The scrawls of "1922" and "1932" are still visible in the barns. The original owner's method of recording when he built the timber pole behemoths. My grandparents acquired the property in the '70s, putting the barns to use as hay storage, stock shelters, and catch-alls until a few years ago. Some of my sharpest childhood memories take place here. Building forts in the 40 foot hay bale stacks. Giving a wide berth to the cows and ponies, with their swishing tails and angry hoofs. Chasing peacocks and turkeys.
The barns became icon, reminder, identity, as bodies aged and the once robust ranch dwindled to a few cows, then a llama, and always the ubiquitous peacocks.
He passed, and she laid plans to restore these old friends. Not to refill them with what had been but rather breathe new life, perhaps reinvent their purpose. Family work parties throughout the summer to sort the still useful and the never was. Assessing structural integrity. And with the late September rains, a serendipitous turn. A wedding. Could they use the barns as the venue? Dawn until dusk over eight days. A Herculean team effort. Floors re-braced and pieced. Imagining new purpose for historic spaces. Final touches. An old barn revived, glowing, filled with laughter, merriment, and joy.