“The old barracks building a mile north of our place has fallen down.”
It was supposed to be a car repair place after being moved to a farm from the Army fort several decades ago, but that never materialized. The structure had been rapidly deteriorating, threatening to cave it, and it did.
Several months earlier, what was once a diversified barn on our father-law’s farm collapsed as well. It had been in above average condition in full use for milking a few cows, hay storage and other typical barn uses more 40 years ago when we first visited the farm.
First, a shingle blew off, was never replaced, then another and another. A cow kicked a one-by-12 off the side, it wasn’t nailed back up, and the one next to it shifted and fell off, and the next, and next.
After all of the wind, snow, rain, and time, there was just nothing left, and now the barn is a pile of mostly-rotten lumber.
A lean-to cow shed had a solid foundation four decades ago when we bought the place. Wood shingles had been covered with tin, and a couple of pine support posts replaced with hedge. But, as the cows rubbed, the wind blew and use took its toll, that farm structure too caved in, and was bulldozed away.
It’s a common story. Anybody driving country roads can view exactly the same thing. What were once working farms have rotted and leaning buildings soon to be rubble like so many before them. A few rocks from foundations will be the only signs they’ve ever existed.
Scary how fast farm buildings can deteriorate if they aren’t kept up. It has been four years since we had our barn painted, and all of the doors in working order, and other repairs required from just everyday use.
Before this century-old barn becomes like all of those other farm structures we’ve seen bite the dust in recent times, efforts are underway so ours doesn’t end the same way.
Reminds us of Second Kings 12:5: “Take the money to renovate the barn wherever it has fallen into disrepair.” Or, Ezekiel 13:14: “The walls slapped with whitewash will collapse, so that only the foundation stones will be left.” Thus, Ezra 4:12: “They are repairing, restoring and painting the buildings.”