Sunday, May 22, 2011

Zen and the Art of Barn Painting

My barn is like an old friend. It's kept my tractor, my antique car, and my tools in the dry for years.
Whenever life gets too crazy and I need to put some distance between me and the wolves, I go to the barn. It's like a sanctuary.
It's sits under ancient oak and hickory trees, and like most barns, it has housed, cows, chickens, goats, and other critters through the years.
When you sit inside, and close your eyes, you can smell the heart pine that was used to build it, you can smell old hay, and you can smell long decayed cow manure.
There's an old rusty chain that hangs from a rafter in the bay that I'm sure was used in years past to hoist motors out of cars and tractors so they could be rebuilt and reinstalled.
It has a history, and that's why rebuilding the barn was important to me.
This spring has been crazy with all the other projects we've been working on, but this week I took a piece of the old barn wood with me to Home Depot and had them match the color as closely as possible.
I while I was there, I picked up a paint sprayer.
Today, we didn't have a lot planned so this afternoon, I collected all the tools, paint, and ladder and headed to the barn.
I sat in the shade and mixed the paint. Off in the distance I could hear a woodhen pecking on hardwood. Though I hadn't seen many butterflies since the tornados, a big eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly came lilting by as if it had been sipping wine instead of nectar.
I fired up the compressor and began to swipe the sprayer back and forth over the barn. It's not good to get in a hurry when you're painting, so I fell into a rhythm and moved slow and steady.
In what seemed like only a few minutes, I had put the first coat of paint on the newly replaced wood siding.
In the next day or so, when the paint has time to dry, I'll lay down another coat and blend it in with the old wood. I can tell you, it already looks so much better than it did just a few months ago.
I hope to get the carpenter up to replace our little front deck on the house and build the small arbor that Jilda designed. And then, I can paint the house.
It's been a good day here in Empire. I hope you all had a blessed weekend, and do something remarkable this coming week.


  1. Sounds like life got a little bit back to normal after the craziness. Glad you had a relaxed time with the paint and hope you can keep going on the projects.

  2. After all you and your neighbors have been through down there, it's good to see some normal activities returning. The barn looks like it's in good hands! Have a good week!

  3. It is so much fun fixing things up. It is wonderful what a coat of paint can do!

  4. Well the colour's nice and vibrant!!! Your barn's gonna be just fabulous! Take care

  5. a task that gives a feeling of accomplishment. how many times did you go out and look at it?


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