of my children were born in a barn, but my daughter once wanted to live in one.

When we started fixing up the farm we quickly realized that the old stable was just too far gone to save.  It was a grand old building and I hated losing it.  But we had no choice.

So we built a barn.


I greatly admire homesteaders who build their own barns and homes, but I don’t have any of the necessary skills, and in those days I had no time either. So if we were going to have a barn we knew we had to hire someone to build it.  Fortunately for us they did a great job and were a pleasure to work with.  We struggled and battled with the contractor who built our house, but the barn-building sailed through without a hitch.

Our daughter loved the barn.  She loved it so much she asked if she could live in it.  And she was serious.  Had we let her she probably would’ve have bunked in the stall with her horse.

She’s grown and gone now, and her horse died tragically several years ago.  Now the barn serves as shelter for our herd of goats and the horse who lives here.  We store hay in the loft and keep most of my tools in the tack room.  We get lots of use out of the barn and I don’t know what we’d do without it.

Maybe someday another little girl will plead for permission to live in it.

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23 comments on “The Barn

  1. Darn it, Bill, now I’m fighting back tears. I have a friend, who just happens to be my neighbor now, whose daughter was born in a barn. They bought property with a barn and lived in it (not bad accommodations) while they built a house. She was born at home, in the barn. She went on to become a somewhat famous model and still loves to tell that in her bio… :) I hope another little girl wants to live in your barn … perhaps your granddaughter will carry on family tradition with the farm.

    • Bill says:

      I hope the barn is around long enough to appeal to girls of many generations. Rayne, like her aunt, is an animal lover. She’d probably enjoy living in the barn. :)

  2. Dani says:

    Oh, I’d love to live in that barn too :) And a very handsome one it looks.

    S’funny – whenever I see an American barn on a blog they are always red…?

    • Bill says:

      Red is the traditional color for barns here. I learned the reason for that last year and it was surprising.

      Barns are traditionally red because in the old days red paint was the cheapest paint. It was strictly a matter of economy, that has since turned into an aesthetic.

  3. Eventually (1960) our family, in addition to a father and a mother, had eight children (baby sister born when I was 16) in a one-story house 28′ x 32′
    My brother (second-born) and my father did not get along. By second semester of first year of college he wound up in the U.S. Marines (six years) but before that he lived in the feed room of the older / smaller chicken raising “barn.” We had two: the first (where he lived?) had 3,000 broilers at a time, the second had 5,000 — small potatoes by today’s factory farms (not that these weren’t).

  4. Buffy says:

    Great looking barn! I have a 17 year old daughter that would love to live in the barn with her horse! She is sure it would beat living with two little brothers! LOL

    • Bill says:

      Girls can sure develop strong attachments to their horse. Our daughter was deeply devoted to hers. Since it wasn’t possible for the horse to stay in her room in the house, she wanted to stay in the barn. :)

  5. Bill, I do love barns but I don’t think I would truly want to live in one. I’m too addicted to flush toilets and hot showers. I started life and up until I was in the third grade (about 8 years old), I used outside toilets and took baths in the square wash tub. If I were to regress back to those years I think I would prefer a log cabin to a barn. Old barns make great workshops and great play houses for young kids.

    You have a dandy looking barn that should be standing for many decades. Yours is even the right color too. Some parts of the country have white barns but I always thought that barns were supposed to be red. I don’t remember that the barns in Nebraska had different colored trim.

    Have a great in the barn day.

    • blogs, like barns, are to be read

    • Bill says:

      I have a friend whose barn has a bathroom. I’m not sure if it has a shower but I wouldn’t be surprised. I toured one of the famous horse farms in Kentucky once and their barns were fancier than most houses.

      As I mentioned to Dani above, I learned that the reason barns are traditionally painted red is because red was the least expensive paint.

  6. Laura says:

    Beautiful barn! My daughter’s FFA shirt has a saying “You say born in a barn like it’s a bad thing”.

  7. Being born in a barn sounds like a baaaad way to arrive but not if you are in the mooood for it. Then you might crow about your experience. –Curt

  8. shoreacres says:

    I always think first about the inside of barns. Kittens in hay mows. Barn dances. Cattle stalls, and currying cows. Real barn dances were disappearing by the time I came along, but I still got to attend a few. After all — we had to put our square dancing skills to the test! Can you imagine? We learned square dancing, reels, waltzes and polkas in our grade school phys ed classes! I wonder how that would go over today?

    • Bill says:

      We’ve spent lots of cold nights in the stalls of that barn with kidding mamas. We’ve had times of joy and times of sadness.

      I’m thinking of doing a movie night there. We’ll set up a screen and some chairs and play a film. Maybe someday we’ll even have music. But I don’t think there will be any square dancing. We had those classes in school too. Boy how I hated them. :)

  9. EllaDee says:

    I can see the good points of living in a barn… soooo much space, so long as I didn’t have to clean it too much. As a kid I loved hanging out in my grandparents’ dairy, and the neighbours hayshed. Those sorts of things are pretty attractive to kids, so there’s a good chance someone else will come along.

    • Bill says:

      Truthfully there is plenty of merit to the idea of living in a barn. It might do us all some good to live barn-like for a while.

  10. And a lovely barn it is! We rough plumbed our barn for a bathroom and a kitchen and although I’m no little girl nor do I have a horse, I may live it in it while we build our house. We want to eventually want to use that [small] section of the barn for processing and holding classes.

    • Bill says:

      It was once common to build a barn and live in it while finishing the house. Very cool that y’all are doing that. I really like the idea of using the barn as a place to hold classes and help educate people.

  11. df says:

    It’s a wonderful looking barn. We have perpetual barn-envy as we bought land with no buildings on it (apart from a delapidated ‘berry shack’ or shed), and we can’t really see how we could ever afford to build a barn from scratch. Sigh. I still love looking at other people’s barns!

    • Bill says:

      We have a barn because at that stage of my life I was still working the city-job and could afford it. Now the only way we’d get a barn is if we built it ourselves and that would never happen. Makes me really appreciate the days when neighbors would all come together and do a barn-raising.

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