Optimally Dilapidated

Our old milkhouse stands close to the road in a state of decay. Of course current zoning rules make it impossible for anyone to build a structure a mere six feet from the edge of our road like this shed. But this was erected a long, long time ago. Back when it was built farmers would carry their milk cans from the barn up to a milkhouse, usually built with a well or spring-fed water circulation to keep the milk cool. The farmer or a neighborhood delivery wagon driver would collect the cans and bring them to the local creamery. The road was a dirt road (actually, our road remained a dirt road long after the era of milk cans and wagons had past), so things like maintaining clear highway shoulders didn’t matter much.

The shed is decaying back into the ground, the roof rotting and the sills decomposing. In one way of looking at it, the shed is just an obsolete, zoning non-compliant eyesore. From another vantage, it’s a gracefully decaying antique, all the more precious because we know it has degraded to the point where it can’t remain standing much longer, so we appreciate it for its ephemerality.

1 thought on “Optimally Dilapidated”

  1. Holly Thompson

    Thanks for sharing that poem, Dave.
    Beautiful words of wisdom in a crazy time. I deeply appreciate what you said and what you are doing! We are going to get a few chickens of our own this spring. ?

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