Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Barn Raising

Daddy and Mom managed to save up enough money to build a small woodworking shop, where he hoped to build furniture to sell and be able to work at home with his growing family.
They bought all the lumber and supplies needed and then let all the Amish in the area know that they will be having a frolic on Saturday.( The Amish call barn and house raising's a frolic. Why? I have no idea.)
We got up while it was still dark and hurried with our breakfast. By the time the sun was coming up, buggies were coming in the lane. The women and children came into the house and the men after they had unhitched their horse and tied it to a tree went to see what they could do to help.
Before long the sounds of hammers and saws filled the air as the men tackled the job at hand, the women were visiting as they started preparing the huge noon meal, and we children couldn't decide where it was the most fun to be. In the house watching as vast amounts of food was being prepared or outside watching the shop grow under the steady pounding of hammers.
Someone had brought the church benches to set up tables and provide enough seats for everyone. Daddy came and set up a few of them for us to slide on. That was so much fun!
At noon Mom sent some of the older children to tell Daddy that lunch was ready. And had us set out a row of bowls on a bench and then fill them with cold water from the garden hose. We laid a big clean towel beside each bowl and then watched as the men lined up and sloshed the water over their faces and arms, water dripped off their long beards as they reached for the towel to dry off.
After everyone was washed up a few of the women quickly hung the towels on the clothes line until everyone was seated at the tables. Big platters of fried chicken and bowls heaped with steaming mashed potatoes and gravy, there was sweet corn and applesauce, stacks of fresh homemade bread, and plates filled with sliced tomatoes from the garden. And several kinds of pie for dessert.
After the silent prayer was over everyone started filling their plates and visiting, the food soon disappeared and the men went back to work while the women cleared away the mess.
By evening the shop was done. It looked beautiful with its white sides and green hip roof. There were stairs at the back on the outside that led up to an attic/loft that could be used for storage or an extra sleeping area when we got overnight guests.
We were tired and happy as we got ready for bed, we couldn't wait to play in the shop and watch Daddy make things with wood.


  1. What a wonderful memory! It brought to mind the laying by of gardens with help from the entire family and Church family, back when neighbors knew the value of a neighbor...I loved this post, LOVED IT!

  2. This literally sounds like an episode I watched on Little House On The Prairie!!

    How cool!!!

  3. What a nice post. I can envision all the workers, men and women and the children helping out.

  4. What a wonderful memory. I'm so glad you're sharing your stories! It tells of a group of people very willing to help one another and boost each other into their own business!

  5. What a great post. Thanks for sharing this memory with us. I grew up down south and much of this reminds me of home...especially the meal, down to the garden fresh tomato. People tend to be so self centered these days...I so repect how the Amish help one another along the way. I love to visit Amish country and kinda become a part of it...if just for a few days. I plan on going down to see the ponies race this summer with Sarah; her husband drives.

    How nice of you to visit my blog. It makes me smile to know you enjoyed your time there...hope you felt welcome and could sit a spell. Please come see me any time.

  6. I'm pleased I had the opportunity to read this. My Dad was a carpenter, there's something so lovely about woodworking, the smell, the blessed creativity... thanks for sharing. I enjoyed your memory.

  7. That's what it's all about. And I don't mean the hokey pokey! It's a great feeling being on the giving and receiving end of something like that. I love pictures of barn raisings but I'd be too nervous to watch one I think. Great post!

  8. That is a wonderful frolic on a Saturday.
    I also like "The Mailbox" story. Sweet, sweet children!

  9. Delightful story. Amazing they could finish the shop in one day. And so wonderful how everyone pitched in to help. I remember watching my grandpa and dad work in the print shop.

  10. I love your blog! This memory is beautifully written! I can just picture all of that great food and everyone gathering together in silent prayer before the meal.

    Thanks for finding my blog today! Have a wonderful day!

  11. Oh I loved reading this!! What a beautiful memory and so well written!

  12. I love the name of your blog by the way :) Having five boys, I know just what it means :)

  13. I loved this beautiful memory of yours. I always heard/read about Barn Raisings and thought how wonderful it is for a group of people to come together and help each other, support each other and give blessings for all the good things life brings. Thank you for sharing this.
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Your comment was so true and very uplifting. Made me smile.

  14. Wow...what an amazing community...helping one another. That is true neighbours. Thank you for sharing your memories with us.

    Warm wishes from South Africa

  15. I love reading stories like that....what a life you have had! Isn't it beautiful to remember such things?

  16. Ouuu I have always loved barn raisings {frolics].
    Our best friends are amish.... I am having such fun reading your blog.
    I can understand why you have turned english....the amish lifestyle is so difficult!

    Hugz & Blessings,

  17. I've been reading through your older posts today. I am so touched by your childhood memories. What treasures!

    Our church community has what we call work bees. They are very similar to what you have described. Most of our work bees are for chopping wood and preparing for winter. It is such a blessing to be part of a community that works together to accomplish big jobs. They are so fun and the recipients feel so loved at the end of the day. It's good for the children, too. What memories they are building!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.