Valentines

Ah yes. It’s Valentine’s Week – the week of love and romance. In our barn endeavors, we seem to run into a few moments of shared love. A fortuitous heart shaped knot lends itself to the penknife etchings of Lance loves Robin. A moment in time preserved in wood. As it turns out, the current barn owner ran into a woman named Robin at the local watering hole. They got talking about various things and the love note came up in random conversation. Sure enough, the person named Robin at the bar and the name of Robin scratched on the barn wall were one in the same. When the Fountain City, Wisconsin barn was dismantled, the board was given to Robin as a keepsake of an old love.

In all of these old barns, we find the touch of an old craftsmen hewn and cut into each of the great beams over a century ago. In this old barn, we found the touch of a lover, two entwined hearts and initials carved into the wall 84 years ago in 1924. While the couple has past on, the touch of the knife to old wood remains a ghost of the love they shared.

Next, we have the story of an old farmhouse. As the old house was dismantled to make way for a new development, we removed the old floors and woodwork. Sealed in and hidden forever between the ceiling below and the floor above was a small metal lock box. Of course, our imaginations dreamed up contents of old stock certificates, paper dollars, and gold coins. The real contents, perhaps more valuable, turned out to be letters from Rita in St. Paul, Minnesota to Cyril in Cologne, Minnesota. The exchange of letters lasted 13 months from June of 1941 to July of 1942. The tone of the letters started as friends but later became romantic. Eventually, the couple was married in May of 1946. As fortune would have it, rather than riches, we got a chance peek at a growing love inside of a lockbox.

Finally, while not a love note, perhaps it is more. Buried inside the foundation of huge split granite field stones and cement was a Prince Albert Tobacco tin. We opened up the tin to find a prayer card inside. “God bless this home and bring us health and happiness.” In the end, isn’t that what all the romance is about?

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