Iron Beds and Dinner Bells



It’s the little things that mean the most. I have realized this fact more and more during my lifetime. I come from a legacy of people who gain great pleasure out of the little things of this life. Thankfully, I can already see that I have passed this down to my children as well.

Life is more joyous when we find pleasure in the little things of life. The anticipation that begins taking place upon seeing your birthday stamped on the milk carton at the grocery store.  The song on the radio that takes you back 30+ years when you performed a dance to it with your high school drill team.  The excited phone conversation with an old friend after months of not talking due to crazy, busy schedules.  Those things can and should bring a smile to your face and your heart.

My mother passed this character trait down to me. She got it from her mother as well. I clearly remember the beautifully descriptive letters my mother received from my grandmother who lived 800 miles away from her two precious daughters.  Just like her mother did with her, I distinctly remember how my own mother constantly pointed out details such as clouds, trees, flowers, and plants to me as I was growing up so that I don’t even remember “learning” the plants….I just “knew” them like a person knows her own name.  She never grew tired of pointing out the beauty of the little things in life.

This skill, I will call it, of finding beauty and pleasure in simple things has served me well throughout my life. It has helped me to be okay when money is tight and I can’t afford new things, it has helped me see beauty in the outdoors, and, most importantly, it has helped me to find beauty even in the most difficult people in my life.  For that, I am grateful.

The title of this article may sound a bit odd.  It comes from the first two wonderful items that I have purchased for our farmhouse on Green Acres.  The first was a 1930’s metal bed with a headboard that is in its original rustic state and a foot-board that has been painted an entirely different color despite the fact they are clearly a set.  I got this iron bed for about 1/3 of the price I was expecting so, immediately, The Outdoorsman and I put our creative minds to work to find the perfect spots for both ends of the set!!  The headboard will be used for our son’s room/guest room at the farmhouse and the foot-board will be used for a garden gate somewhere on our property.

While searching for the iron bed, I noticed a huge, cast iron dinner bell with amazing details like none I had ever seen.  I asked the shop owner about it, but was not surprised to find it was out of my price range.  She told me that one of her antique pickers had gotten it from the King Ranch in South Texas.  I walked around the store and noticed the other items that were being sold, took note, and went back to the house to see if I had anything I could offer to the shop owner to barter for the dinner bell.  I went back the next day with an antique item I had in my possession, sold it to the shop owner for a very fair price, talked the shop owner down on the price of the dinner bell, and then applied my credit to the purchase.  I could not be happier with the beautiful red dinner bell that I will soon be displaying on a huge post directly in front of our farmhouse.

Today, I have been floating on cloud nine over the new bed and dinner bell I purchased for Green Acres.  The day we move to the farm cannot come soon enough!  I can’t wait to begin decorating and making the farmhouse a home for my family.

For those of you who have not seen my decorating style before, it is a little unconventional.  In our current home, I have a bathroom with corrugated tin as the shower liner that was done over ten years ago.  I also have a huge chicken nesting box hovering grandly over my couch with decorations spilling out of it.  Both of these things were done way before Fixer Upper ever aired on HGTV!  The Outdoorsman and I came up with those ideas on our own.  My brain and heart can’t wait to see what I can do on our farm to make it our own.  It will be a daily adventure to find ways to think outside the box on 30 acres!!  I can’t wait to sprinkle my creativity throughout our land in unexpected, tucked-away places.

Purchasing the two little things for the farm gave me enough joy to cause me to smile for two days straight.  I’m thankful that it doesn’t take a lot to give me joy.  I had to laugh the other day as I talked to my son and he told me about a person he had met who owns a huge ranch in South Texas.  I thought to myself  “I’ve been smiling about an old, well-used dinner bell I purchased from a post on the King Ranch.  He just spent the weekend with a person who owns an entire ranch.  I wonder if that person has found as much happiness in owning a ranch as I have found in this bell that was taken off a post from a ranch like the one he owns.  I truly hope so.”  Thank you, Mom, for the little things you shared with me so long ago.  I’m glad it only takes a dinner bell and anticipation about where to hang it to bring joy to my heart.

While living on Green Acres, I can’t wait to focus on the big things and the little things.  Big things such as our farmhouse and children.  Little things such as iron beds and dinner bells.


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