When I built the horse barn I hadn’t dreamt it would one day become the place that we would host a rehearsal dinner party to celebrate the wedding of our son Brook and new daughter Andrea. Last Friday evening however, over fifty people sat down to eat a wonderful meal together while a live Bluegrass band played in the hayloft above.
A few months before when Brook asked about the possibility of using the barn for such an occasion we naturally jumped at the idea. We hadn’t guessed at the time that June would be one of the wettest in recent history. Literally an hour before the party started on Friday evening a lightning storm blew through bringing with it not only the crashing of thunder but a torrential downpour of driving rain. I also hadn’t considered the idea that the invitation list might grow at the last minute to be more folks than our four horse barn
The High Desert Bluegrass Band
could possibly accommodate. The fact of the matter was, we were all so excited for the occasion our enthusiasm would override any obstruction. We were blessed to be asked and started to plan the event right away. Nancy figured out the food and I started to clean out the barn. With some great help I shoveled out a mountain of manure which had been accumulating all winter and even painted all of the interior walls. (See entry’s #167 & 162) The day of the dinner we had fun doing the finish work with some wonderful old friends who have known and loved our kids for years. We covered the floor with wood shavings, set up tables and decorated them. In the end nearly sixty people comfortably sat down to the BBQ dinner.
Rand Thompson and the High Desert Bluegrass Band set up in the hayloft and played through-out the entire evening. Not only did the night turn out to be a joyous celebration, but the rain and wind moved on leaving behind only the cool fresh smell of spring in the air. When the evening ended we all recognized that God had blessed the night and the marriage covenant which was about to be made between Brook and his beautiful bride Andrea.
Tags: Barns, Bluegrass, country living, homestead, Sustainable living, Tri Robinson
One of my all time favorite western movies is Lonesome Dove. If you’ve seen it you may remember the scene where the two main characters Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call were intently discussing Gus’s handmade sign which had been nailed to the entrance of their dilapidated ranch on the southern Texas border. The top of the sign read: Hat Creek Cattle Company & Livery Emporium. The second and third line informed that Capt.
Augustus McCrae & Captain W.F. Call were owners and proprietors – further down on the sign were scratched the words – We don’t sell Pigs! (this was the primary focus of their discussion). Then beneath that at the very bottom Gus had inscribed four Latin words. I can’t recollect what they were but it’s irrelevant due to the fact that Gus didn’t know what they meant. When challenged by Woodrow as to their meaning Gus defended himself by saying that Latin words indicate that the inscriber is an educated person. The conversation endeared me to these old Texas Rangers and later compelled me to include a few Latin words of my own when it came time to construct a sign for our new homestead. As we completed the barn I went to my shop and prepared a large slab of wood for the words I was about to inscribe. After consulting with my friend and scholar Mike Freeman I chose the three words: “Quaerite Primum Regnum” to be written at the bottom of our sign. Nearly everyone who visits here can’t help but notice it right off due to the fact that it’s nailed conspicuously on the front of the barn. Inevitably curiosity will get the best of most people and they will eventually ask for the meaning. As you might guess I generally retell the story of Gus and Woodrow that I’ve just related to you, immediately followed by a challenge for them to take a guess. Only then will I reveal the significance of the words. The sign reads; Timber Butte Ranch – dedicated 2005, then is followed by the Latin phrase that means – “Seeking First the Kingdom”. [Matthew 6:33]
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Tags: Barns, Buggies, country living, Horses, sustainability