Welcome to my world and beyond...

A collection of snippets of the books I write and, occasionally, my life and the things that inspire my writing...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A to Z "B"

A country childhood must surely put nearly anyone in close proximity to a barn.  They are pretty interesting, if you think about it.  Consider the materials they are built of--the old ones relied on local materials.  To some degree, you can judge the age of a barn by it's structure.  The roof-lines of barns in snowy areas might be designed to carry a snow load. Most of the local barns are hillside barns, as is the one of the farm I grew up on. That particular barn was constructed of logs, and had a barn-stone (quarried sandstone) foundation.

And in those country barns, sometimes you find a beenest. White faced hornets and yellowjackets are two types that often built inside old farm buildings.  And where you find bee nests, you find children who get stung because they do foolish things, like mess with the bee nests.



Behind the barn where I grew up, there were old ponds in the woods on the neighbor's property.  The ponds were edged in cattails, and were more swamp than open water.  The tree canopy was dense, and the woods were dark. So were the swampy ponds. My grandmother told us that was where the boogeyman lived. That was enough to keep us away from any danger of drowning. ~laughing~  Well played, Grandma! The creepy factor followed me the whole way to adulthood.  The really funny things is, almost 15 years ago, we bought property to build a house. The boogieman woods is part of it.  I've come to love the woods, but you still couldn't pay me enough to pitch a tent down there and spend the night in it.

Homemade butter, buttermilk, and homemade bread were part of every lunch. 


And berry picking was part of every summer.  And if you've ever done it, you probably know...it gets into your veins.  I loved to do it as a kid, and even slipping on the downhill side of fifty years, I still love to do it. One of my very best memories is of a summer day, getting home from work early, grabbing the berry pails, and we took off, me, my three children, and two dogs. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, and we picked wild black raspberries for hours. The kids' faces were stained purple from berries and we were weary when we made our way back to the house.  All that winter--and even still, when I open a jar of black raspberry preserves, I take a sniff and smile. I swear, I can smell that day, feel the warmth of the sunshine and the wind blowing, and I hear my children laughing.

Another day in the country...a good life.


18 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, I have such great memories of blueberry picking! One year my grandma and I wandered off from the rest of the family and got lost. My grandma looked scared, and I was practically in tears—and it turned out that everyone else was just around the corner. Ha! (This is one of those you-had-to-be-there stories!)

    I'm really enjoying your posts. You're stories are wonderful!

    Happy Tuesday!

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    1. Thanks, Dana! Happy Tuesday to you, too! :-)

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  2. Must be careful of the bee nests for sure, and berry picking - oh, that's the best!

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  3. We had a barn, with a bees nest but then alas, we had a Fire. Lightning struck on the 4th of July in 1990. What a night.

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    1. I am so sorry to read about your barn fire. Barns have personalities, and get fuller with memories than they ever get with hay. What a terrible night.

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  4. The boogey man always lives outside a barn, or for those of us that grew in cities, in the garage.

    Great theme! Looking forward to all your posts!

    --
    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side and The Witch
    Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

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    1. Haha! I wondered about the city folk--and where their boogeyman lived. :-) lol. Thanks, Tim.

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  5. Lovely nostalgic post, enjoyed this. And scaring kids is a time honoured way of keeping them away from certain places!

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    1. Thanks, Nick! Scaring kids--occasionally the best deterrent around. :-)

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  6. Hello Teresa! Has been a while, and I have missed your country tales too: pros and cons to being busy! Can report that my family are well- this morning we took Little Grandson for a walk and found a Dragon Booger in a field (green stagnant water.) We went through the field with an old stone barn, part collapsed, fully evocative. Glad you have signed up for the A-Z, a good excuse for us to catch up :-)

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    1. Haha! A "dragon booger"!! I love it--you with your crazy, beautiful, creative mind! Your grandson is blessed to have such a brilliant storyteller for a grandmum!

      It will be so nice to catch up :-)

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  7. I love the photo! and we did a lot of berry picking as kids - berry jam was and still is a favorite of everyone in the family.
    The barn in my parents' property has so much history and personality. I havent been in it since the year my dad died but you make me want to go back and explore again!

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    1. Barry jam, yes! And berry pie. That might be my favorite pie of all time!

      Old barns. They get kind of lonely when they fall out of use. The cobwebs are more dust webs than spiderwebs, and they are so thick. The smell changes, to the smell of the earth, rather than the smell of animals. And they are so quiet except for the sounds the wind makes. Haunting.

      Thanks for visiting Gracie! :-)

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  8. Your post brought back such good memories of our kids when they were younger and we used to go for berry picking.

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    1. I'm glad I brought back good memories, Munir! Mine are good, too. :-) Thanks for visiting. :-)

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  9. Wow! Your post took me on a trip down memory lane! I spent many days out in the country with pigs, chickens, cows, berry patches, corn fields...the works. Fortunately for us though, no boogeyman to speak of! Best of luck with the blog challenge!

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  10. Thanks, Rachelle! I like your name--different. :-)

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