barn 2

The Old Barn

Thirty plus years ago, I was excited to accept the position of Girls Ministries director at a local church.  The opportunity arose to take an overnight trip with the girls and several adults.  I was confused as one after another they approached with the question,  “Do we have to stop and take pictures of old barns?”
I repeatedly answered, “no”.  We had never discussed barns and they had nothing to do with our curriculum.  I was a city girl through and through.  As I chatted with the other adults about this obsession with barns,  they began to laugh.
The retired pastor’s wife, now older, had originated these trips among the girls who were now adults.  She was a painter who loved to paint old barns.  When traveling through rural Oklahoma,  she was known to slam on the brakes, put the car in park and jump out to take pictures of interesting barns. On an average day, they might make 6-8 stops before arriving at their destination.
Last year,  I, the woman who dreamed of retiring in a high rise condo downtown,  moved to the country. My drive into town takes me past a number of barns.  The first time I drove this route I thought of “Sister Keen”.  She lives in Heaven now.  Her quiet demeanor and sweet spirit were her hallmarks. She would be surprised that I still remember that and her.   She was beloved, respected and honored by everyone who met her.  Those qualities were the ones she modeled for me as a leader, mother and grandmother.  An old barn reminds me of how to age gracefully and productively.

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