Think Outside the Barn

(scroll down to photos if you’re in the mood for visual, not reading. Self explanatory.)
OR go to this link for SO MUCH MORE BARN FUN!

Have you guys been following my recent obsession? Barns. The fact that they have faces? I’ve been posting them on this blog in the EVERY BARN HAS A FACE category and literally taking off like an addict during the day to stalk barns all around Montana. It’s all I can do to NOT do it right now. And I finally figured out why: I am so interested in perspective and perception and assumtions and expectations. I’m so interested in seeing how they mess with us and inform our reactions. Often, we’ve already made our minds up about something before it’s even happened. We do ourselves such a disservice in this regard. What if we assigned different meaning to the things and people we encounter in our day? What if we surprised ourselves by changing the entry point of our interactions? I think we’d find some freedom there. I think we’d find some humor there too.

Here’s a challenge: Keep a camera in your car. If you are driving anywhere where you might see a barn…look at it like it has a face. Allow yourself to see it. What’s your knee jerk reaction? Who is it for you? Now inspire yourself to turn around, to seize the moment and stop. Take a photo. And send it in to: Tell me “who” your barn is, and I’ll post it in my EVERY BARN HAS A FACE section of this blog. We’ll have some fun. We’ll think outside of the box (barn). We’ll remind ourselves of the power of stopping and playing with life. We’ll take ourselves a little less seriously and in so doing, dare I suggest: we’ll lighten the collective load.
Here’s what I’ve been up to below.

Have you ever noticed that every barn has a face? I grew up in the Mid-west and my parents liked to travel and money was tight. That meant there was a lot of time spent in the family station wagon, staring out the window as corn-fields met rocky mountains and oceans, depending on whether we took a left or a right. I saw a lot of barns. And every one of them had a face. I’d keep it to myself because this sort of thinking didn’t go over too well in my family. I was the youngest. I was always saying things that got either patronizing responses or just chirp chirp. I had a relationship with those barns. I still do. So much of how we relate to life is as the beholder. Beauty, barns, and otherwise. I’d love it if you shared your barns with me here. I’d love to see those faces. I’d love to see that you see them too.

Kalispell, Montana (side-talker)

Valier, Montana (needs braces)
Belt, Montana (has braces)

Red Lodge, Montana (that mean Nellie Olson)

Lewistown, Montana (Cyclops, the 8th dwarf)
Lakeside, MT (Meow)
Evergreen, MT (Mrs. Havisham maybe better on a foggy morning…)
Great Falls, Montana (Namaste or Burl Ives as the snow man in Rudolph. Can’t decide.)
Whitefish, MT (Hannibal Lecter)
Chester, Vermont (Gerorge Washington and his wooden teeth– why so long in the tooth? 1700s barn from Amy)

Kenosha, Wisconsin (a literal face and mini-me barn from Robb)
Bartow County, Georgia (Rapunzel Rapunzel, let down your hair… from Lisa)
For more, go to Every Barn Has A Face on this blog!
Send in more!!!


Filed under Contests! Win a signed hardcover of THIS IS NOT THE STORY YOU THINK IT IS!, Every Barn Has a Face, My Posts

31 Responses to Think Outside the Barn

  1. I love barns. I haven’t really made the face connection before but I totally see it. My husband is from Vermont and whenever we drive around near his parents’ house I am leaning out the window trying to take pictures of the various barns we see that I love.

  2. Oh, I love this post. Barns are so interesting to me. I can’t wait for the drive from St. Louis to Spring Green, Wisconsin this week because I get to see hundreds of barns, old and new. I’ll take some pictures along the way.

