The Big Red Barn

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

In the U.S., there are five standard barn styles. Iron Horse is a Midwestern classic; Homestead, is basic, easily adaptable. Offset Roofline takes a more angular structure, while Round Barn is the circular American original. Gambrels are considered the quintessential barn shape, offering the most space in the interior lofts. But my favorite is the Raised Monitor, the type my grandparents had. The Raised Monitor is marked by a high ceiling above the center aisle, ideal for storing hay, parking tractors, or even shaping into a living space. My grandpa did all three.

The Big Red Barn, as we liked to call it, sat proudly at the base of the Elk Mountain range on the plateau overlooking the Aspen valley. Its redness stood out; not like a sore thumb, more like a beautiful birthmark. The trim and roof were white and re-painted twice a year. Because of this, the barn looked like it had a thick layer of snow on top, even in the summertime. The barn stoop faced the west, perfect for sunsets. We could sit there for hours, watch the sun slowly sink through the sky, meet the mountaintops, and disappear. When I think of my grandfather, I think of this barn. I smell wood shavings, I smell tractor diesel, I taste the corn nuts and peanuts he...

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