Faithful friends and loyal followers know that I’m a fan of old barns and an enthusiastic promoter of the Iowa Barn Tour. Perusing my photo gallery for inspiration, I landed on this shot taken in the lower level of the first barn we ever toured back in the fall of 2013. It was situated on a farmstead that had been in the same family for 150 years and it was a stunner. Before then, I wasn’t even aware that barns had ‘walk-out’ basements.

From the stanchions, used to milk the cows that were herded into the lower level at the end of each day, to the storage cubby-hole to the wooden gate to the ‘old-timey’ design of the roof joists, the space here – bathed in the beautiful fall light streaming in that morning from the many ‘daylight’ windows of the basement perimeter, was both charming and mesmerizing: so much history and tradition and reminders of a much simpler time.