My column today is for all of those many kids who played in the barn back the lane on Neff Road. And, for all of you who once flew into the air on a swing.
This week Carla Bucholtz posted a picture on Facebook of a a girl on a barn swing. The post brought comments from Janie Baker and Malinda Rhoades who were little girls who visited our home back the lane. (Sorry for the maiden names, but it is how I remember you.) Memories came alive and once more we were all children in a time past.
Every child who visited the farm ended up in the barn swinging from bales of hay and straw one side of the barn to the other. Imaginations came alive. Even adults loved to step into that knotted rope and push off flying across the barn. All of the neighbor kids played in that barn. Mom and Dad brought church youth to our house all the years from when my sisters were teens up to years after we had all left home. Those children when grown often brought their own children to play. Retired teachers brought their children. Past ministers brought theirs. People from all over the country came with their own. That old swing had a lot of use and brought a lot of joy.
We seldom had alone time with our parents. Mom and Dad were just that to other children. Later they would be Grandma and Grandpa to the next generation. No one was ever turned away. Mom and Dad were never too busy for friends and relatives. Our home and our parents did not belong to us. They belonged to everyone. Perhaps that is why the few alone moments with Mom and Dad mean so much now. I remember the first time Dad sat me on that swing. And, Mom telling me I could not go to the haymow with a boy. (I couldn’t figure out why back then. Hmm.)
Memories are sweet of those days of swinging in the barn. For me, it was my place of solace and comfort. A place for imagination to soar. We all sat in the barn window and watched the world go by. Children, teenagers, adults took away sweet times to remember on other days.
We should all have a place where we leave the world behind and enter a place that brings sweet smiles to the lips and a twinkle in the eye. Ah, a place where we could swing high above before we walked back to the world we left below.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.