Back to the Barn


The wise, well-organized farmer never runs out of hay. He is up with the roosters and in bed with the dusk. He’s at one with the land, with the animals, with his hay supply. He’s alert.

He can probably get his truck up his driveway.

He’s not me. Me? I was outta hay. And Clover was about to hurt me. So some hay had to be had.

So yesterday we took off across the river ford to get out because the road in the other direction is so covered up in snow, it’s impassable.

Not that the hard road across the river was really much better.

But we were okay once we hit the main road. And the upside of running out of hay with too much winter to go is we got to go back to this barn.

I’m in love with this big, old, beautiful barn.

It sits right in the bend of a country road. It looks kinda rickety on the outside, but–

–there’s nothing rickety about it inside.


Hand-hewn wood.

Massive support beams.

They don’t make ’em like this anymore. Look at that, it’s like a whole tree there. Bark and everything.

I love this little red iron gate outside the barn. What is that about? This big, beautiful barn holds a lot of secrets.

What did they keep in this tiny little barn yard?

I’ll tell you what they kept inside. EVERYTHING. What is this stuff? Saddles? Whoopie cushions?

I think they sell “ornamental hooks” like this in upscale western shops for big bucks.

I know this one! It’s a hub cap!

I thought this might be something more exciting, romantic, and medieval, but the hay farmer told me they were just rusted old stove burners.

I know this one, too!

What else does this barn hide?? Where’s the restaurant, the movie theater? You could poke around in there for days and not find it all.

But my favorite part is really just all the locks and hinges and latches.

These are fairytale doors.

And this one, with the weathered blue paint and ancient hinges?

How gorgeous is that?

Barn art.

Oh yeah. What we’re here for. HAY.

The hay farmer counted it up on the truck.

He does his math on the gate.

There really was a truck under all that hay, believe it or not. We got it all tied on and headed home.

We bought 50 bales, though we could only haul 25 in a load. We’ll have to go back for the other 25. (We bought 100 last fall, so now we know. We needed 150. Hopefully that will carry us till spring.)

Goodbye, big, old, beautiful barn full of secrets.

I’ll see you in the fall! Until then, I’ll miss you….. Because I wish you were MINE.

Dear Big, Old, Beautiful Barn,

If you ever want to run away, you are welcome on my farm. I have a nice meadow. The sheep and Jack would love you, and I would bring you chocolate pudding cake every day.

Love, Suzanne

I’m just sayin’.


  1. mommafox says:

    We used to have a Big Old Barn like that one way back when. Had a “play house” up in the lay loft. I still have the old iron day bed we had up there. I’m gonna make me a “flower bed” out of it this summer.

  2. Karen Anne says:

    I think that thing is a sort of collar to distribute the weight for horses when they’re pulling loads.

    There were numbers like that written on the walls in the back storage area of my old garage. The house dated back to the 1920s, and I know they had at least chickens.

  3. Susan at Charm of the Carolines says:

    My grandfather sold tall, upright radios in the 1930s, but had to put his inventory in the bard when WWII began, and he went to work in the town’s arsenal. After the war, nobody wanted old radios so there they sat with all his other interesting old stuff. How I wish I could go back to my granddaddy’s old barn!!!!


  4. sara sammon says:

    I love barns all shapes and sizes when the weather breaks I will take a photo of a barn in town that was built in the mid-1600s it has 13 sides

  5. Tracey In Paradise,Pa. says:

    :snoopy: I LOVE OLD BARNS!! And that is one AWESOME BARN!! Thanks for taking us along and sharing Suzanne!! I need me some hay too!!
    Granny Trace’

  6. Sheryl - Runningtrails says:

    Wow! What a gorgeous old barn! I could spend days looking around in a barn like that! Its beautiful and so INTERESTING! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  7. Jan says:

    Some people want a new car. You want a new-old barn!!!


  8. NorthCountryGirl says:

    I know what you mean. I love the smell of the hay and straw. I would so love to have a barn, too.

  9. Lori Skoog says:

    2 of our barns are over a hundred years old, and yes…they are very precious. Great photos. I would feel the same way.

  10. pam says:

    Oh my, I could spend days in that barn!

