I live in a barn. A red barn. In Vermont.
If that doesn’t conjure up a slew of homey Rockwellian images, I don’t know what else will. Visions of lush green summers, golden autumns, and snowy white winters aside, surely there must be challenges. I mean, can it really be as great as it sounds? Well . . .
It’s even better!
In fact, you just might say I’m living the dream. When I first moved to Vermont from Southern California all those years ago, this was the idyllic lifestyle I had imagined. And though the “city” life of Vermont is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of big city California, I had never quite found Vermont to be all that I originally envisioned.
Until I moved into a barn, that is.
So what’s so great about life in a barn house? More importantly, what have I learned from living in my little red barn? Surely there must have been some hard lessons to be had. Deep insights to be gained.
Perhaps. But that’s for another day. I’m keeping this one on the lighter side. I get too damn heavy and intense when I’m all fired up. This one’s gonna be fun.
25 Lessons Taught from the Barn House
Location is everything. Find a home with spirit like yours . . . your soul will thank you.
- Simplicity is luxury. There’s something to this minimalist trend. I’ve learned that an open uncluttered space leads to an open uncluttered mind.
- Life without a TV is so much more interesting. I don’t miss it one bit. And I’ve never been so productive in all my days.
- Baby cows can’t tell the difference between dumbbells and buckets of feed. On my morning farmer’s walks, the calves would run up to me with insistent moos and hungry eyes. They could never quite figure out that I was carrying weights, not buckets of food.
- Also, the only thing bigger than baby cow eyes are baby cow tongues.
- Training outside is magical. The fresh air, the cool breeze, the warm sun on your back. It’s almost enough to make you forget about the 50lbs of iron in each hand. Almost.
- Hummingbird moths are the coolest insect ever. Seriously. Look them up.
- Eggs taste much better when you’ve gathered them yourself.
- But some chickens are so damn cranky. One girl, named Tongue-Tied — because she once somehow got a string tied around her tongue – just can’t stand being handled. Or she just doesn’t like me. Or she just doesn’t like me stealing her eggs out from under her.
- Fortunately, chicken pecks don’t hurt. But they are funny.
- And chickens poop. A lot. Hold them at your own risk.
- Getting the mail is a chore. At least when it takes you 5 minutes to walk to your mailbox. Once a week is more than enough these days.
- The summer mist over the valley creek is most beautiful in the early morning when paired with an orange-pink sunrise.
- Quiet tranquility is the best environment for deep thought and reflection. I’ve learned more about who I am and who I want to be than in all the years of my life before.
- Dirt roads make for dusty cars. And they make for terrible traction in the snow.
- Snow drifts and barn doors are mutually attracted to each other. Even if we only get a foot of snow, there will be 3 feet right at my doorstep. So I shovel it out, go inside for an hour, and next time I open up my door the 3 feet of snow is back. Even if it had stopped snowing hours ago.
- There is no crack too small for a ladybug to squeeze in through.
- Cold beer tastes best when drunk in a sweltering barn house. This place is HOT in the summer. Fortunately, there’s no one around to peer through the windows so I just hang out in my boxers, and sometimes *gasp* even my birthday suit. Oh yeah. I’m that guy.
- The sky is so much more than just background out here. It’s alive.
- In the summer evenings, all the world’s fireflies gather in the field outside my window for one big sparkly lightning bug festival. Every single one of them.
- Sleeping in total silence under a vaulted post and beam ceiling provides the best rest to be had.
- And waking with the sunrise and the birds singing is nothing short of glorious. During the summer I don’t need an alarm clock at all. I wake up naturally and well rested. I’m even up before Larry the rooster.
- Speaking of Larry, it’s good to be the rooster. ‘Nuff said.
- In the night sky above my barn house, there are so many more thousands of stars. In the city, we lose sight of all the stars. It makes me wonder what else we’ve lost sight of.
I want to give a special shout out to my friend Aaron over at Caffeine For Life for providing the idea behind this post. Thanks buddy!
If you're sick of the same 'ol shit; if you're ready to make real and lasting change; or if you're just looking for a kick in the ass, then sign up here to get advice, insight, and inspiration delivered right to your inbox. Always bullshit-free.
I will never share your email address or abuse it with spam.