Sunday, December 6, 2009

Installment #7: The Working Vacation

Vacation time!

Some vacation. We spent it working our butts off. Ever try to build a barn in five days?

OK, like I said, we already had one wall of the barn in our "Stubborn Storage Trailer" (see previous post). We would have a great deal of our barn siding by stripping the aluminum off the old ruined house trailer.

But we still had to build a frame. So that's what this week's project was to be, building a frame--for a 32'x36' structure. We rented a post hole digger, bought the lumber and bags of concrete to support the four x fours and we were off and running like we knew what we were doing.

Both my husband and I are under 5'4". My husband is 120 pounds soaking wet. I won't tell you my weight (wish it was 120!), but neither of us have the strength of an average adult generally much taller. The post hole digger was presented to us as being easy to operate by one person. Ha! There's that deceptive word "easy" again!
It was all the two of us could do to drag it from one location to the other let alone use it. Somehow, with aching backs, we managed.

And in Central Texas where it rarely rains, where rain is normally a blessing when it does occur, the rain came as a curse every day on us to keep us miserable and make the concrete mixing/drying slow and difficult.

Nevertheless we managed! The frame was built, but at an unbearable cost. We were sooooo tired, overworked and not thinking clearly. We had all our cherished pets with us, including my six parrots, more precious to me than any pets I've ever owned. Somehow, some tragic way, in the midst of the madness, I accidentally gave two of them bad food. We could not find a bird vet in time to treat them. We found one dead in the cage and the other died in my arms as I was trying to leave the property to race him to Waco. I never would have made it anyway. They are buried on the farm and I can't even approach that little patch of our farm without my eyes welling up. I lost my two very best friends ever that day. No exaggeration. They were precious beyond words and the best company anyone could ever ask for. They were pets I thought I'd never have to bury and thought would outlive me. Some of life's cruel ironies.

We had about $2,500 materials invested in the barn in materials at this point, but the cost in their precious lives, my guilt and sleepless nights, is immeasurable. I still wake up many nights in tears though it's been three years. I'm crying now as I write this. I will forever miss them.

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