Friday, October 29, 2010

Were You Raised in a Barn? (Repost)

My older boy is able to answer that question affirmatively, if not entirely accurately. He did live with us in this barn for three summers -- the last summer stretching till the end of October.

The first summer was 1973. Our son was not quite one, not quite walking. We had just bought our farm and were camping out in the upper part of the barn, getting to know the place and our neighbors. The following summer my husband and a friend were building our house -- getting it to the 'dried in' stage before we had to return to our teaching jobs in Florida. And the third summer, we were back with all our belongings and various helpful friends and family, making the big push to finish the house before cold weather.


Unfortunately, it began to get cold toward the end of October and when we awoke one morniong to find snow on our sleeping bags, we moved into the unfinished house where we at least had a wood stove. What bliss!

It was a wonderful experience though, living like in the barn -- cooking on a Coleman stove, bathing in the branch or in a washtub, the big entertainment at night watching the lightning bugs. When we moved to the house we actually said that we should move back to the barn every summer -- but of course we didn't.

I made use of the experience in Old Wounds -- the barn that Elizabeth's family is living in is based on our barn and that dark rectangle there on the front is a shutter which, when pushed up is the window Rosie sat at to watch Miss Birdie and Cletus come up the road.

And my older son has an excuse for all time for any less than polite behavior he may commit.

13 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i think barns are so cool...i got hung up on you being my mother though...well not really but i was born in 73, so close...smiles.

Bouncin' Barb said...

What a great post Vicki. Great memories for you and your family I'm sure. And so your son does get to leave the door open rightfully so!!

Mama-Bug said...

That was a great post! I'm sure it must have been quite an experience spending your summer in the barn. I would have loved doing that. Have a great weekend!

Kaye Barley said...

LOVE this!
Thanks, Vicki.

Friko said...

every child should have such an experience.

In England, when somebody leaves doors open unnecessarily - it's a draughty country - they are asked
"were you raised in a tent?"

Vicki Lane said...

Hey, Brian -- I could easily be your mother -- in some societies, I could be your grandmother-- I'm 67.

Glad you all liked the re-post -- I'm back home now and beginning to catch up!

Pondside said...

When we lived in PA our neighbours made their big old Pennsylvania barn into a house. From then on I wished to do the same - never did, but I certainly enjoyed your post.

Everyday Goddess said...

Wow, that does sound idyllic!

Pamela said...

Great memories, great story, I loved to read of your start in the farm. We were not so brave, waited for the house to be ready to move in two weeks ago : I just can't understand how could I live in the city for so long, I'm overwhelmed with every sunrise, every moon apearing behind the mountains, every minute is precious as it had never been! big hug

Vagabonde said...

Reading through your posts – looking at all your potatoes – so many! Today I went to the grocery store to buy one large potato to place in a Polish recipe soup. The clerk looked at me funny – just one she said?
Stereotypes – I have been in the south for decades and have not met many people who fit the stereotypes. Now about those names – I was surprised in a way thinking that these people are usually religious they would have Christian first names – well, maybe those are Christians surnames – I don’t know.

Congratulations for being on the booksellers list – you deserve it. Your books are so full of life and are so enjoyable to read. Your autumn red and gold post is pretty. It was so stressful driving back from Tennessee on small mountain roads with nowhere to stop – ditches on both sides and usually a car behind us. This week-end we’ll drive to the North GA Mountains to see if we can find some colors. You know where I found the golden leaves on top of my post I published today? At a rest stop on I-75 going back home! (Don’t tell…)
Well Vicki you are a hardier woman than me – I like to look at barns, but living in one? No thanks. I remember my mother refusing me to become a girl scout as she said it was not becoming of a “Parisienne.” I was not happy but the first time I went camping high up on a cliff in Normandie and it rained I knew what she meant – I never did it again.
Thanks for coming to my blog – with all the traveling and my trying to write posts I don’t come to read blogs often, but when I come, you see I do write long comment…..

jennyfreckles said...

What lovely memories - and a beautiful old barn too. It must have been hard work at the time but clearly well worth it, for it's a lovely place you live now.

Vicki Lane said...

I really loved that time -- as I enjoyed the long ago three months on a motorcycle, traveling through Europe and camping every night. Something about being outside all the time feels really good. And basic -- not a lot of complications. Of course -- both the barn and the motorcycle experiences were in (mostly) warm weather.

Pamela - Exactly! Every sunrise, every moonrise is like a spectacular show just for you! I hope you share some pictures of your new place on your blog...

Vagabonde - I have a sister-in-law who when my brother-in-law proposed said, "Okay, as long as I never have to go camping."

Tipper said...

One of my favorite parts of the book-and now I found out it was for real-NEAT!