Circle of the Seasons

By GCleare

Holding Strong

There used to be an antique dairy barn behind our house. It was huge and cavernous as a cathedral, with hushed shadows, full of the ghosts of the people and animals who worked and lived in it long ago. When we moved in, there had been a big hole in the roof for who-knows-how-many years, with rain and snow pouring inside. The back half of the structure was melting into the ground.

We had a great Halloween party there for my son's thirteenth birthday. The theme was "Curse of the Wolfman." My friend Rob had rigged up flying bats (fake ones added to the real ones who lived there) that dive-bombed the kids when they entered, and the sound of wolves howling. Another friend lay on the floor with her supposedly dismembered arm nearby, oozing with catsup. We got all the kids inside then quietly closed the doors, spinning a tale about werewolves. We said that the only way to kill one was if he was shot by a boy on his thirteenth birthday. Matthew stepped forward and brandished his cowboy pistols, a huge grin on his face. Rob entered from the darkness, dressed as the werewolf with curly brown hair glued all over his face and hands. He had a plastic bag of rotini and tomato sauce under his shirt. When they battled it out and Matt shot him, he clutched his chest, ripped the bag open and his innards poured out. It was deliciously gruesome!

About ten years ago we finally got together the money to fix the barn and hired a historic restoration guy to do the job. He tore the back wall off completely and had the place teetering on house jacks when a big storm blew into town. A powerful gust of wind swept across the pasture into the barn and lifted the roof right up and off, flinging it across the driveway at the back of my house. That was the end of that plan. Our insurance covered the damage to the house, but the barn had to be torn down and taken away. It was a sad day, but at least nobody was hurt.

The old stone foundation still stands, a good backdrop for our gardens. It was probably built in the mid-1700s, which is pretty old for New England.

Still standing, and still beautiful.

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