When we bought this house, the part the kids liked best was the barn. It was big, and old and had enough corners to keep everyone happily exploring for years. They built "forts", made dirt cakes, and decorated the basement with auction furniture.
It lived a glorious life long before we arrived, evidenced by piles of old straw and rusty stanchions. We added goats, dogs, rabbits and vacuum cleaners. (I'm sure the bats came with the territory.)
About the time everyone here outgrew the need for forts and animals, our old barn caught fire and burned to the ground. The last few years, the surviving basement stonework has been taken over by persistent undergrowth. Monday, that all changed.
We've been expecting this for several weeks, but the rumble of these huge machines in the yard was suddenly a harsh reality. Memories tumbled into deep holes. Tangible evidence of children at play disappeared under tons of earth.
The barn is gone.
We've talked about possibilities for the new space... a soccer field, a garden plot (that was not my idea), wide open green grass... nothing is definite at this point.
In our hearts, it will always be the barn.
We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old. Psalm 44:1