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Joseph Thomas


Rusty and C.J. Elumbaugh’s BARNDO

“Grandpa bought an old parts Jeep and I said, ‘I know two cool parts on that, the steering wheel and the grill.’ “He was trying to give me more of it. This wood is from my mother’s old cedar fence.” Rusty Elumbaugh. There is a perfect balance with everything in life that we all seem to struggle to attain. We all want time for work, time with our family, free time to catch our breath, and time for hobbies that keep us young and passionate. It can be hard to find that balance, but I believe that Rusty Elumbaugh and his wife C.J. have such grounding and character to spare that they may have it figured out. I met with the couple on a bright and sunny day in late October. Tucked in nicely behind their newly built and not quite finished home lies the “Barndo”, half barn-half condo, and talk about balance; the location seems to be as far from the city as you could imagine, but it’s a ten minute drive to the center of Batesville. I was greeted by Rusty and the family’s beautiful dog, Reef, named after the Surfing Company. C.J. caught up with us a few moments later and we began our tour of their temporary home. “I don’t rent anything,” Rusty tells me, “I calculated how much we would spend on renting a house and storage and decided to build

us a temporary home within that budget.” That was the beginning of this fine structure that has become an eclectic but perfect home. This is where some of that grounding comes into play; Rusty is efficiently economical at getting the job done right within a budget. His work and design at White River Custom Pools is no exception. Rusty was born water skiing and doing about everything there is to do on the water with his dad, Mayor Rick Elumbaugh, and the rest of the family. Apparently, they were quite the White River Water Carnival entertainment for many years. C.J. is an agent at Farm Bureau Insurance, avid barrel racer, and beautiful mom to be. This unique home is a perfect mixture of styles made to accommodate their lifestyle with room for dreams to come. Both C.J. and Rusty speak of the wonderful neighbors they are surrounded by and couldn’t image being anywhere else. Steve Carpenter was a huge help with this project, lending equipment and knowledge. The couple also received help from friends skilled in the electrical and construction fields.

The tall, open Barndo has two garage doors and newly added stables for C.J.’s horse, Sport. There is room for her riding equipment and Rusty’s hunting and water sports gear. There is even room for Rusty’s unique collection of souvenirs--his American Pickings as C.J. would tell you. Just beyond the ample storage for the couple’s adrenaline pumping hobbies and tucked away behind a simple door is a quaint studio-style living area with everything anyone could need except (according to C.J.) for enough cooking space. She doesn’t have room for all of her pots and pans in the kitchen. I was amazed because I had heard they were living in the Barndo and thought I must have heard wrong until the door was opened and this wonderful space was revealed. The energetic couple admits that there were times before its completion that they were ready to toss in their cards and sell the place, but they stuck it out and it became so much more than even they had hoped. To balance it all out, they even have two cats, Wompus and Honkey. N

Eye On Independence December 2011  

December 2011 issue of Eye On Independence