Storybook Barn —
Set Amidst Pastures Green, Not Quarantined

The silo, the barn’s many windows, and the open doors in the front of the barn.

At Storybook, we love to open doors and invite people into the 140-year old dairy barn. Storybook’s interior of rough-cut oak and swaying beams evokes images of nineteenth-century settlers who eked out a way of life on the windswept Missouri plain.

Yet, in recent weeks, telling words like quarantine and social distance have headlined the news with messages that threaten to undermine our social norms. In every state in the Union, and on every continent, sounds of shuttering shutters and latching locks testify to a new state of global fear and worry. Day and night, these latching sounds shutter dreams and subdue the lift of spirits.  

This unnatural state affronts our very way of life. Sequestering dictates where we go and where we stop along the way. We rush about at arm’s length from one and all. We scurry; in and out we go, and then swiftly in again, only to dutifully latch and lock. 

Take heart, though! These dashing days have rushed into the heart of spring, where dreams like pastures green defy this state of quarantine. Soon, wedding guests, prom dates, and reunion mates shall dance again to rhythmic tunes filling the interior of Storybook’s barn. 

Wildflowers at the entrance of Storybook.

Outside, in acres roundabout Storybook’s perimeter, wildflowers will quietly bloom in unrushed celebration. Stem touching stem, in togetherness they boom, vibrant-yellow, poppy-red, and hues displaying natures’ palette true. Meanwhile, robins chase about gathering straw and twiggy bits, noticing neither the bluebirds darting by nor the bald eagle perched high in the mammoth walnut tree. Thus, at Storybook, spring carries on gifting life to nature’s un-sequestered. 

As venues go, Storybook’s quintessential barn offers an interior quite unlike a windowless banquet hall. Sunlight and fresh air move through Storybook’s interior, as freely as a welcome breeze lifting freshly laundered-linens on an outdoor line. One should not minimize the health benefits of fresh air and sunlight. At Storybook we invite them in.

Wildflowers blooming at the Writer’s Cottage. Image by Brandon Alms

Facing south, a pair of pine doors, nine feet tall and nine feet wide, centers the back wall of the barn. Each door has twenty panes of old wavy glass, forty in all, through which warm sunlight floods the interior. To the north, doors ten feet tall open wide, allow  fresh air to pass through the structure and whisk away unwanted particles that tend to linger in structures of boxed-in space.

The open doors of Storybook.

Instead of those dismaying, viral words pressed into today’s headlines, at Storybook, a duo of uplifting words guides all that takes place. Aspirational and inspirational make up the pair. Like a duo of buoys, they undergird the mission of Storybook Barn, challenging not only the décor and ascetics of the historic structure, but the nature of events and gatherings which come to life in Storybook time. 

So, let the doors of Storybook open wide this spring, summer, and fall, as these present days of quarantine trail away and, one day soon, fully pass. Then, post autumn, may celebrations of winter rise, lifting spirits high to the very rafters of Storybook. At which point, we’ll all bid farewell to the stealthy fear which shuttered the world one long and awful night. 

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, may Storybook always “Be an Opener of Doors.”

The hand-crafted doors of Storybook.

On a highly important and practical note, these are some of the health and safety features of Storybook:  

Radiant heat that eliminates the passage of air through filters and ducts.

Hand sanitizers placed in strategic locations throughout the venue

Special medical-winged faucets in the restrooms that can be wrist-operated

Mini-Splits installed in the barn’s interior deliver another source of heat in winter and cool air in summer. The self-contained units eliminate worry over unseen contaminants affecting air quality.

 Wrist door pulls on restroom doors like those used in commercial kitchens 

Fresh air pavilion

Stainless steel work tables and commercial sink in the catering and food prep area

Commitment to use the best of antibacterial products

Signage

Unswerving commitment to thoroughly clean and disinfect Storybook’s interior after each and every event. 

More than two dozen outdoor benches, making it possible for guests to spread out and spend quality time out of doors as well as 15 acres of  fields to walk through under open skies

Bill Jefferson
Author | Owner | Storyteller

Glendale High School Class of ’67 50th Reunion

Storybook Barn, where stories of worth are woven into time.

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