Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Life on the farm: Under Construction

This week on the farm we are under construction.

After receiving news that the old youngstock feedlot would be converted from empty space into a structure to house machinery, my
husband Dan swore that he had built the last building he’d ever work on, years ago.  New construction? He won’t be there.  (Fist hits the table) End of discussion.

That is why it was so surprising that he worked on the project this past week.

On the first day, I didn’t even know where Dan was all afternoon, only that he didn’t come home for lunch (sometimes happens, but it’s rare).  I waited around for him until 4 pm (chore-time), then finally decided to microwave myself a single-serving taco.  Cursed a bit about wasting time and not getting on with all the jobs that I had to do.  

(Romantic to have lunch with my husband, but not all that practical, as it turns out.)

When he arrived home after night chores, he complained that his air-nail-gun thingy had jammed right away and been worthless (construction, construction, blah, blah, blah). (I zoned out during that conversation.)

On the second day, his shins were covered in scrapes and he confessed to discovering that he can no longer take heights without wobbling (possibly due to weight gain).  However, the roof strapping was now halfway done and there would be less danger of falling to his death from the rafters tomorrow.

At least I knew he wouldn’t be in for lunch.

On the third day, the metal sheathing for the roof arrived.

This was starting to be mildly inconvenient for me, because it meant that instead of compiling and billing out our customers’ meat orders, and prepping all the food for “Turkey Day,” I had to run the weekly errands to the one bank, the other bank, butcher shop, vets, deliver a cheese, and get a box of a dozen donuts back to the farm before noon.

Why before noon? Because Dan said that wanting and anticipating that there were donuts to be had was motivation to stay out in the cold and keep working.  Beyond noon, they would just be a disappointment.

(BTW: Turkey Day at our house is not Thanksgiving, but a date prior in which we process all the turkeys, and host a party/lunch for friends and family who volunteer to help with the work every year.)

By evening number three, the shiny roof was on, but he had dropped a cordless power tool from the second story to land battery pack-side down on the cement.  Considering what had happened to the nailer on day one, it was a miracle that it is still working.  

The next step is to wait for the cement guys to show.

This project has served to point out that we are still working harder and (unsurprisingly) still not getting any younger.  That, and Dan may be cursed to never be able to keep equipment nice for any amount of time.