W is for White Wash

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

I loved Tom Sawyer as a kid, it has been such a long time since I have enjoyed his adventures. One of my favorite stories from Tom Sawyer was the white washing the fence story. 

Even though I enjoyed the story, I did not find white washing to be the funnest thing to do.  Of course, it was a lot better than picking rocks out of a garden that was at least an acre in size.  From time to time it would be time to white wash certain buildings on the farm so they wouldn’t look quite as dingy as before.  If anyone is uncertain about the technique of white washing, it is the same as painting, except the white paint is watered down to stretch further and not go on as thick.  There were times when we loved it though. 

There was a little one room building on the farm down by the barn that had housed geese, I think, at one point.  There were scraps of lumber strewn haphazardly across the rafter beams with rolls of chicken wire on top of them.  The little building wasn’t used for much, from time to time we used it for a club house, or a secret meeting place.  One day I pleaded with my parents to let me clean it and turn it into a play house.

I was delighted when they agreed and set to cleaning away all the goose droppings and scrubbing down the walls.  They even allotted me some paint to white wash the walls with.  There were glass-less windows that I hung some material over and got permission to move the little white wood stove and fridge that my mom had built into to building.  I accrued a small table, a cradle for a baby doll, and some other miscellaneous furniture.  I vaguely remember being allowed to put in an old bench, where the bench part was a little bookcase, with a large back going up.  I think my mom may have painted it cut it into the shape of a cat or something – in the Richard Scary style.  It is hard to remember if such a thing exists, or if I just dreamed it up.  There might have even been some kind of bed in there at one point – the memories fade after time.

Anyway, I loved that little cottage and played there for hours – when I wasn’t busy fighting off the monsters with my brothers, hanging out of tress, jumping into manure piles, or going scampering about the rafters of the corn crib.

So, the word ‘White wash’ carries a few endearing memories for me.  What sparked these memories?  Last weekend we were driving out to Tillamook when I saw this, and it reminded me to an extent of the old days.  Of course I made Paul stop so I could get out and take a photo.  I think it might just become the wall paper on my laptop. 🙂

Old barn

Here is a close-up of the barn, though I think I like the first photo better – something about that mist and the surrounding autumn feel.

Old Barn Close-up

I’d say that barn needed a good whitewash, but it would spoil its charm. 😀

3 Comments

Filed under Farm Stories, Meme, Memory, Photography

3 responses to “W is for White Wash

  1. I know you don’t want photography advice, but I’ll give it to you anyway. Lucky for me you’ll just immediately forget that I took the liberty and we can still be friends. 🙂

    Instead of placing the barn dead centre in the frame, you can get a much more compelling photograph if you place the subject off-centre. (In this case, lower right would probably work best, since the trees and fog are more visually interesting than the grass.)

    Oh, and it’s a perfect subject and a beautiful photo. My comment is not at all meant to take away from that.

    Thank you! Advice is always welcome – no gaurantees on whether or not it is remembered though! 😉

  2. Deb

    What an awesome memory!

    That brings back memories of standing in my grandpa’s barn, running dried ears of corn through an antique corn sheller.

    I like the first picture better too. :o)

  3. First you make a big deal of having no memory–then you write and photograph a lovely memory! Am I missing something here? Actually, I’ve always loved that scene in Tom Sawyer–and have been to Hannibal, Missouri and Tom Sawyer’s home. [OK, Samuel Clemens–but Tom Sawyer was largly autobiographical.]

    I loved the pictures as you took them, but I am no authority on the subject of photography, so definitely listen to the advice of others–not mine!

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