An Unlikely Friendship

 From a Montana Front Porch

It could be that they were enemies at first, this old respected barn and the loud smelly upstart. The barn may have resented the new arrival for disturbing the calm and restful noises of his surroundings. It spooked the animals he was attempting to shelter. Made them restless and curious. The barn was used to the regular, to what had always been. His rancher, his animals, his wagon, feed, smells, noise, peace. Then the rancher started saying how much easier it was having this new thing around, how checking the animals and the water was just so much faster this way. “Progress is  a wonderful thing” the barn heard the rancher say.

The truck heard too and was happy. Happy he could be a part of something. Happy to be needed. Yes, he knew that the old guy he lived next to, that huge barn that stood watch over everything, didn’t like him. Felt he was intrusive. Felt that he was ruining a good thing by coming in and having the nerve to change the way things had always been. He was really hoping though, that once the barn got used to him, maybe he would come around and stop ignoring him. There was so much he wanted to ask, to learn . He just hoped he would be given the chance one day to sit and just talk about the old days. To have the old barn share his memories and stories.

Through the years they learned to live together. They both adjusted to the other and came to an understanding that this was just the way of things now. The barn was still needed but the truck was too. The seasons came and went, snow, rain, green grass, golden fall fields, snow again. Together they became a good team, a well seasoned duo. When they remembered to add the rancher into the mix they realized that things were pretty much perfect. They envisioned the future just rolling on and on, unchanging except for a couple loose shingles and a little bit of rust. Yup, life was perfect they agreed.

As the truck got older though he noticed that the barn started needing repairs. The problem was that the rancher whom they both loved and respected was also aging. His children had decided that in the name of that word the rancher had used so long ago, ‘progress’, they didn’t want to be bothered with the hard work that ranching required. The cold, the heat, the drought, the uncertain yields, why would you do that while living so far from ‘civilization’? A nice easy 9-5 job with a house in town and only a small yard to take care of, yes, that sounds much more sensible.

They let the rancher stay for a couple more years while they made their plans, but eventually they got their way. The rancher was moved, the land was sold, and the barn and truck were left to their own devices.

Suddenly, the truck found the barn more willing to talk than ever. Oh the stories and memories they shared! The good old days were lived over and over again as these two companions kept each other company.

Then the day came when the old barn said he was tired. The truck was worried by this, but he knew how hard it was for his friend to stay steady as year by year he became more and more stooped. So quietly he told his old companion that it was ok, that there was room right next to him to rest. With a great heave the barn relinquished his pride and lay next to his old friend, grateful that he had someone to keep him company. The truck too, was grateful for such a friend as the barn had turned out to be. They were quite the pair they would laugh to each other. Quite the pair indeed.

As I stopped to visit them this day, I swear I could hear them whispering their stories still. All they need is someone quiet and willing to listen and they will share their piece of history.

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Love from here,

Bobbie

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29 thoughts on “An Unlikely Friendship

  1. This makes me a little teary-eyed. My grandpa and I visited the old barn on the ranch where he worked as a young man. It is on the land next to their ranch. It was falling down and I think he wanted to share it with someone before it was gone. He told me what all of the different areas of the barns had been used for and stories of memorable horses and events… My grandparents had to move to town last year but gladly my uncle has taken over the ranch and the tradition continues on.

    • I’m so glad your grandpa shared his memories and that barn with you! He must have sensed a kindred spirit in you! 🙂 I’m also so thankful that your Uncle took over the ranch, that brings me joy! Thank you for sharing Katrina! ~ Bobbie

  2. Oh my, those great old barns! They tell stories! The wood on this one looks pretty good, hopefully someone wil be able to salvage that wood! There’s nothing like barnwood, it has so much character! We had a huge PA bank barn that collapsed onto itself a few years ago. Neighbors suggested having the local volunteer fire dept. come out and burn it, but it held special memories to me and to my older brother, who salvaged and piled in piles each and every piece. My hubby has trimmed and wrapped some of the support beams in our gameroom (finished basement) and has made me a picture frame too. We also made a rustic tabletop that we can slide over a plastic folding table so everyone can eat holiday meals at one table (we entertain the inlaws, and there was never enough room). I still love that old barn, just a bit of it still stands, and my hubby is planning on working on it this summer to save whats left. Even the little part that remains will make a nice sized storage area and a green house too for me. I am also gardening in the old feed troughs and gutters (you know what kind I mean!) this year. I have peas and spinach planted right now, and putting in some broccoli next week. Even though most of it is just a foundation now, it still has great meaning to me!

    • Meredith, thank you so much!! When I picked these pictures to write about I honestly had no intention of writing what I wrote, it just kept coming out on it’s own. Maybe that means it needed to be said, or maybe it means I’m crazy! 🙂 ~ Bobbie

  3. Wow, Bobbie, what a combination of sentiment and creativity. You made it so easy to make the connection between inanimate objects and the soul of mankind. Very beautifully written and illustrated with your photographs. It gave me goose bumps and a lump in my throat. Thank you for sharing such an important insight in such a moving way! ~Katie

  4. I loved this. If felt as though I was reading a old tale. My favorite part: “With a great heave the barn relinquished his pride and lay next to his old friend, grateful that he had someone to keep him company.” ~Precious!

  5. Bobbie, this is one of the best stories I’ve ever read. Your pictures are beautiful and perfect. Yes, I chocked up. What a beautiful way to look at what has passed. Though they are now at rest, as you aptly put it, I can tell you feel the love and the spirit of the old barn and the old truck lives on…as it should. And, you are not crazy. You guys just know what’s really important in this life. I wish more people would appreciate and love the same things you guys do.

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  9. I love all the old barns and homes that dot the countryside. A very neat post and worth the read. I have started taking pictures of the “disappointed” houses in our area and from back home just to preserve their memories. Glad I stopped by from the HomeAcres Hop.

    • I’m very grateful that you stopped to read this story! Thank you for your kind words and for taking pictures of the homes in your area that are disappointed. That is such a wonderful way of wording it! So much history deserves at least one picture!

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