Last weekend, my husband (Ed), and I went “up through” Vermont, and “down through” New Hampshire, to visit a couple of historic sights, and to view the foliage! Our first destination was Hildene, the “ancestral home” of the Lincoln family, that the President’s son, Robert Lincoln, and his wife, Mary Harlan Lincoln, built, in 1905, in spectacular Manchester, Vermont.
It was a lovely day and we decided, whenever possible, to drive on back roads; enjoying the sight of old farms and barns. Farming in New England is an extraordinary challenge – and farmers have always been ingenious to use whatever they had to fix buildings, machinery, and to keep their animals healthy.
I have had the privilege of being in dozens of old barns, growing up and into adulthood – I think barns are grand structures! My grandparents lived on a nineteenth-century farm, with a large barn, outside of Concord, NH. It also makes sense to me that farmers – and New England citizens that live rurally, have to be creative and “make do”; to store and keep many, many things in their barns!
As we drove down through New Hampshire, to one more historic stop, (the Amherst, NH birthplace of Horace Greeley, b. 1811- d.1872/ founder of the NY Tribune) we drove up mountains and down curvy roads that truly reflected warning road signs of “squiggly roads ahead”! Thinking of farmers out in the NH countryside trying to keep their farms going during the winter and “mud” months – storing “things that could be used” and having “extra items” makes sense!
If you have a barn, or a shed (or a garage or storage unit!), and you are not currently farming or keeping flocks or herds of animals, maybe it is a good time to assess whether or not you have too many things stored? Are you storing unused decorations, unused cooking and entertaining items, auto parts, building materials, broken or unused sporting equipment, clothing (hello mice!)…maybe you could invest one or two autumn days to “lighten the load” in your barn?!
Remember Simplified Lives can help! Happy Halloween!