Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Designer Barn

When people ask me, "Did you grow up in a barn?" I have to answer honestly: yes. For the most part, the only place I ever wanted to live was the hayloft. As a youngster we actually outfitted the hayloft at our barn into the world's most awesome pigeon and feral cat-infested penthouse known to lower Alabama. I am pretty sure my friends and I slept there every free night we could. Fast-forward to 2005, when I had a big life shift, and suddenly had the opportunity to move into the barn at my friend's place. I lived there exactly one year, and I have to say it was quite possibly the best year of my life. Not only was my landlord totally bangin', we were right around the corner from our equally bangin' friend and her farm, and just 2 miles from a really lovely equestrian park on the Arkansas River. Life, that year, was about 2 things: riding our horses and drinking wine in the evenings on someone's front porch.

As you can see, it was a pretty swanky place, and I do count my blessings. I loved being able to look into the front paddock and see my horse (that's Rhodes, by the way), and Maddie was able to fulfill her instincts to hunt (fill in the blank ... hunting is what she does!) and sit in my lap while I drove the tractor. She loves tractor rides.

My friend Holly has an amazing company and vision and I love looking at her website and imagining what I'd build if I were so inclined and in a position to return to a life with horses. I have to say, the longer I've gone out of the tack, the more objective I've become where that life/lifestyle is concerned. A life with horses and on a farm is fairly binding, but it's incredibly fulfilling. You tend to have lots of friends who don't hold muck on your boots or dirt under your fingernails against you, and though you might think a one-topic ongoing dialogue (horses: how my ride went, how your ride went) could get flat, it's surprisingly complex and thusly stays pretty fresh.

There is a big piece of me that would like to recreate this life. Fortunately, I've lived long enough and had enough other experiences to know what I do/don't want, and how to establish a home that has more balance and allows me to integrate the many facets and pursuits that make me tick. I'm not sure when that will happen, but it's really fun to think about.

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