Saturday, June 19, 2010
A Summer Breeze
Ahh, summertime. At least down here in the South, the hot weather is a daily reminder that summer is here. Temperatures are consistently in the 90s, thunderstorms roll through on a frequent basis, and folks stay inside in the air conditioning during the heat of the day. Only the brave seem to go out and face the heat during the sultry Southern summer afternoons.
This weather brings back fond memories of many a summer afternoon spent riding on the back of the motorcycle with my husband at the helm. It is such a wonderful way to enjoy the countryside and the breeze all around makes the heat much more bearable. To be on the motorcycle is to feel wild and free. It is a time when I can reflect on my life and feel so lucky to be able to enjoy the ride. It frees my soul and helps me to enjoy what’s around me.
When we ride the motorcycle, we generally stick to small highways and the roads less traveled. This is for several reasons: one is for our own safety, for where there are less cars there is less chance of being run off the road, and the second is to enjoy small town America. For me, I enjoy the opportunity to hold a camera in my hand and snap photos as we cruise by old barns and interesting sights. That camera has become my constant riding companion.
For the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to see and photograph barns in several different areas of the country. While we were living in the Washington DC metro area, we took a couple of different week-long trips on the motorcycle. Those trips took us from northern Virginia through North Carolina, the eastern portions of Tennessee and Kentucky, and back through breathtaking West Virginia (which really is wild and wonderful, by the way). We also rode into Pennsylvania frequently, and on into New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and even a bit of Montreal. Each of those trips gave me new and exciting sights to chronicle with my camera.
All of this sightseeing has given me a new appreciation for barns, their history and purpose, and the people who have built them and kept them functional through the years. Some look almost brand-new, others had fallen in on themselves and are only a skeleton of what they used to be. But all of them gave me the drive to keep that history alive. As I’ve written several times, that can be accomplished in a small way by the purchase of reclaimed barnwood furniture. Even though it may not be as grand in your living or dining room as it is in a standing barn, that wood still signifies the pleasure of the sights I have seen on rides in the summer breeze.