How it happened “I Live in a Barn”

Friends Drift Inn Farm

Friends Drift Inn Barn


I wasn’t born in a barn – but I really do live in one!

Welcome to the Big Red Barn Friends Drift Inn

It started out so innocently. Building a new house seemed like a good idea. We already had the land.

My vision was a sprawling adobe style home, complete with a greenhouse atrium and gourmet kitchen. The problem was, the spot we selected was on fill dirt. It had not settled properly. The last thing we needed to do was construct a home on a shaky foundation!

Up on the hill behind, there was a large flat area with exposed bedrock. You do not get more solid than that! Charlie suggested we build a small cabin on the hill. The plan was to let the other plot settle. The cabin would be a guest house, and when the time came we would build the mission style home I had dreamed of since college.

I was game to live in a cabin. It sounded cozy.

So far so good.

While on a visit to Saylersville, we happened upon a new red metal building reminiscent of an old time train depot. It was at once contemporary, yet nostalgic. Charlie and I fell in love with the idea of little red cabin. We could imagine our friends sitting on the porch strumming guitars and sipping a smooth draught of cool moonshine; probably cherry-flavored diluted with citrusy lemonade.

We knew visitors would laugh at our choice. For years we had lived in the city. But now we needed to be close to family. We wanted the small town life we both knew as kids. For us, the little red cabin made perfect sense. Folks expected a backwoods feel when they visit Appalachia; so why not give it to them?

One thing led to another

Joyce Pinson and husband Charlie Pinson dancing

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a place to ballroom dance?

We really need a place to watch major sporting events…you know Kentucky football, Kentucky basketball, the Super bowl and of course the Kentucky Derby. Charlie is a sportscaster. Sports are part of our lifestyle.

And then I considered the scenery, the little red cabin being perched above a creek with a view of Appalachia’s seasons of glory. The mountains take my breath away! We had to have a couple of “mac daddy” windows to capture the views! Well, we did!

Horse Weather Vane at The Big Red Barn

Then of course, if you have this gorgeous vista you just have to have big sprawling decks and porches to enjoy it! Where could we grill? Where could we watch the nieces and nephews chase lightening bugs and catch bull frogs?

The little red cabin was getting out of hand.

And then came the contractors. One thing led to another.

We needed a place to ballroom dance. Could a ballroom fit in a little red cabin?

Extra bedrooms for guests, well you know we had to have them.

A garage that doubles as a workspace, every man dreams of that right?

A New Orleans style balcony overlooking the ballroom where there is a cozy loft? Oh, why not.

Did I forget to mention the bonus room?

Before we knew it, the little red cabin had mushroomed into a big red barn. Our neighbors were sure we had lost our minds. Our family walked away on more than one occasion, shaking their heads and wondering how they had failed us. This was not the sleek look of Mission and Shaker, this was a barn!

We were the talk of the creek. Fact is we still are. But it is all good.

And you know what? I don’t want an adobe dream house anymore.

We live in a barn, and we like it!

Friends Drift Inn Today

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About the Author

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.