PAINTING A "SHADE TREE" GARAGE
My grandfather was a shade tree mechanic. On his farm in West Virginia he had a mechanic shed or small garage where he kept all his tools and the stone wheel upon which he sharpened them. It was turned by a large crank and guess who he had turn it when we were there. Yes, and I developed strong arms too!
I guess I am dating myself here, but those were peaceful, fun days when children could run free and happy playing in their apple orchards and swinging from the rope tied up in the barn. We had many chores, but we also had lots of free time to play. Children were taught skills and responsibility back then and I appreciated it, but enough of that..
I decided to paint the old mechanic shed or garage as Grandpa called it. That shed no longer exists, but some of the other things he built still stand, including the large four bedroom house. It didn't have running water or a bathroom, and the only electric plug was a cord hanging from the ceiling light in the dining room. The house was heated by fireplaces and one huge coal/wood stove in the living room. We walked up into the woods to a spring to get water each day, an adventure for us girls! When they got older, grandma and grandpa moved into the city during the winter because the snow could get so deep they would be snowed in for a month at a time. What I loved most was that grandma cooked on a huge wood burning stove, it gave the food a unique and wonderful flavor! Every morning she made oatmeal, eggs, biscuits, sausage gravy, bacon or sausage, fresh or home canned blackberries and fresh cream from her cow. She even made her own butter. Or if we were there, we churned the butter in her old wooden butter churn. Her washer sat on the back porch. It was the original Sears washer with four legs and a wringer bar that you had to run the clothes through and crank by hand to get the clothes dry enough to hang on the clothes line. We were not allowed to do that, it was too dangerous for small hands.
When grandpa died, grandma sold the farm. It left the family and that's sad because it had been in the McAllister family from the year 1800. West Virginia didn't become a state in until 1863! The family that lives there now is restoring the house and added a bathroom, electricity and city water. My husband and I visited there a few years ago and I was able to take some photos. I am so glad we did, it brought back a lot of memories. Much has changed, but the house, a small barn, the icehouse and woodshed are still there. It is located in Lookout, W.V. A lot of my extended family still live in the neighboring town of Hico about 5 miles away.
Sorry, I got carried away, but I have a photo of the house below. There is scaffolding up for restoration but I took photos anyway. I have done a few small paintings of it as gifts for the family over the years.
To see the final photo, please go to my AVAILABLE PAINTINGS page and look for the name