st james road

Another barn burned last night.

I got a voice mail at 0600 this morning. I was still sleeping, so I missed the call.

It was a woman who identified herself as a neighbor, knew my name, and said that an abandoned barn had burned about 1.5 miles east of me on St. James (the gravel road that runs on the south of my place) and she didn’t know if Levi still lived here or if I was alone but she thought I should know.

That was alarming, and mystifying. Levi has been gone three years this month. I texted back, because I’m still super sick and have no voice at all, I can barely whisper. Turns out it was the neighbor who kept breaking into my outbuildings when I first moved here. So that was a real stunner, that she of all people would let me know.

I just now drove over there with Lu. It was another place without a house, just a few grain bins, a big old barn like mine that is half fallen in already, and a smaller barn with a metal roof. It’s still smoking. The metal roof is on the ground and looks like it’s made of maybe crispy marshmallow, sort of retaining its original shape but not quite.

John’s gone, he stops back for a few hours Tuesday and leaves again. Basically he’s gone at least ten days. Jeanne’s ex is bringing over a big work light to put in the barn, I may either sleep out there or leave the dogs out there or put a radio out there, I’m not sure. I’ll lock my gate, something I rarely do, and I’ll leave all my outbuilding lights on. But it’s not like coming up the lane with a vehicle is the only access to the place.

There is a camera in the barn, it’s looking into a horse stall at the moment to watch turkeys. I’m not sure where to put it because the barn is big, if I choose the wrong end I’ll miss everything anyway. I’ll keep the shotgun near the back door, and I’ll be on pins and needles until they find who is doing this. It’s just so awful, it isn’t just property, it’s history. These barns are irreplaceable. 

It has to be teens. They don’t understand the value of an old barn so much until they’re older. 

My place is not like the others, but my barn does look like it isn’t being used even though it is. So I’m not the most likely victim, but I’m not taking any chances. I hope they catch these jerks before someone shoots them.