The Gift of a Rain Barrel


I love every one of my Mother’s Day gifts. Some are last-minute purchases, like a snicker bar (my favorite kind) and other’s where it was obvious that they spent weeks looking for something. Like the gift my sweet husband purchased for me ten years ago, a whiskey barrel that he converted into a rain barrel.  It is by far my most used gift I have ever owned. He paid less than $50 for it at Wal-Mart and set it up near the garage door. He drilled a hole for the spigot, cut a hole in the top for the gutter hose and added a screen to catch any debris.

It does go dry when it refuses to rain. It is my rain gauge and lets me know when to pray for clouds.  My trusted friend has seen better day.

Old Rain Barrel
Ten Year old Rain Barrel

A tiny pinprick leak leaves the driveway constantly damp and although my husband has repaired it many times, it is time to retire the old barrel to another area in the yard.

I am all for keeping it.  The restoration will have to be another story.

This Mother’s Day I received my gift a couple of weeks early. My husband has searched for over a year for another barrel and couldn’t find a reasonably priced one.  Wal-Mart stopped selling them shortly after we purchased the first one ten years ago. He finally found one in Virginia, over 175 miles away.  A little place in Fancy Gap, called Mountain Man.

We woke up on a Saturday morning before the sun and set out on our adventure.  It was foggy and cold at 37º.  The sun had a hard time burning off the fog, it left the mountains cloaked in midst. It was eerie and beautiful.

Mountain Man looked like a roadside stand with many additions added on over the years.  It had a little of everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to yard sale type items. And it was a very busy place. I had no extra money to buy anything but a rain barrel. I plan on checking out their website to shop later.

Shop Mountain Man 

Mountain Man Barrels

We found the barrels neatly stacked on the far end being guarded by a dog chained up to a doghouse.  We could only look at the ones on the opposite side of him.  We met a family that came from Charlotte North Carolina to buy their barrels.  I was a little jealous that there were getting two. He was going to use the barrels as decorative elements in his newly restored barn. As my husband paid I talked with the young man who helped us load our barrel.  He said he has met a few people from different states that came to this roadside stand just for whiskey barrels, no wonder my husband had a hard time finding one. He told me that a man came all the way from Florida to buy twenty for his daughter’s wedding.

After a quick breakfast we headed home and were back before our teenage boys were up.

I know I should not pick favorite gifts, but I can’t help to like this one the best.  Not only did I get the gift of the rain barrel, I got to spend time with my wonderful (and thoughtful) husband.

Stay tune for the finish product.

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