Saturday, October 19, 2013

Raised by a Barn

During our last road trip we stopped for gas, and I caught a glimpse of this property across the street from the station:

I don't know why the old ramshackle structure caught my interest so immediately. I think it was because on my side of the street everything was pristine and landscaped; a few feet from the gas station was a nice hotel. Also, there was a stern No Trespassing sign nailed to a tree on the perimeter (and for the record, I didn't trespass; I just used my zoom.)

The structure, which I decided was a barn, seemed a little menacing, too:

When I zoomed in to get a closer shot, I saw more things that intrigued me: the overgrown trees and brush around it, the signs of damage to the roof and siding, the odd red color, and the absense of a door:

Everything could be explained, of course. I was probably seeing the backside of the barn, which are often red in color, and was likely damaged by wind and debris during a storm. The farmers in this region are always struggling just to get by, too, so it's logical to assume this one hasn't had the time or funds to trim the trees and shrubs.

That didn't matter to my storyteller side, which kicked in immediately to demand: What's inside?

No door -- and now you might notice, no windows, either. Damage. Overgrowth. No trespassing. Red that is definitely not barn red. Across the street from a hotel and a gas station. Lots of cars, traffic, and people from other places.

I will never know what's really inside that barn, but that doesn't matter, because I'm going to put something inside it on the page. I'll have reasons for lack of doors and windows, and why the farmer neglects it, and what is responsible for that weird red color, and finally, what happens when someone does find a way inside the barn.

Next time you're traveling, try taking pics of some random structures that catch your eye. Use that place as a jumping-off point for a story, and you may find it tells you all sorts of things, too.


  1. Hi Lynn,
    I love the red against the metal of the old barn, and the old fence with its overgrowth, too! Thx for this! Now on to something else. :-D
    Thought of you this morning when I was over at Pinterest, and artist Rowena Murillo (great pinner, think you'd enjoy her stuff) had shared this site -- Wedgie's sketch blog. As soon as I saw the 30 Days of Lists, I thought of you.
    It seemed like something you'd dream up, and I thought I'd share the link with you, hoping you'd find some fun in what Wedgie has done:

    Clockwork Wolf in 2014!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Reba, and the link to Rowena's work -- she's amazing!

  2. Anonymous11:27 AM

    Classic machine shed with sliding doors! People door on far left side to tool part of shed. Someone cares to cover broken wooden door with metal to protect the contents. Hidden treasures inside - all sorts of story possiblities.

    1. What great insight -- thanks Anon!

  3. I agree, this barn is really intriguing. No doors and windows? I’m not only curious on what’s inside, but with its purpose as well. But whatever it is used for, I just hope for one thing and that is for the owner to care enough to regain this barn’s beauty – from its damaged roof to its sidings. Or it would only remain a waste of a good ol' barn. Thanks for sharing! – Tamara @


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