Daily Chatter

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tearing Down

This post has little to do with running but everything to do with who I am and the kind of people I am raising my children to be. 

It's been a constant in my life.  Although my view of it has changed over the years my Pappy Max's barn has always been there as a symbol of some many things I believe my grandfather and father stood for.  It was about a way of life.  A kind of integrity not often found.

The boards and beams of our barn will be used by others and in that way they live on.

Our barn stood for hard work. The kind of work that few people do any more. The work that starts before the sun rises, blisters your hands, wearies your back, ends after the sun sets but fills your soul. 

That barn represented an escape. It housed days and days of youthful adventures. Within it's wooden walls I created worlds and lives and escaped the youthful boredom of rural living.

It represented a source of pride.  Although I would grumble at every chore my sisters and I were charged with doing, I found a sense of pride in doing them well.  I was proud to be a part of something that had stood for so long.  The sense of neighborhood and community with all the farmers gathered in our barn yard as the auctioneer sing-songed the bids as we held a cattle auction in the spring.

The barn represented history and family.  Being a creative child I would linger in the thoughts of my grandfather and his father's hands at work on the very boards of that barn.  I enjoyed imagining that my hand lay where theirs had been.  I felt connected to a history of my family that I would never know in this life.

The barn represented taking chances.  I remember climbing into the rafters and jumping into grain filled gravity bins below with my heart pounding in exhilaration.  My heart was also pounding the day my mother caught me with a boy in the haymile.

It's probably the same for many family farmers.  The barn is a central part of family life and takes on a life of it's own.  That life, the life of our family barn is coming to an end.  It's hard to imagine what my view will look like without it.  Tearing down walls is rarely an easy thing to do.  I am thankful for all the time I had growing up on the rural farm.  I am hopeful as I look to see what reality lays beyond those comfortable walls of my past.  But I won't forget the lessons I learned and I will share those memories with my children so that in the retelling of them, they will live on in our family always.

Cove Creek Farm
Doris June Barrack Diehl and Max Robert Diehl
gone but never forgotten
may I live to make them proud.


  1. So sad!!! I grew up on a potato farm and even though we didn't have a barn we had several structures that make me feel the way that you've described above. They tore down my Grandma's house that they built in the depression era that had no electricity and was smaller than my current living room a while ago, and I was devastated. So much history!

    You should try to save some of the wooden beams from the structure if you can to use somewhere in your home. It would be a nice way to always remember.

  2. I'm sorry that had to happen. My parents grew up on a farm and we used to go to my great aunts when we were kids. I remember loving throwing hay and straw because when we got a break it felt like you had really earned it. I later spent some of my summers working in the hay fields and LOVED it :) unfortunately they had to get rid of their farm too.

  3. The story! Like I said on FB, love these shots!!! The history of the barn is so special and you'll come to treasure these pics so much in the future. You should turn them black and white and frame them!

  4. This post, the photos, your memories will ensure that the barn lives on forever. What a wonderful piece of your past.

  5. Sounds like you have some great memories and those WILL stay with you forever, long after the building is gone.