By Anne-Marie Oomen
Flattening the Barn eloquently recollects writer Anne-Marie Oomen's own trip as she discovers herself an interloper on her relations farm situated in western Michigan's Oceana County, within the township of Elbridge-a couple hundred acres in the course of rural the US. Written as a chain of heartfelt interlocking narratives, this number of essays portrays the realities of farm existence: haying, identifying asparagus and cherries, the equipment of tractors and pickers; yet every one bankruptcy additionally touches upon the extra airy and infrequently articulated: the stoic love that permeates a relatives, the farmer's fight with identification, and how land can form a adolescence. With its wealthy language and elegance, knocking down the Barn engrosses the reader in Oomen's memories-setting good looks and sweetness opposed to paintings and loss-and paints a poignant portrait of becoming up in rural Michigan.
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Extra resources for Pulling Down the Barn: Memories of a Rural Childhood
It’s nothing, nothing scary at all,” Uncle Butler says, after he has picked me up and dusted me off, chuckling as though this ride is a bright Sunday. He heaves me up and back into the saddle. ” I know they believe these things, so I let them hoist me back up. I hear my father’s voice encouraging me. My uncle, leading a now perfectly docile animal, talks rousingly of how horses have thrown him. This was not a throw. I know that. This was something smaller and less important, and it should not have frightened me.
He scrambles back up, but when he gets up to the top again he feels the height and hesitates. He is not foolish; his survival instincts are in place. But he already enjoys defying the world he encoun- Violence 35 ters. He is a critical year older than Rick, and though it rarely matters, he can sometimes judge distances better. He flops down on his stomach at the edge of the loft. Rick crawls down with him, and they both reach as far as they can over the edge, their fingers groping for some reassurance that this ledge is not as high as they think it is.
Can’t go to waste,” my mother will say when we crush them. I take off my damp shirt so the July sun hits my back. I am so cold I don’t care who might see me. Then my dad or one of my brothers will come with the forklift, wobbling down the road with a new tank perched on the heavy tines of the lift. I slosh the cold water. This is a trick I have learned so that I can keep working. I look up, over the sunny field. I remember the big horse, his massive size, his huge feet. I remember looking up at his huge face and his underbelly strapped in leather.