The Tale of the Five Buckets

Once upon a time there were 5 lonely farm Buckets.
Not the prettiest buckets or the most expensive buckets...but well loved and used for years and years.
  Many times, people had tried to seperate the 5 Buckets and give them away, one by one.
But the 5 Buckets eventually found their way back to one another. 
 They were, after all... a family

They sat together in a barn as the seasons moved on, wondering if they would ever be used again.

 The oldest Bucket started to rust from old age and lost most of its bottom.

But the other Buckets told it not to worry.... they would always be together...that's what a family is for.

On a rather dull and gloomy day in May, the Iowa farmer came into the barn with a camera.
 "Hurray...were going to get used again"... thought the 5 Buckets.

The farmer set the 5 Buckets side by side and took their picture.
He stomped away and said under his breath..."Won't some crazy fool pay me good money for these rusty old Buckets...just a bunch of junk to me"

He put the picture of the 5 Buckets on Ebay and listed them for $29 dollars and .90 cents.
The 5 Buckets huddled together on Ebay for 6 long days, not knowing where they would end up.  
The 5 Buckets were being SOLD!
Finally a lady placed a bid for the  5 Buckets. 
Just her and no one else.

She thought... "Well, I don't really want all 5 of them, but I guess they're a family"

The lady bought the 5 Buckets for $30 dollars and .70 cents and had the  5 Buckets shipped all the way from Iowa to California.

It was a long hot trip and the 5 Buckets could barely breath in the box.

The Lady unpacked the 5 buckets and put  them on the ground next to her trash cans.
She sighed...and said "What was I thinking...buying these buckets?"

Sad and scared and living with the trash cans, the 5 Buckets  were once again alone.

"How did we end up here"... thought the  5 Buckets.....not even sure that the Lady really wanted them. 

"Where are the animals and the soft sounds of the farm"...they thought.
The 5 Buckets felt afraid.  

The husband of the Lady took one look at the 5 Buckets and said:
"What did you buy those silly buckets for?!!"

"Well...I'm not sure yet"... said the Lady
But the Lady really liked the 5 Buckets...they were all very different, but they belonged together...
They were...after all, a family
The Lady took each of the 5 Buckets and gave them a long hot bath.

The 5 Buckets even got new names: Number 10..
Number 2
and little (&) Ampersand

On Friday the Lady packed the buckets up and took them for a long ride in the trunk of her car.

The Buckets were scared but they liked their new names...especially little (&)Ampersand

After spending most of the day in the trunk of the Lady's car the 5 Buckets were moved to a warm sunny deck near the Lady's little garden.

The Buckets could smell the horse and the goat in the neighbors yard.

 The trees were really big and provided the  5 Buckets with shade and security.

The 5 Buckets were filled up with pink flowers with big green leaves.

It was a very long trip but the 5 Buckets felt happy and safe.

They were finally home!

 And they were all together.....
because they were...after all...a family

Good night Number 10....Good night P4....

Good night 53....Good night Number 2.....

Good night little Ampersand(&) 

The End

  1. Ohhhhh....that was the sweetest story ♥ Such a creative way to tell us about your buckets. I love them all. And I'm happy that they are still together.

  2. What a great post! The little buckets all look so cute with their new numbers and pretty flowers. Who wouldn't be happy living in your beautiful garden?

  3. hi kelley,

    you freaking slay me!


  4. AAAAWWWW what cute buckets. I'm so glad that they didn't get separated. Loved the creative way you told your story. They look great now. Thanks for sharing.
    Take care
    Tasmania, Australia

  5. I think I need to join the bucket family so that I can come live at your Ojai house. I think I'd like to be the "!" bucket!


  6. are the ( ! ) bucket

    Sharon, Sherry, Janet and Janine...glad you "got it" was fun to write husband now likes the "bucket family"

    xo kel

  7. Okay. This post was adorable! I love your rusty old buckets. I have quite a few of my own. Maybe I need more, though. Hhmmm...

