The barn was a mainstay on mountain homesteads, housing more than tools and feed. A multitude of memories rests on old gray boards. One rainy day my brother and I climbed the wall ladder looking for hen nests, but a fodder fight was more tempting in the barn loft. Fodder was winter feed for our animals. After Dad discovered the damage, he went to the creek bank to break a red alder switch to lay lash.
Another time, we used his huge black umbrella as a parachute. Needless to say we broke it and crashed into soft hay bales. Mama was always in the shadows during correction times. I could hear her say, “All right Jim, that’s enough. ‘Th next lick will be mine.”
Below the barn loft was a gear room consisting of harnesses and trace chains, buckles and cinches and eyes, bridles and bits. It was also a place to doctor sick or hurt animals and a refuge to doze while fresh rain drummed a rusty tin roof. I think God smells like fresh rain.