25 December

Christmas Goodbye To A Favorite Barn

by Jon Katz

I’ve seen this barn five or six times a year every year since I’ve been living in the country, and most often, weather permitting, I stop to take a picture. This is proud and iconic old Vermont barn, it has gotten through a lot of winters and storms and farms and farmers. It is still in use, holding hay and some farm equipment.

This year, this Christmas, I see the barn is dying, and I suspect it’s the last time I’ll be able to see it and take a photo of it. So I took two, one with my iPhone and one with a Lomography art lens on my big Canon, run through a photo editing program. Two views of one thing, each casting it in a different light.

I resist nostalgia, as I’ve written. It’s a trap to believe everything in the past is better than everything in the present. I love old barns and I love taking pictures of them, but I also understand that their time is past, they are no longer efficient or needed in the way they were.

In a perfect world, we might preserve them, and I am grateful I got the chance to preserve four barns when I first moved to the first Bedlam Farm. I bought each of the at least 100 years (barring lightning or carelessness) and they will live long past me.

But this barn, one of my favorites, it standing on its last legs and is one storm away from collapsing. Farmers can’t afford to preserve old wooden barns for history’s sake, so I try to capture them when I can.

I wished this barn a Merry Christmas, said my goodbye. We passed on our way back from a beautiful old country inn where we had the most wonderful time. But I’ll write more about that later.

Merry Christmas to you. Tomorrow, we go to see “Little Women,” and I plan to review it. Maria and I both cried just from watching the trailer on my iPhone. A good omen.

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