I left you hanging two weeks ago with my Stuck In the Barn Door … my apologies for the delay. Somehow I forgot to impart some Thanksgiving recipes and by the time I realized what I had done and what time I had left to submit my article, it was too late. Nuts. But being stuck in the barn door actually took a great deal of work!
I will begin where I left off….
Pulling down the latch I swung the door wide and we entered to feed room and turned on the light. We were allowed in the feed room, this is where most of the cats had their kittens. We poked around only to find one batch of kittens-bummer. But all was well as we sat petted and played with each kitten.
Once each kitten had received its fill of our “attentions” we placed them back into their box and looked around the feed room for something else to do.
Hey did you hear that?
As we walked around the feed room we could hear “mooing” coming from inside the barn. We stopped and listened again. Yep! There is was again… “moo, moo.” Huh, what are cows doing in the barn at this time of day? We better go check it out.
As we walked up to the door that leads into the barn, we both hesitated a bit. It was as if we simultaneously heard Aunt Myrts rules playing over in our head- “DON’T go into the milking barn!” Hmm… well, we better go check it out and leaned together into the door and slowly got it to open.
As we both pushed against the door it opened into the milking barn and we headed down a sloped walkway. We let go of the door and the door made a thud. We turned to see why to door made such a noise.
Too late we realized the door was on a pulley system with weights. This was engineered so that the cows if they got loose in the barn, wouldn’t help themselves to delights of the feed room by pushing on the door and walking through. The door required you to pull it and pull hard. Oops!
Walkway to doom
Undaunted we looked for lights to turn on to see better, but not finding any we could reach we decided it was good enough with the daylight that was streaming in through the windows.
We noted each cow that was still in her stanchion. They noted us as well with big bossy tosses of their heads and swishy tails expressing their displeasure with our invasion.
We finished our walk at the end of the walkway, hopped across the manure gutter, and stood at the big sliding barn door. What to do now? I thought we better get out of the barn before we get caught and Jason nodded in agreement. We jumped back over the manure gutter, down the walkway, and up the slanted walk to the feed room.
The door handle wasn’t very big, nor was it located low enough for us to get a good grip. Together we tried our best to get ahold of the door and pull. Unfortunately, every time we tried to hold the door handle and back up, the slant of the floor lowered us down to the point we couldn’t hold the door handle. Now what?
Just a little bit more….
Talking it over we decided the best thing to do was to go back down the walkway, jump the manure gutter, and try and slide the big door open. So together we went back past the cows, over the manure gutter, and surveyed the sliding door.
Together we pushed and got the door slid open just enough to get a head through. My thought was to stick my head through the opening where I would then be able to wiggle and move the door more. Brilliant!
My pigtails offered me a bit of resistance but I was determined and I finally succeeded by shoving my head through the door. I am sure it was a sight to see, some pigtailed little girl with her head hanging out the opening of a sliding barn door. The traffic on East Friesland road got a bit of a show.
Do not panic! Okay… panic!
Having my head in between the sliding door and the door frame, I tried to wiggle my head back and forth. A few minutes had passed of trying this method and I realized it was not working. The worst part was the door edge was catching the back of my ear and all the rubbing and wiggling had started a very large blister. Ouch!
My bossy big sister demeanor was taking a backseat to panic. As I discussed with my brother any other available options I saw my mother drive past the corner of the barn, stop at the driveways end, signal and drive off. That’s when I lost it and a full panic set in. I began screaming my head off. My mom couldn’t hear me. I’m sure ethereal music was playing in her ears and she continued her drive home.
Along with the screaming, I began to cry. My poor brother wasn’t sure what he could do either but joined me in softly crying as we both considered our lonely demise. We would die right here in this barn, TODAY!
What did I tell you?
I’m not sure how long we actually were stuck in the barn, but it seemed like an eternity. Then when all hope was lost, all thought of rescue gone… we heard Aunt Myrt call. YAHOO! We would be rescued! Wait, we are going to be in trouble! My shoulders slumped at the thought but my ear and my human instinct to live didn’t care and I let out the loudest help I could muster.
Finally, after playing a bit of “Farm Marco Polo” Aunt Myrt discovered my head hanging out the barn door. At first, she looked relieved, and then she looked mad. “Kids!” was all she could manage and then seeing only part of me she asked where Jason was.
Pulling on the sliding barn door, Aunt Myrt set my head free and I walked out with Jason bursting forward to freedom as well. We got a good lecture about the barn and she walked us back to the house.
Let this be a reminder
In the house, she put a cold pack on the back of my very swollen ear with a large orange slice blister on the back of my ear. Jason sat drinking milk and eating cookies. He adjusted his glasses, probably considering my lack of leadership and decorum with our “barn door incident”.
It wasn’t until I was much older I noticed two pictures on the wall. They were of two little girls. They were in late elementary or early grade school. I asked my mom who those girls were and she told me they were Aunt Myrt’s daughters Elaine and Cathleen.
Staring back at the pictures on the wall I realized that their pictures never advanced in the pictorial timeline. They remained, forever young. Quietly I asked where they were and I was told they died very young.
Elaine died from a meningitis infection. A year later, the eye doctor discovered a large advanced brain tumor behind Cathleen’s eye. She was rushed to a Madison hospital for surgery to try to save her eyesight. As Cathleen said her goodbyes to my Aunt and Uncle before she went into surgery, she told them she loved them and wouldn’t be coming back. They consoled her and said that yes she would, but God must’ve given Cathleen a glimpse of her future and she knew.
Life is precious and I have learned to hold things of this world loosely. Life is an experience and we are not meant to hold things tightly. We are to live, learn, and love.
Now I understand why Aunty Myrt had her rules and why she got so upset. Hard experiences never leave us, they remain as reminders of our lack of control and the need for faith in leaving everything to God.
Here is to leaving everything up to God. Enjoying good food and friends as well as a good free life.
Michele Bruxvoort is sure to draw you in with her delightful sense of humor and love for living life. She enjoys reading, repurposing, as well as remodeling the family home with her husband. Drawing from her life experience as wife, mom, and follower of Jesus, Michele brings you a very honest and real perspective on life. When you don’t find her writing, you can find her mowing lawns, stocking shelves, taking care of her grandbaby and tackling her latest life adventure.
Wisconsin native and empty-nester, she now makes her home with her husband of 27 years in the South West Prairie plains of Minnesota.