The Barns of Childhood - Carolina Country

The Barns of Childhood

The Barns of Childhood

An old tobacco barn in western Hoke County.

Fortunate is the child who has the opportunity to play in barns; there are stalls to explore, hay lofts to hide in, and board fences to walk on. I have many remembrances of the barns of my childhood.

My family lived in a barn one summer while our new house was being built. Seven of us and a houseful of furniture were crammed into a cavernous room that smelled like hay. That time of togetherness created a family bond that was never broken.

In a smaller barn Mother nailed boxes to the wall for the chicken nests. It was my job to gather eggs, but I couldn’t see inside the boxes. I’d feel over the edge for the eggs. Have you ever unwittingly put your hand on the cold, scaly skin of a chicken snake?

Grandfather’s huge barn held his crops. My cousins and I sampled raw peanuts as we shelled them for brittle. Nature repaid our gluttony, and we all rushed to the outhouse at once.

When I was small, I heard my outspoken father say, “They will nail my hide to the barn wall one of these days.” I took that remark literally and checked to see if his “hide” was among the drying deerskins affixed to the barn’s exterior.                                                   

Patricia Wilson, Raeford, a member of Lumbee River EMC

Comments (1)

  • This was written by my mother. Sadly, she passed away last December, not long after she sent it off.

    Jeannie Wilson Dees | 26 September 2016 at 15:21 | reply

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