I can count on one hand the number of times I went into the barn in the first twelve months after the loss of the horses and when I did, it usually ended badly. However, it soon became obvious that the barn was going to fall into ruin if we continued to ignore it and that seemed to somehow dishonour their memory. At the same time we were struggling with what John was going to do with the rest of his working life and whether or not we even wanted to stay on the farm. We were literally driving ourselves nuts, bouncing back and forth between possibilities. Our initial desire to just sell and run away immediately following our “spring from hell” was further complicated by the fact that our son had asked if he could get married on our property in the fall of 2012, over a year away. We definitely did not see that one coming and as it seemed to mean a great deal to Rob and his fiancee (Steph), we decided to at least put off the thought of moving until after the wedding. We hoped this would force us to not make any hasty decisions based on emotion rather than logic and I think in retrospect it did work out that way.

John began to experience what it was like to actually live at home. His last project had ended in early 2012 and he had not sought out another. One of his passions is the theatre. Now that he had the time, he began to get involved with local theatre groups and was finally finding something he could belong to and was forming friendships that wouldn’t have to end when the “project” was over. Reality always has a way of rearing its ugly head however, and it started to become apparent that as nice as all that was, he really had to start looking for a way to earn some money. Although I had a full time job, I didn’t earn enough to carry us for the long term.

And so the question began to form in our minds as to whether or not John could make a living doing something he actually enjoyed, another of his passions, photography. He had always loved to take pictures and goodness knows we already had thousands to choose from. He had taken many courses over the years and constantly strived to expand his knowledge base and keep it up to date. We had also never forgotten our interest in marketing Julie’s artwork. Along with that we had a friend, a potter, who was expanding her body of work into more artistic items, as opposed to strictly functional pieces. What if we turned the barn into a photography studio/artisan gallery to combine all of these ideas under one roof?

Could that actually work and more importantly, how should we go about it and were we up for it?

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