Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Labour of Barn Love


Toil and pleasure, in their nature opposites,
are yet linked together in a kind of necessary connection.
                                                     Livy


The past months have flown by in a constant whirlwind of activity. The harvest of hay was a top priority, as it should be. There was also a labour of love that has kept us busy here on the farm. For that matter it still does.


The first time we stood in the barn on this property and looked out that back upstairs door, he/we knew it was going to be a huge part of our being. She was beautiful. Since we were going to farm, we (not so much me) knew all things ahead would center around that piece of history. When the auctioneer shouted sold I knew my world would forever change.


I knew at that very moment the barn was to consume our time and our undivided commitment, forever. Well, if we were to live there. At that time, I will admit I did not believe that I could or even wanted to do it. There was doubt about how long I could do it.


It has been forty years now and we certainly did do it.
My dear Hero has retired from his off-farm job so now he/we have the time to honour her and give back, after all her years of service to us. It was time to make her strong and something that will last forever for the next generation. It turned out to be more time then we had imagined.


First, we had to empty the barn of all things acquired over the years, be that through auctions or general farm needs or plain old storage. There was also old broken straw bales and broken hay bales. This turned out to be very interesting. We met the nicest people in this long process. I have many stories rolling around in my head.


It was very important to me to know where, and what each item was to be used for. I am a bit strange when it comes to letting things go that had their own stories, here on the farm. I had to know where they were going. If you don’t ask you will never know. That made for interesting revelations as to what I could have used things for. Both of us really, ran out of time to finish all the projects that we thought we would get to. It was time to pass them on, to those who could appreciate the vision we ourselves had once had. The barn started to empty, and the work started to show itself.
The floor repair in the top of the barn continues. 


Downstairs the mangers were removed but the stanchions remained. The boards from the mangers were used to fix the floor upstairs. The stanchions will remain to remember the “once upon a time.” Memories of cows long ago, who lined up nightly to stand in their own spot and fill up on fresh hay thrown down into the mangers. Memories of a mean old milk cow named Mary who made a frustrated exhausted Mom/farm girl doubt her abilities and her love of farming.


Our cows, these days, never go into the barn. They roam free like the buffalo. They love that and so do we. My Hero will move the stanchion wall over to use as a dividing wall. I have also claimed a little spot in the barn to make my own, and I am going to make use it for anything I want.


There are many stories to tell about our new adventure. My Hero, now the full-time farmer, and me, the part-time farmer. Yes, I said it. The barn will be a busy place for awhile. It is a true labour of love.

Later