While I was working on this project, I often thought about a quote written by the Chinese philosopher Confucius. “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
Four years ago, when we bought our cabin on Lake Jordan, all we could think about was the cabin itself and the grounds around it. The cabin wasn't in terrible shape, yet some problems had to be taken care of, but the grounds were beyond belief. We got busy right away on the repairs and restoration of the cabin, and the first thing we did regarding the yard was to hire a man with a bulldozer. There was privet, wisteria, and kudzu everywhere and partially hidden in the overgrowth was another building that made no sense. For the first two years, we focused just on the cabin and the yard. It wasn't until later that we decided it was time to think about the future of this strange building located by the water’s edge.
The first thing on our to-do list was to identify the former purpose of this strange building. We soon learned it had started life as the office for a ferry crossing, and then it was a bait shop and finally a bar. Based on stories we have heard, it was apparently a very rough bar with quite a sorted history. It sat partially over the water on iron stilts. We quickly concluded that tearing it down was not the best option. We kept telling ourselves it had the potential to be something worthwhile. So the more we looked at it and thought about it, we realized it could be an awesome porch. It was big, it was over the water, and it was not going anywhere. We just had to find a way to put lipstick on the old pig!
It became clear that the first thing to do was to clean it out, which was not a pleasant endeavor. I’ve been picking for thirty years and have gone into some very sketchy places, but nothing like this one and the worst part of it was that I now owned the place. We got to work and built several large burn piles to dispose of items that could be burned, and we filled more black plastic garbage bags than we could ever have imagined. Finally, after a few weeks, it was empty.
So onto the next step, which was to knock out two exterior walls, we left the other two for privacy. We then put up a railing on the sides where we removed the walls, but that was just the beginning! There was lots of painting to be done, carpentry repairs, light fixtures to be installed, interior walls to be removed and so many more things but I’m sure you get the picture!
Eventually, we reached the point where I could start decorating but let me explain first that this was not a fancy porch or ever meant to be one. Remember it had once been a rough bar and somewhat rough, it was destined to remain. As I said earlier, it was about putting lipstick on an old pig, and this pig required a lot of lipstick!!! Fortunately, I love junk and had been picking and stocking up on wonderful shabby treasures for years, and now I finally had a home them! Can you hear the giddiness in my words?! I still have to pinch myself sometimes when I walk onto that porch. It is filled with antique metal gliders and chairs, an old iron bed, a farm table, lots of architectural salvage, plants, and more cool junk than I could ever list and I am still adding to it! It even has an area that has been dubbed as the dance floor with a real disco ball overhead!
As the work progressed, we decided that we needed to give the porch a name. We knew we wanted the name to have something to do with the moon because the moon comes up over the water at the end of the porch every night. We also wanted the name to have a connection to the property's history. Considering the property once served as the home of the Dixie Art Colony, we decided to name the porch after one of the Dixie Art Colony artists Carlos Alpha "Shiney" Moon. Moon attended the art colony at this location for several years during the 1940s. We are not sure about the origin of Moon's nickname. According to his daughter Martha, who also attended the art colony on two occasions, he was given the nickname at a young age. After lots of contemplation, we named the porch, "The Shiney Moon," which seemed to be the perfect choice. Mr. Blue even painted the perfect sign for it!
"The Shiney Moon" has now become my favorite place to be while we are at the lake. When I can, I go there to read, nap, visit with friends, or sit and enjoy the beautiful view. If you ever find yourself on Lake Jordan, get in touch with us, and if we are there we would love to visit with you and share "The Shiney Moon!"
To read my post about the cabin and the Dixie Art Colony follow these links:NEVER IN MY WILDEST DREAMS | IF ONLY WALLS COULD TALK! | A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH To learn more about the Dixie Art Colony visit: DixieArtColony.org