Thursday, April 22, 2021

Catching Up

It's been a while, hasn't it?

The past few months have been pretty uninspiring when it comes to writing blog posts. Combined with work, and family concerns, updating a blog has shifted lower on the priorities. But I have a few moments to think about what's gone on since I last posted here on the Retrogrouch.

The Pandemic

Still dragging on. I got two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Our state prioritized teachers, so I was able to get my shots a little earlier than other friends of my same age group. I was also fortunate enough that our employer made the arrangements for all employees to get the shots, so it was a simple matter of picking a time slot and showing up. It has been a lot more complicated for many other people. At this point, every adult in Ohio is eligible for a shot, but for a while there, actually getting an appointment for one was something like an "every-man-for-himself" proposition, made harder for those who weren't computer/internet savvy (which includes most of the oldest population who were most at risk of the virus). Needless to say, getting a vaccine for my aging father was an ordeal, though I did manage to get him one. I understand the process is getting better, or so I hear.


I've been back at work full-time since late January, and I've been riding to work whenever I've been able. January and February are always lousy months for riding a bike in Northeast Ohio, but I still managed to ride a few days in those dead-of-winter months. Since March, I've been riding at least three days a week, but rain, and even snow sometimes, have made it hard to do much better than that. I know - I could always simply ride in the rain, but cold and wet is a terrible combination. Plus, part of the attraction for biking to work is that I enjoy it. I'm not actively seeking out misery.

Yesterday we had a snowstorm blow through the area in the morning, and I ended up driving. This morning the roads were clear, but black ice was an ever-present danger. The trees along this stretch of road still had that "wonderland" snow-frosting. It was cold - but a good ride to work.

Progress - Or So Some Might Say

For about 27 years now I've been passing, and admiring, this "perfect" old barn along my route to work. I've even captured it in a number of photos over the years. The barn, the little farmhouse nearby, and the surrounding farm fields with their rolling hills have always captured my imagination. The scene exhibits such a quiet, peaceful beauty, and I've long found something soothing and reassuring in it.

About a year ago, the farm was sold to developers, and I knew it was only a matter of time before the fields were carved up for houses that people like me would never be able to afford. I had hoped maybe someone would buy the farmhouse and the barn, and possible keep them, but that was probably just foolish wishful thinking.

Earlier this week, passing the farm on my way home, I saw this:

It had been standing that morning. It took only a few hours to reduce it to scrap.

It was one of the last little farms still left in the area. Such a shame to see it go this way.

Don't it always seem to go

That you don't know what you've got till it's gone

They paved paradise, put up a parking lot

- Joni Mitchell


  1. Nice of you to catch up. Bummer about the barn. Glad you and your dad got the vaccine, and I hope you get some better riding weather soon!

  2. Great to see you pop up in my news feed! Your posts are always interesting.

    I owned 240 acres in western Wisconsin with 3 others. I left the partnership when they decided to burn the beautiful old barn down.

    PS. While February is cold, April is cruel

  3. Re: the barn.
    Grow or die.
    There is no in between.
    You can be Columbus or Cleveland.

  4. Thanks for the post! I love reading your stuff. Much like the barn, blogs seem to be here today and gone tomorrow. I always dread when someone I've read seems to disappear, even if it's just to move on to other endeavors.

  5. I, too, love old barns. I see that there are books documenting historic barns for both of our states, OH and MT (different authors) and I imagine there are more for other states. I thought about creating a Bike-Barn cycling route in my valley, but they are still everywhere so it needed to be broken up - can’t do them all in one day unless one wants to ride at least a century. Like Ohio, Montana’s barns are also slowly disappearing.

    Raise a glass to the hand raised barns - salud!