Thursday, October 29, 2009

2 - 1 = Closer to Done!

When I reach backward into memory, my farm remembrances remind me that every time we have begun a major project, it rains. Actually, rains would be a euphemism for destructive deluge, aka erosion, aka project undone. Much as I enjoy adding buildings, roads, new banks or whatever the occasion calls for, I also simultaneously hate it. Guess it's a love-hate relationship. This time, however, I thought we just might beat the odds. For a while at least--two days--we did. Up went the barn in day-and-a-half time, sliding door and all.

Concrete Charlie was set to arrive Wednesday and, well, the rest is history. Rained for two solid days. The barn held--never in question--no really irrevocable land damage, but a mucky muddy area that you slide and sludge through as you drive, walk, move--or try to. But back to the title. Originally we had two loads of Grade B stone, nearly 43 tons, and when I came home after school on Day 2 to see one less pile, I knew we were closer to done, with one load leveling the inside of the barn. Prep work complete, I really looked forward to the floor being poured, because as anyone knows, concrete needs curing for 28 days, and winter comes fast and hard to this mountain. Greatest fear: freezing temperatures before the hardening. Surface wise, a fast set; hard enough to move dump trucks and equipment into it--full 28 and counting. Biggest fear: that the land would be too wet to pour the exterior concrete, but my husband, always wiser in almost every practical way, said that would not be a factor. If you count the down days--I do--then we're at Day 4 (feels like I'm back at school) and looks like when this crew of two leaves, they will be done. Of course, it's drizzling, but I'm thinking the plastic I see will somehow be draped over the exterior pads. Who said, "Hope springs eternal..."?

One of the things I love about the new barn is its proximity to the pastures, so in time as my herd grows, enclosing this structure and re-purposing it--or sharing it--works for me. Everyone who comes to the farm always comments about the view, and I must admit it is truly beautiful. From the new barn, the view is panoramic, scanning the Blue Mountains with a view to the next valley. When my first two llamas arrived a year ago the day before Thanksgiving, I kept repeating what a good view the llamas would have. Finally, Albert, our foreman, said in his droll voice, "It's not too bad for the humans, either." And he would be right.

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