09 March 2014

The Bitter & The Sweet

Happy day after Ash Wednesday, and welcome to another episode of “This Old House.”

A good while back, B tackled a project at the back of our barnyard that we’d been putting off for a bit. My grandpa had a barn back there used for a little bit of everything: hay, calf-feeding, storage, you name it.

Unfortunately, pieces were rotting and the tin roof was flying up piece by piece and landing…well, just any ol’ where. It was simply old and tired and a smidge dangerous. It also happened to be smack dab in the best place for a future implement barn. We used it for a while for storage and for parking the boat and a trailer, but the time had come.

And let me tell you…if there’s one thing that’s hard for a guy out in the country with animals and implements, it’s tearing down a structure and leaving nothing in its place. Covered, weather-protected space is treasured realty. Here’s a recent picture of the barn with the boat parked in it:

And here it is again, on a family work day. That’s my hot and tired daddy, God bless ‘im…and my mama and my sister and her husband, too. Daddy only knows how to work long and hard…no in-between. Guess that’s one reason I was drawn to B; he works the same way.

Lucky for me, I have a toddler, so I get a free pass from this sort of back-breaking work. Somebody has to watch her and feed and her and put her down for her nap and make sure she doesn’t get too hot. And that person is me. You all should get yourselves a small person – especially if there’s some ranch work you’d like to get out of in a hurry.

So the day came, and B went to borrow the dump trailer. It took several days – some with hired help – to get all of the pieces apart. There had to be a pile for wood and one for metal.

Everything had to be cut up small enough for disposal and then hauled away.

Then, the wood had to be burned. It gets burned and buried, so that any nails or sharp metal pieces don’t end up in the pastures as a future detriment to any animals grazing out there, minding their own business. Although horses are notoriously nosey and never mind their own business, and they are absolute masters at finding any and everything that could cut, maim, or slay them. It’s like they have magnets in their leg bones, and nothing can keep them from making immediate contact with the nearest rusted sharp thing.

“Ooh, that looks like gangrene waiting to happen. Lemme touch it….”

Which leads to a vet trip, a clinic bill, a stall-stay, and too much feed and shavings and bandaging and wrapping and why do we have them again?

I was kind of sad to see it go, but that’s life, I guess. We have our memories of being out there with Grandma and Grandpa, and we have our pictures. And soon, we’ll have the beginnings of a new implement barn that will house the trailers and tractor and boat and travel trailer – unless I convince Husband to sell it first – and anything else that might otherwise get parked in front of my house.

That sweet set-up will make the bitter pill of saying good-bye a whole lot easier to swallow.

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