  8. I'm so happy the little bucket family got a happy new home with a great yard and flowers!

  9. THAT was perfectly adorable! I see a childrens book in your (and little ampersands) future!

  10. That was great! And what adorable little buckets! I want a bucket family now!

  11. Loved it!!!!! Thanks for blog post I've read all day. :)

  12. I LOVED your story. I LOVE your buckets. You were creative in both your story telling and your vision for the Bucket family! I totally enjoyed both. My 21 year old son cleaned out a garage for someone last week and brought home two old galvanized water buckets with spigots. One had a lid and one did not. I loved them at first sight. I said I was going to put flowers in the one without the lid. My son (proud moment! proud moment!) said, "Well Mom, I was really imagining that one filled with medium size American flags. BE STILL MY HEART!! I bought the flags, filled up the bucket, and it could . not. look. cuter!!!! I will have to take pictures and post about it soon. One more thing. I SO love your wonderful pictures and blog. Thanks for the great posts. Lori L

  13. So creative and they look so happy and pretty now :)

  14. How stinkin' cute is this!?!?!? Love the post almost as much as I love the new use for these loved buckets! They look great! But of course they would - they're yours! :)

  15. I love what you did with the buckets. I just did a post on vintage buckets last Thursday. I also planted flowers in an old bucket, however, I like your idea of stenciling them. What a gorgeous garden you have!

  16. What a lovely almost had me crying buckets pardon the pun. Loove what you have done with the stencilled letters and numbers. They look just so perfect in their new setting ENJOY
    Julie x

  17. You never cease to amaze me. You are so talented! Lori

  18. Precious story!
    I knew they were going to be cute, new garden friends!
    I agree w/Lori above, "you never cease to amaze me"....
    I wish I could blog as fast & great as you do!!!
    Have a wonderful day.....

  19. You are just too your story of the 5 buckets and they look so happy in their new home! :)

  20. even though I knew where that story was headed I genuinely laughed out loud!!!
    so funny and so true!
    reminded me that I have a similar bucket (big wash tub style) that I bought for $5 at a flea market and has been hanging around the shed for 2 years wondering when I will do something with it!
    I always thought it would hold ice and drinks for a party - but since we never have anyone over (everyone is too busy!) I am going to replant some strawberry plants into it! maybe I will send a pic!

  21. Great story, I always think this way too...I feel bad for a shovel that doesn't get used or feelings are hurt when something is sitting at a second hand store and everyone keeps walking by. Good find!

  22. There's goes the price of the crappy buckets on ebay. Don't think all the farmers in middle America aren't watching what we do with their detritus! Nice repurpose, though, Kelley. I love the ampersand bucket the most.

  23. Just adorable!I loved this post. So glad to have found your blog

  24. Just wonderful!!! I see a Caldecott award in your future and the "Bucket Family" being a wildly popular, on going series! xo J~

  25. Okay....I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed your story...bucket stories are my favorite!

  26. One of my all time favourite posts, anywhere! Thanks so much for sharing the lovely story of your bucket family.

  27. Kelley,

    I was in a trance reading your story... ! My house could have been burning down, kids hanging from the chandelier, the roast in the oven could have been burning & kids screaming & fighting... but I wouldn't have noticed a thing because I LOVED your story. My world stood still for a couple of minutes reading it. So cute! Thanks for my quiet time!

    P.S. Melissa would make a great (!) bucket! She's the perfect 6th bucket! LOL

    Hmmmm have you ever thought of writing children’s books. You would be great at it! You're very creative... I love it!


  28. This sweet little story stole my heart and made my morning! I love your buckets. Just as I love my trusty rusty bucket I carry all over the garden for tasks.

  29. what a wonderful story! I am so happy the family stayed together! and.... they found such useful lives!! Best post I've read all day!! Thank you!!

  30. This was the post that had me reading your whole blog. LOVED it :)


  31. What a wonderful story , the buckets are so vintage.
    What a nice blog you have.
    I love the pictures of your garden.

    Lots off succes and have a nice day.

    Alexandra from Holland.

  32. That was so wonderful! It made me smaile after a really long and trying day. Thanks a bucket!
    smiles, alice

  33. I couldn't wait to finish reading what you were doing with that family of buckets! Love that you gave them names and filled them with lovely growing flowers. How very, very sweet. I'm a new follower to your blog and am completely enamored.
    :-) Sue

  34. What a fabulous family of buckets and....story!!!! This would make a great children's book. You really should consider publishing it.

  35. I love the look of flowers in galvanized buckets.
    rustic flower delivery


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