I always like this view of the old farm while heading into town. I suspect this is the barn that will invoke more memories for my in-laws as they enter their golden years because most of their lives centred around it. This is Glad Crest Farms...made a lot more picturesque by the neighbours' charming white fence and omitted old implements around the yard! -That folks is called artistic license! ;)
This is the place where I started doing the odd shift of milking before Scott and I were married and where I continued to milk every morning with him for the first few years of our marriage along with helping in calf rearing, herd management and more. Considered a "big farm" in its time for this community it was quite a thrill then to work there....especially alongside my sweetheart.
Times changed and now the main dairy is situated up the road and across from our home, it is a much larger barn, a more complex operation, but the old barn and yard are still very much an integral part of the farm. My role changed too, and although I suspect I am less respected than when I did the daily grind, I now manage financials from home and very rarely make my presence known in the barn other than to snap some picture of the lovely ladies to paint or help catch the girls when they go on the occasional gallivant.
On the farm we undergo monumental changes, not always pleasant, and yet again this is what we are going through. As a result I had mixed emotions while painting this image. The word that kept popping up in my mind the most was "big".
Big business, big headache, big dreams, big successes, big losses, big fun, big work, big tears, big laughter...I could go on and on and on.
Although these days I seem to dwell on the negative "bigs" I needed this list to see that there have been and will hopefully continue to be just as many positive "bigs" down the road. Just like any path in life there are ups and downs and there is likely no business with more volatile swings from negative to positive and back again than agriculture. I've learned to hang on in spite of a little voice screaming at the top of it's lungs in the back of my head saying "Run for the Hills!" because there's a big piece of my heart wrapped up here too, unbeknownst to most.
Maybe the tiny scale of the barn in this painting should remind me that we're really not all that "big" after all. Our problems are small, our lives are maybe irritating but more or less manageable and healthy and I suspect that if we're privileged enough to reach our golden years we will also look back on our "big adventures" with more happiness than sorrow. I also hope everyone else that has touched Glad Crest can someday say the same.
14 x 11
acrylic on canvas board