Raised in a Barn


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Friday Evening

It is late in the day at the rabbit patch.  One of the first June evenings, this year.  I have been home for a good while.  I have stacked a small pile of wood, picked up branches and small limbs all over the territory and commenced to make a small fire with them.  I gathered a bucket, a rake and a few other items scattered about and restored order, something dear to my heart.  I also washed the ceiling in the laundry room and now I realize,  the little den ceiling needs washing too.

 All of this happened, after work, and the sun is still shining.  At this very moment, the rabbit patch looks gilded in gold and amber.  There isn’t a cloud , nor a star in the sky.  The sun, as it slides behind the woods. makes the trees look black.  It is a lovely and familiar sight- and the repetition of it does not make the sun set one iota less than “holy” to me. . .every day.

Living on a rabbit patch, does have advantages . . like watching the sun set over a peaceful pasture.  I drive in from the small town, where I work, and it feels like the place has been waiting for me , when I get home.  Birds are singing and the air is pure and fragrant, especially now.   Of course, my boxer, Cash and the cats, Christopher Robin and Moon Shine, make a big commotion at my arrival. What a contrast to leave a hot asphalt parking lot and step into cool shade with tender grass beneath you, a few moments later.  There is an immense amount of work, I remind myself, when I get sentimental about selling it.

 I was mowing yesterday- a small pasture that had not been mowed this year.  It was an awful job and it was hot.  I had several limbs to remove and more than a few briers were growing along the fence.  They scratched me hatefully.  When the mosquitoes came out,  I gave up and went in the old house.  Supper would be late this night.  I really can not wait to find my little cottage with a smaller yard,  I thought.

I will not stroll by the laughing river this weekend.  Tomorrow, we work on the oldest barn floor.  I also have to cut some overgrown bushes and more hateful briers down the wooded path.  I will likely disturb the rabbit community, on account of that.  I remember when we blazed the trail in the patch of young woods.  It was slow and tedious work, with primitive tools.  Every foot gained required a lot of hard work.  Each year, I go to great lengths to maintain the path, that meanders by three old barns once used to “cure tobacco”, years ago.  Doves live there now.

Early Saturday Morning

I intended to sleep a bit  later today, but I woke with a start, and couldn’t decide if it were Friday or Saturday.  After a few rounds, I decided it was Saturday-by then I needed coffee.  Cash and I went outside and found the morning shine, especially lovely on the fresh cut lawn.  I looked at the old barn.  It is what is called a “pack house.”  These barns are big and usually two story -and there are less of them than there used to be.   They were used to store dried tobacco, corn, hay  and such.  In the fall, the barns buzzed with crews removing the dried tobacco from sticks, to be graded by “old people” who knew how.  I remember my grandmother -and Ida, so old , no one including her, knew her age, sorting the leaves by hand, for market.  Little children had contraptions that were  really, screened large play pens, to have their snacks in and to nap, so flies wouldn’t bother them.  I have one, that I converted to a place to store food while we picnic.  I learned my nursery rhymes, in an old barn like this one.  My sister and I played in the barns, in the winter, with our dolls.  We set up housekeeping and spent many hours in the coldest months tending to sick dolls and teaching them rhymes and verses.  I guess, I really was “raised in a barn”, after all.

The old packhouse at the rabbit patch is white, with a wreath painted on the door and some of my favorite verses are painted on the sides.  It is dirty and cluttered and then -there is the floor.  I always knock loudly on the door, before entering, just in case there is a varmint inside.  

In recent years, the old barn has been used for family reunions.  Once, neighbors used it, when it rained on the day of their own picnic.  It stores furniture too, and even has little curtains at the windows.  The upstairs has a beautiful view of the fields of sage and the little orchard.  There is three days worth of work, in that barn, at least.  Just considering that makes me want that little cottage with the smaller yard, all the more, -because really a garden shed is all I need now.

Dear Rabbit Patch Diary,   Good Morning!  I am especially busy with an old barn today.  There is a fire to tend-and I fear supper will  be late, again . . and scant.    Today, I must give my all to the rabbit patch . . . so please send my warmest regards to the laughing river 





24 thoughts on “Raised in a Barn

  1. Whenever I left the door open as a child, my beloved foster Mother would always say: “Close the door. Were you raised in a barn?” I must have left the door open a lot, because I heard her shouting this a lot. What she didn’t realize is how fascinated I became with barns. Living closer to the water than the open countryside I didn’t see many, so got very curious about them. What could Mother possibly mean?

    Interestingly enough, most barns I’ve seen along the miles of my life have doors which are closed. Was she messing with my mind or what? Mother had been raised in the country, so the barns she grew up around might have been open air. No matter, barns have caught my eye near and far over the years. I’ve learned to close doors on my own. My beloved Mother taught me to love barns. Go figure!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Michele [love the spelling], our elders said many things. What they knew & the way and reasons they expressed is anybody’s guess. However, for me and possibly you too, some wise comments and sayings still guide us today. Others we filter. I wonder…what we’re passing along? Happy Sunday!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. oh goodness-there could be entire volumes of things we were told! many rang true. I still say some of them and the students laugh when i do. Some times, I have to explain as no one “throws the baby out with bath water now!” ha! xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! You are a wonder woman! I never washed a ceiling in my life. I loved reading about your barn and the barns where you and your sister played. You have wonderful memories and a writer’s ability to make them come alive.

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  3. When we age, we do need less work and a smaller place. But – how hard it will be to leave the Rabbit Patch farm in the hands of someone else. Hope you find that perfect cottage in which to live. May your days be as full and happy in a new place as you were at your lovely farm. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel peace about passing this beautiful place on. It needs someone able to tend it. I have a feeling I will be happy wherever i go. Please pray for things to move along as they ought to and for me to be patient and wise. thank you sweet one xx

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  4. I do hope you find what you need. I’m afraid I will follow someday my self now that my ‘sidekick’ is no longer here. Life has lost some of its punch but we have to keep a stiff upper and keep on going in the right direction.
    It’s been raining all day..can you tell…kinda droopy in my feelings…sorry. I normally love rain ,but missed the kids ballgames and that kinda mess me up.
    Ceilings…yes I have one that needs washing and another one that could use a new coat. You are right..there is just so much that need to be done. There is always tomorrow…maybe. I wish I could make myself blog more often…you do so well with yours. Another add to the list of things to do. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I never imagined being in this place in life-when the kids grew up-that hit me so hard. I felt so alone. Of course, now I have come to better terms with it. There are a lot of us in this situation, I just miss everybody some days. Writing has been good for me. I wish you well and thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your Rabbit Patch sounds delightful…..though a cottage with a garden shed, flowers, and some trees also sounds wonderful! I look forward to reading about that little cottage and it restful garden when you find that perfect spot….or it finds you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You caught me with “…the rabbit patch looks gilded in gold and amber,” and kept me entranced throughout with your descriptions and the history the barns at the Rabbit Patch and their uses. To borrow some of my Aunt Beulah’s words, I also admire your “pluck and spunk; there’s a woman who can work!”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I felt such high sadness at the thought of you leaving your beautiful rabbit patch. However it does seem to be a lot of work for you alone. You have so many wonderful memories to cherish and I do hope everything flows beautifully for the next part of your journey. 😍

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Change is always hard! But you’ll always have your memories of this wonderful rabbit patch, and it will be nice to move to something smaller that needs less work and maintenance. I think you will end up finding the right new place for you, and loving it just as much as you did this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Ann-somehow I have made peace wit things-I would rather be with my loved ones that working all the hours a farm requires-also, I am not able to do roofing and such things-your comment encourages me and makes me hope for good things. xx


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