Monday, September 29, 2008

Barn Living

Have I ever told you that we once lived in a barn? Isn't that funny? We actually did. When Jeffrey's family moved back home to Oregon in 1995, they invited us to go with them. We didn't have careers yet or even very good jobs. My parents had already moved away from Chattanooga, so we signed on for the adventure. We lived with Jeffrey's parents until we found jobs and got settled in Oregon. Our home was a finished shed that looked like a mini-barn on the property that my in-laws were renting. It was really just a room, about 18x22. No water, no plumbing, just a wall heater and windows that opened. We had to share the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry with my in-laws. Sounds horrible, doesn't it? It wasn't. It was heaven.

Jeffrey's parents, brother, and nephew lived in an old farmhouse that had been painted purple. The neighbor's goat gave birth under our porch and for months we could literally hear the pitter-patter of little feet running around on the wooden porch. Whenever any of us would come home, the baby goat would burst out from under the porch and gently head-butt us looking for a scratch between the ears. Next you would hear the slam of the screen door as my then-five-year-old nephew would come running out hollering, "Aunt Relyn. Aunt Relyn!"

We had a marvelous life in our little barn. We made new friends and a new life across the country from almost everyone we knew. We had a tin roof and snuggled for countless hours while we listened to the rain beating down. We hosted my family for Christmas and even threw parties, including a memorable Dirty Dozen birthday party for Jeffrey. We climbed trees, had pets, canned corn, picked blueberries, slept under the stars, and built a yellow swing that would only move from side to side. We laughed, we played, we had a marvelous time. It's funny how few things you need if your home is full of love. Living in a barn and sharing the purple farmhouse taught me exactly what I need to feel at home.

Home Essentials

~ books and shelves to put them on
~ a beautiful bed, full of pillows
~ a place for guests to sit
~ a table for games, puzzles, dinner
~ a cat or two
~ flowers on the window sill
~ homemade art on the wall
~ the sound of a slamming screen door and running feet
~ big windows and no curtains to block the light
~ wide windowsills for candles and collections of seashells, acorns, and posies from children
~ a place for nephews to sleep when they spend the night
~ a rod for hanging your clothes and a long bed skirt to hide the shoes
~ at least one wonderful tree in the yard and a pretty view from every window

You know, I still miss that little barn and the purple cottage.

The first photo isn't our barn at all. Simply a dreamy image of a barn that I would love to own. See more of M.J. Ticcino's images here. I took the rest of the photos (but one) in the days before digital cameras. I thought you might like a little peek into our tiny home. The people in the Christmas picture are my mom and my brother, circa 1995.


Caroline said...

That sounds wonderful! I spent many summers of my youth staying with my Father and Step-mother's family...they lived down South on remote property without electricity!!! We spent our days chopping wood, keeping fires, and playing in the river. I loved it there (though really missed running water and toilets). Anyway, I just rambled...sorry. The point was simple. Days were long and nights were filled with banjo jam sessions, laughter and the sound of bull frogs and owls... Yeah...I miss that.

Patti said...

I love it! It sounds so cozy and quaint- I know I would think it was heaven too! Isn't is amazing how one can make a fabulous life with just enough. So often less really is more. What ever happened with setting up your class blog? Have a fantastic

Jeanne said...

Love all that you post.

My Castle in Spain said...

Oh I bet you miss these days Relyn, it sounds just so "sweet home". You're right we don't need much to make a little house our home.
I loved reading your post.
Have a great monday !

Christina said...

Aww honey, this is a beautiful post. I love that you shared with us these lovely memories. While reading, I imagined us meeting one day telling stories about our lives and giggling.

Hmm...; )

Beth said...

gives new meaning to the phrase we say way too often in the winter...

"close that door already, we don't live in a barn"

as all the cold air comes rushing in.....

your story is wonderful....and I'd miss that barn , too !!!

Jaime said...

What a lovely time in your life this must have been. I have always wanted to hear rain on a tin roof...I've been told it is the most wonderful sound.
Oh and baby head butting goats...that is just too sweet!!!!


susanna said...

Life in your barn sounds wonderfully cozy, Relyn. And very romantic.

And I can just envision those goats living under the purple farm house's porch! :)

robin bird said...

did i already know this? that you once made your home in oregon? i don't think i did! we have some common memories of place and time then. i have lived here since 1983!
i love the story of your early married life. the goat story especially :) you describe beautifully the essentials for a happy life and i can see that little has changed in your heart since then. you still hold dear those very same parts of life, being true to yourself.

Willow said...

What a great share of that memory Relyn.
I think many a barn would make a lovely home.
Our barn is only a stone throw from our old farm house .
I still remember the days my gram use to say " Shut the door child , do you think you live in a barn " !
I thought of that and smiled with your post today

Oldies, but Goodies