  11. carol says:

    When I was a kid in Missouri, we lived on my cousin’s farm and every couple of years, he would bale the clover in one big field. I don’t remember him feeding that clover to the cows…he just liked the way it made the big barn smell. I used to go up in the huge loft and lay on one of the cross beams…sometimes it would be raining and the fragrance of the dusty rain would mix with the sweet clover smell and the warm cattle smell from down on the main floor…nothing has ever smelled so good since!
    My hubby and I have a photography habit and beautiful old barns and little country churches are favorite subjects.
    I wanna come live in this old barn!!

  12. CindyP says:

    Love, love, love old barns……and I love when you take us on a hay trip….you always find something new to photograph. And what a treasure trove of “junk” in there!! I’m in love!

    Those whoopie cushions?…..collars for pulling horses. Think of what the Clydesdales are wearing.

  13. Kristen says:

    I have barn envy. Well, not really – I love my own barn. Our family just moved onto a farm last August, and the honeymoon’s not over. I can spend hours in there, and we don’t even have critters yet. 🙂

  14. Julia says:

    Hi Suzanne,

    Thanks for that latest post list right up there by the slide show. It makes it really really easy to get to the latest post.

    The barn is amazing. You are right–from the outside it looks like it’s about to fall down. It looks like a huge piece of the roof is missing. But from the inside… solid, secure. The roof looks brand new. There is a metaphor there, for sure.

  15. Debnfla3 says:

    That big ole beautiful barn can move on down to Florida and live with me!!! I would love on it every single day…it is just gorgeous.

    I love the hinges too…I think there are still some of those being used in Mama’s house! LOL


  16. Chic says:

    Can you imagine the fun you’d have growing up with a barn like that!!! Heck I’d have fun NOW with that barn. We’ve got a barn on our farm but we haven’t had a chance to clear out all the junk that people have thrown in it over the years. WE need to repair it before we can use it though..can’t wait till its done! Wish it was like that old one about history…

  17. Annie says:

    One of my greatest fears is running out of hay. That is one beautiful barn.

  18. sandra flemming says:

    My Mom has a great old barn on her property,it’s atleast 150 years old or more,her house is about the same age.It was dismantled and brought there from somewhere else when the house was built,It’s in wonderful shape,everyone loves it!!It has those same kind of doors and hinges and it’s in great shape.It was my fathers pride and joy when he was alive.Everyone says they would like to convert it and live in it!!!

  19. Joy says:

    Your post took me back to Mom’s farm and the outbuildings that still stand, a testament to time. As I looked at the rusty hubcaps and stove burners I could smell the hay in the barn and feel the cold air. You are a storyteller my dear!!!

  20. Nancy says:

    I love old barns too! Oh the stories they could tell!
    BTW…navigating the site gets easier every day, but I’m still afraid I’ll miss something!

  21. Carol says:

    You mentioned how farmers go to bed early. My grandma always said they went to bed with the chickens. When I was a kid I spent as much time as I could on my grandparents’ one-horse farm. Thank you for taking us with you to the old barn. I love old ‘stuff’.

  22. MMT says:

    Love, love, love old barns. We had a wonderful one when I was growing up. They destoyed the house and barn where I grew up to farm over that ground a few years ago, but I got to take a few pieces of the barn wood before it was burned down. My DH made a little table for me with one piece that I treasure. Still have a couple of other pieces that I will have to figure out what we can make with them. We have a nice horse barn now, but it is just not the same as the old wooden ones. Just walking in an old wooden barn can take me back to wonderful childhood times. This post did that for me this morning as well. Thanks Suzanne!

  23. Shirley Corwin says:

    I love, love, love old barns too. When you see how they were constructed, they were made to last centuries. I used to go all over photographing old barns like you do old out houses! I’ll have to find some of those photos. That was back when you used film cameras. It was expensive to take a zillion photos back then and you never knew what you got till they were “developed”! This digital stuff is SO much better! I love the old iron latches.

  24. MMHONEY says:


  25. Kim W says:

    Yep…that’s a great old barn. I really enjoy your ‘eye’ for the photos you took of it. I would be looking at the things, wondering the same things.

