Sunday, July 3, 2011

DEATH MOANS OF AN OLD BARN: Can there be an afterlife?

An unexpected window to the world on the leeward side of the old barn.
all photos by Jonathan Schechter

I awoke to a crashing sound around 3 a.m.  Living near a hilltop on a narrow road I assumed the
worst as a loud secondary bang confirmed that sudden noise lulled me out of sleep. Perhaps another
 car was involved now as well? But the sounds were oddly muffled. I dressed quickly and
went outside.
Nothing in the road, nothing seemed amiss. Just flickering fireflies.

Dawn brought the discovery. A large section of the leeward side of the upper section of my barn
had collapsed creating a new view to my meadow world.  Gravity and weather and over 150 years
of time sent me a message - the barn is dying.  I love this old barn although I have known for years
 it is beyond restoration.  Vultures often perch on the peak. Flying squirrels and screech owl have
 found their niches on the inside.  And it is slice of what life used to be like in the 1850's.

But now Mother Nature has said it is time to fall. 
But I wonder: Can this barn have an afterlife?
Is there a way I can get the barn dissasembled and use the strong interior beams of oak, the
wonderful rock foundation and the good barn boards to construct a new building with a new life.
The dream is rough, but it is there.
Perhaps a stand alone one room structure with a view to the south, with a slanted earthern roof
 blended with the hillside. A wood stove. Plants. Books.
And of course those beautiful barn beams  for stability and beauty.
I see a place to read, to relax, to sit by a fire  -- a nature den, a new eye to the world.
Maybe a one room guest house!

My question to you: How do I begin? Who do I talk with?  How do I take an idea and give this old
barn an afterlife it so deserves?

Day lilies edge much of the stone foundation
There is plenty of good wood of beauty and strength to be salvaged
Old jars created windows for light on the lower level of the barn


Anonymous Laurie said...

I LOVE your old barn! If you turn it's "remains" into a one room guest house, I will make a reservation there for my next visit! I am sure that among your readers there must be some great carpenters or handymen!

July 3, 2011 at 7:19 AM 
Blogger pattib said...

A one-room nature's den! Perfect. (We'll be doing the same thing in our back 12 acres one day, but we don't have barn-parts to use for the construction.) Remember to save a few boards for picture frames--might be valuable to sell, too.

July 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM 
Blogger Ulanawa said...

Wonderful ideas!!! Hoping the right people surface to help you begin to put these ideas into motion. Beautiful barn and I LOVE jar window!!

July 3, 2011 at 3:06 PM 

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