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Lessons From Grandad’s Barn

Romancin’ The Road
January 25, 2021
God Rides With Me
February 2, 2021

Lessons From Grandad's Barn

Who among us consistently
Avoids gettin’ all tangled
In the hectic American pace
Th’out feelin’ ‘bout strangled?

When my life gets outta’ control
And busy-ness goes off the charts
I relax a spell, driftin back in time
To where, for me, everything starts

It's a smilin’ nostalgic journey
Wanderin' back to my roots
Rememberin' pastoral days
Where I first wore cowboy suits

The gaps between memories
Are filled with fond emotions
Snow and wind and sun and dirt
Plus critters and Bible devotions

I see Grandma on the porch
She’s shellin' walnuts or she’s knittin’
Curled in her lap a'purrin'
There's Smoky, my first kitten

Back by the well’s the apple tree
Where my brother broke his arm
Beyond that our tree-house oak
Where I always felt safe from harm

The wide barn still stands proudly
It was Grandad's special pride
His sanctum in which he worked
Quietly winnin’ every battle he tried

Betsy lived in the first stall
I milked her morning and night
I started a fire in the loft once
By bein' careless with candlelight

Grandad tanned my backside
A lesson I still remember
Cain’t forget those loft boards
All glowin’ with red ember

Magic happened in two back stalls
Cuz’ Grandad’s shop was there
'Tween those walls, the old sage worked
While stories and lessons he’d share

Many memories, mostly sweet
Are stacked chin high in that barn
As Grandad worked he'd open up
Rapt, ‘longside I sat as he’d yarn

He taught me about knot tyin'
Usin’ a worn out, limp old riata
Bowline, square or trucker’s hitch
I use every one when I gotta'

I learned to cut boards straight
To drive without bending the nail
More importantly he taught me
It was a gain each time I'd fail

We'd soap our saddles and tack
Or sharpen Grandma’s dull knife
But mostly, in Grandad's shop,
I learned ‘bout God, truth and life

Grandad fixed near everything
Even my first broken heart
Or something very simple as
An axe an’ handle come apart

He spoke of wild adventures
On trails afoot or a’horseback
Grandad said travelin’ was easy
Just pack right in your rucksack

Been packin’ right ever since
Thanks mostly to his teachin’
Shootin’ straight or doin others good
His lessons have been far-reachin’

Grandad’s parts and his tools
In the barn no longer abide
But his legacy survives proud
Like we all want when we’ve died

The indulgent smells still linger
Forever embedded in the siding
Leather and pine and his Old Spice
Their fragrance resolutely abiding

Speakin’ of packin’ and travellin’
S’long Grandad, I’ll be gettin’ back
This recollectin’ where I come from
Has settled me back on track

By, Rik Goodell

© 2021

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