    Blessings from Ohio…Kim<

  26. Melinda says:

    I like this format. Loved the story about the barn. they are special magical places.

  27. lavenderblue says:

    Beautiful ol’ barn. Funny, I just posted in the forum about how my childhood was spent cat-wranglin’ in a barn very much like that. New people bought it and now its all prissy and white-painted on the outside, but the last time I looked the old wooden beam in the cow stall where Mr. Roth, the farmer, let us kids hold the cow’s tail while he milked, was still there.

    Suzanne, haven’t you added more animals since you did your first round of hay buying? More animals=more hay. Plus Clover being Clover, she’s probably eating more of it so the newbies can’t have it. Or she could be eating for two (or three)! :snoopy:

  28. Becky says:

    Whoppie cushions?? Only you could think of them like that!! LOL!
    I will never look at a collar for a work horse the same again!!!!

    I love me some barns myself….old barns, new barns, big barns, small barns, dirty barns, clean barns, but most of all barns filled with neat antiques like that barn!!!!!

  29. Jessica says:

    awww you really do love that barn. I love the photos, it’s almost like I got to visit too.

  30. ScreamingSardine says:

    I’m in love with that barn, too! I would totally be smitten seeing how it sits on that curving road. Wow!

  31. Beth says:

    I’m just dearly in love with old barns! Just like you said, I wonder what secrets they hold…..

  32. Linda says:

    Yours is the first blog I read each day. You find beauty and humor in everything you do and I love that! It starts my day with joy and usually laughter out loud!

  33. Liz in Wis says:

    Thank you for taking us on your field trip to the old barn for hay. As I was reading your tellings, I could just smell all the wonderful aromas in an old barn filled with hay.

  34. Miss Becky says:

    I love the same things you love :yes:

  35. mrnglry says:

    I love your photos taken of the old barn. They are also my passion! I spent the most memorable times in my grandpa and uncle’s old barns.
    I do take photos wherever I go too, as so many of them are disappearing. It makes me sad to see them when they are let go and are just falling down. I guess you can’t save them all, but I would love to have one on our back property, just to go in a smell the wood…..and yes, some hay would be nice, even tho I don’t have any animals that eat hay, there are those critters that would love to nest in there. We do have a an old barn owl that hangs around here and hunts.
    I love your new format too. It does make it easier to get around your site.
    I’m glad you got those critters some more food, as they probably wouldn’t be bashful about invading your kitchen!!


  36. Merino Mama says:

    I’m in the same boat with the hay. We’ve been buying alfalfa cubes trying to stretch it out, but if spring doesn’t come soon, we’re going to have to make a journey as well. We have a two-story barn built back in the early 1900’s. It also had those saddle thingies and they’re stuffed with “hay” (maybe straw). The foundation is made of these huge quarried stone pieces. There are stalls on each side of the barn (filled with mama Merinos and Jacobs and their babies right now). We’re expecting another one soon and we may have to kick a few of the older ones out into the common area to make room for the new mommy. There’s another old barn on the property in front of us that’s also beautiful and from the same era, but the people that own the property don’t live there and haven’t taken care of it and I’m afraid it will fall down soon. We were really lucky to find this place, it came with the two-story barn, a tractor barn, an old garage and an old sawmill. The actual sawmill wasn’t there any more, but my husband bought one of those portable ones and put it in it’s place. I just love it!

  37. Valerie says:

    I love these old barns, too. We have an old granary built in the monitor style. We keep our collection of antique telephones in the inside portion, and the “barn-y” part of it is a loafing shed for the horses and donkeys. A friend has an old barn, and she’s let me go “shopping” for treasures in there, like old milk cans and enameled pots for flowers. Love it!

  38. Lisa Carper Stott says:

    I love that barn too! I have been going around Roane County taking pictures of old barns! I am making a scrapbook of them along with some of the old white churches!

  39. Estella says:

    Awesome old barn!

  40. Jo says:

    I love old barns too, Suzanne. We have one on our acreage, in fact. Maybe about 80 years old. It needs some work done to it, and we just don’t have the money right now. Also, we have about 5 feet of snow so far this winter, so that makes everything hard.

    My avatar is a picture of our barn.

