Pages Navigation Menu

Painting Red

Lesssons learned while painting fence in the middle of nowhere


As a writer, I tend to gravitate to the chores offering mind-numbing labor and solitude. It’s a great opportunity to sort out story ideas in my head. While painting fence one hot June day this past summer, I became aware of certain truths:


#1 If you’re ever in the middle of nowhere, all alone, without the distraction of other human voices, you’ll discover that the world is a noisy place! Crunching dry grass as a momma cow walks past you towards water, the  bawling of the calf who got left behind, meadowlarks trilling, rustling mesquite leaves lucky enough to catch a breeze, and the whirring wings of a HUGE bug as it zips past your ear. (Any bug that loud has a huge stinger, I just know it.)

#2 The slightest downhill grade causes the four-wheeler to roll when you’re standing in the back on your tiptoes painting the upper most pipe. It’s not a fun ride.

#3 Even cattle guards look really pretty painted red.

#4 Don’t lean on the rail you just painted.

#5 Red paint is unforgiving and gets on everything, most especially if the lid comes off while you’re driving down the road.

#6 The world would be a much happier place, if all the fences were painted red!

Natalie Cline Bright is a blogger and author of the fun, historical western TROUBLE IN TEXAS series for middle grades, the RESCUE ANIMAL eBook series, and is currently working on an action-packed novel for young adults, WOLF’S WAR. Read about Natalie’s grandmother and her cherry salad recipe, recently selected for “THE WESTERN WRITERS OF AMERICA COOKBOOK: Favorite Recipes, Cooking Tips, and Writing Wisdom” (TwoDot Publishing, June 2017).