Thursday, June 2, 2016


Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 154: Today, I am grateful for barns. 

Across this country...there are barns. Some old and rustic. Some are tended too with loving care that keeps them, looking fresh. Some lucky barns have been converted into homes. They are all part of the historic fiber of this country. Barns are beautiful.

As we travel, I find my eye is drawn to the barns, corn cribs and silos. The stories these buildings could tell, if they could talk.  They have seen days of plenty, days of drought and floods.  They have been cared for and neglected.  They were built with hands that believed in the future and were not afraid of hard work. They were meant to be handed down to the next generation. They were a place of refuge where a weary farmer...beaten by the elements...could offer a prayer for strength and wisdom... and his family would not see his tears of discouragement. 

If  a barn burned...the neighbors would come and help rebuild. The barn didn't just represent the work, it was part of the community. It protected animals, tractors and other items essential to farm life. 

Some of my sweetest childhood memories are wrapped around days in the barn with my siblings, cousins, friends who came to play... and Case and Gladys Corbin's grandchildren. We were "loft living" before it was cool. We would scale the walls, with or without a ladder. We would create "living spaces" for our pretend families. We would swing from ropes and care for the kittens we found. No fancy toys, but felt rich. We were circle of life experiences and imagination.

The landscape of America is losing some of it's old barns.  They are risky to insure. They are expensive to keep up. They are not as practical as a fancy Morton Building (yes...we build those in my little village...and you thought we were only about pumpkins.) Still, for me, the old farm barn is a sentimental journey. Seeing one sprinkled on the landscape always makes me smile. 

This reminder of the old days... and the old ways. They will be a place of refuge for as long as they stand. They will continue to provide shelter... no matter their physical states. When the wind blows cold and the rains pour down, any simple shelter is a reason for gratitude. 

Any place of refuge in the storm is a reason to give thanks. How many times as children did we "run to the barn" when the weather conditions quickly changed. It meant we could get out of the house to play... even on a rainy day. 

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord you cover him with favor as with a shield.' -Psalm 5:11-12

A place of refuge is a place to sing, dance and be merry. "Bless the Lord...oh, my soul!" The farmer's song, as my Dad referred to  "10,000 Reasons".

Today, I am grateful for barns. 

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