  41. Jo says:

    Sorry, Suzanne, I can’t get my avatar to change, so obviously it’s not our barn. Maybe it’ll catch up and change later? OH well.

  42. Jo says:

    Really? All I still see is the old snow covered pine trees. Hmmmm…I wonder why I can’t see it? Glad you can, though! :yes:

  43. princessvanessa says:

    When I read the sign, I immediately thought of the old adage, “Stay alert! The world needs more ‘lerts’ ”

    Nice “old barn” photos. Hope your hay holds until spring.

  44. Jo says:

    Good, I can see it now. :wave:

    You’re gonna hate me for this, Suzanne, but my husband used to tear down old barns and old farm buildings for people. He would tear them down (per their request) and then re-sell the good building materials out of them. It was waaaayyyyyy before recyling was “cool”. He always came across the coolest barns and learned how they were built so well. He brought home all kinds of treasures he’d find in the old barns and buildings. We could’ve gotten rich off of Ebay, if it was around then. He quit the business right before Ebay and recycling became “big”. :hissyfit:

    We sold beautiful barn doors that you love, beautiful aged lumber and such. One time he tore down an old corn crib and in the flooring someone had built a wooden box. When he opened this box part between the floor joists, there was a 5 gallon Red Wing jug! :shimmy: Someone had used that spot to hide their moonshine, we’re guessing. My eyes lit up when he brought that beauty home. I still have it.

    Every time he tore down an old barn/building, it was like a treasure chest to us.

  45. SuzzyQ says:

    I also love barns as I grew up with horses and can recall the smell of the hay. I mucked out the stalls and didn’t mind a bit because it was what I knew; it was real….. and it was home.

  46. kerri says:

    Big old treasure chests 🙂 And a lot of the old barns are treasures themselves. That’s a wonderful barn and you’ve taken some great photos of it.
    Our big old red barn is empty of dairy cows now, which is rather sad, but we still have 9 barn cats occupying the space. And whatever the critter is that comes in each night to finish off their food…probably a possum or raccoon. :help:
    Glad Clover will have hay to supplement her cookies :happyflower:

  47. Mary says:

    Love, love old barns. Love, love your poetry!

  48. bonnieblue says:

    Beautiful pictures, but the one of those rotting collars just made me cringe. Those things are EXPENSIVE. Mine live in the house (hanging on the weight machine!) except when they’re in use.

  49. Lynn says:

    I love barns too, so much history. I MUST SEE the barn with 13 sides!!

  50. laura says:

    How many people in the world could look at an old, weathered barn door and say it is a “fairy tale door”? I am new to your blog, but I share your sense of things. Thanks for posting your adventures and hoping they will inspire me to have more of my own!

  51. Angela P says:

    :sun: That is a lovely barn. Id love to have a house that was built from a barn and still looked like a barn…Crazy. but its LOVE! :happyflower:

  52. Sandra says:

    Little did I know how many shared my fondness of Barn Fragrance perfume. It instantly takes me back to when I was ten and helped gather hay bales for the loft. A big water color of a country barn hangs on the wall by the computer too.

  53. mzzterry says:

    how much do you think it would cost us to ship that piece of amazing history to texas? i think i was made to LIVE in a barn, well, except for my hay allergy, and my pet hair allergy. oh well, i DO love to photograph barns, and I would love to have that barn near my house. did i mention i live in a neighborhood? lets just put the whole thing on hold for a while, i will just click up the pictures here on your blog? thanks for the beauty you share! :cowsleep:

  54. Becky says:

    sometimes on craigslist or farm magazines will give barns away. Must be moved by you. If you find one, Im sure youll get alot of help.

  55. Karen Crosby says:

    Ooh, this barn is the ‘barniest’!!! the double nailed hinge is my favorite next to that wonderful metal gate. I know one thing, they did not have goats in that pen! Thanks for sharing with us all. My barn isn’t as interesting because it doesn’t have good junk in it. It is old but this one is older. We got 5 bales of clover hay that is so sweet that when the cats sleep on it, then I pick them up, they smell sweet too.

  56. RhuBARB says:

    Barn Art and Fairy Tale doors INDEED! Love your pics of this old beauty.

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