    • lauramunson

      Rebecca! I can’t wait for the photos! What’s really fun is having that moment where you see the barn, think the “who,” and then actually stop the car. We need to stop the car more often! That’s going to be a drive after my own heart, my father hailing from Granite City, IL and the many trips we took down there from Chicago and up to WI in the summers…. Have fun. Bring bug spray! yrs. Laura

  3. terrikirbyerickson

    Hi Laura! Love the photos of the barns. The red ones remind me of houses in Sweden, where part of my husband’s family lives… All the best, Terri Kirby Erickson, author, Telling Tales of Dusk

    • lauramunson

      Terri! See if your hubbie’s family will send in a photo. I love all things Swedish. I’m a sucker for Carl Larsson and have all the original Flicka Ricka and Dicka and Snip Snap and Snur books. Have you read those? yrs. Laura

  4. LOL! Thanks to you, a face like a barn door may soon become a compliment. ;-) No barns here in L.A. I will just have to enjoy the barns vicariously.

    • lauramunson

      La Bella (that’s what I’m callin you today…) perhaps you could share something that has a face in LA. Like the front of a smokin’ old Chevy or a billboard or an old theater or something iconic. Maybe this project has spurs. yrs.

  5. This is so great! And I’m thrilled to see a real WI barn featured. I can’t drive either way towards civilization without passing a passel of family farms. We’ll keep our eyes ready for some friendly faces to send your way.

    • lauramunson

      Victoria– I know what you WI people think about we native IL folks… but can you forgive me since I’ve lived in MT for 17 years? I am SO not a F. I. B. Swear. Would LOVE to see some more WI barns. Makes me weak in the knees just thinking about it. I heart Wisconsin.
      yrs. Laura
      p.s. thanks for teaching me the word: passel. Totally new to me. Which, I know, makes me… a F.I.B. Go on. Laugh at me. ;)

      • There is some wonderful kizmet here,Laura.

        I read your response this morning just before running out the door to drive to Chicago. What was that you were saying about IL & WI people because I had a wonderful time ;)

        Since I took a scenic route I passed many a barn and tried the name game. The biggest surprise? Passing that smiling WI barn and minime barn on my way home!

  6. Great post! I actually joined a Barn Chick Blog Party at
    Everyone who signed up is taking pictures of barns on Aug 6th and posting them on their blogs! You should join – I love the pictures you have taken so far!

  7. drgina

    Come see my barn. You taint never seen the likes. : ) Gina

  8. hi laura – your aussie barnless reader – just wanted to let you know your barns inspired an idea in me, totally unrelated to barns – but I gave your barns a mention here

    • lauramunson

      Okay I LOVE this idea. I asked people to send me the view outside their bedroom window last year before anyone read my blog and I got a few lovely entries. Might be fun to try it again. I’ll send you something for sure! Thanks for being an inspiraton! yrs. Laura

      • That would be amazing! Thanks Laura – need it by the 5th August so I can put them all together :-) I am keeping an eye out for farmhouses with faces Down Under :-)

  9. Growing up in Wisconsin I remember seeing barns WITH ACTUAL FACES PAINTED ON THEM. I loved that. I never get to see barns anymore, living in the city. . but will be sure to be on the lookout for their face next time I’m home.

    • lauramunson

      From a once FIB who loves WI. Thanks for the reminder. WI is like MT without the pressure to hike in the Rockies. Lots of mosquitos, lakes, docks, and Leinenkugel… Makin’ me homesick. yrs Laura

  10. There aren’t many barns on the San Francisco peninsula but I’ll send a photo of roses from a garden in my neighborhood.

  11. I love barns and old buildings. When we moved to Georgia from the Chicago area, it was like a buffet for the eyes. I started doing what I called drive by shooting. My poor kids were trained to hold on tightly and serve as lookouts while I slammed on the brakes to take photos. The only thing more fun than that were all the photos taken from the moving car. I know it’s dangerous, but I’ve gotten some of my best shots like that. And we’ve survived. I drive mostly by myself now.

    I sent you a couple of them.

  12. Laura, what a lovely idea! I read about this on Sharni’s blog. I live in Kansas so I’ll keep my eyes open for a unique barn face. There is something so appealing about a country barnscape.

    • lauramunson

      Oh good! I’d LOVE a barn from Kansas! Isn’t the internet amazing in this regard… Have a great day! yrs. Laura

  13. Paul Sidoriak

    Laura- I would name it:

    This Is Not The Barn You Think It Is: A Byre Of Unlikely Happiness

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>