Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"Okay, nail it!"

More barn raising this past Sunday. As with the other week, there was an additional project slated for the day. This time it was the raising of new fence posts.

First, more new names:

Tike: I hope my spelling is correct. Pronounced "Tee*Kay". Having spent a lot of time around the barn on Sunday, it now seems that Tike and Chris act as co-coordinators of the work. One gets the feeling that between the two of them they've built many a structure.

Kirstie: Chris' wife and "chicken coop(s) person" for Sunday with Anthony. Anthony's family arrived towards the end of the day and he gave them a tour of the farm.

Mark: Mark is Dawn's brother who came down from Massachusetts to help out. He seemed to know a good deal about carpentry as with Chris and Tike.

Jeff, Josh, and Len: Three volunteers who spent much of the day filling in fox holes (with Morgan on the Dingo), pounding-in new fence posts for a new fence that will be going up soon, and hammering-up barn walls towards the end of the day.

Corn: Another volunteer who also worked a great deal on the new fence posts and ended the day hammering-up barn walls.

Manuel: I don't know if Manuel was a volunteer or not. I didn't hear him speak much English to anyone throughout the day and we didn't talk at all. He knew his way around a construction site and spent a lot of time helping Tike who speaks Spanish.

I didn't introduce myself to several other new people who were there today. Next time. There seemed to be about 15-18 total people there throughout the day counting the returnees from the other week.

I did, however, remember to ask what I ate for lunch! I've never eaten Kale in my life and there was some simmered in oil and garlic that was absolutely delicious! I could have eaten the entire pan! I also had a soy-based soup that had some neat spices in it. (At least I think it was soy-based!?) Add to that a few scoops of peanuts on the side and my everpresent Grapenuts and that was lunch!

I keep having the most interesting meals at the farm! Whatever's on the table, or whatever Jen and Doug offer for lunch, I always say "just give me whatever you think I might want" and I've liked it all so far! (Was that three "whatevers" in one sentence? Hmmm. Well, most of the food I'm seeing/eating at the farm is new territory for me and "whatever" might not be so bad of a word until I get a working vocabulary going with it!) There was broccoli in the macaroni salad that was there so I had to decline that.

Today's list of tasks:

Helped hand around wood and tools at the barn, helped Morgan a little bit mucking out Ralphie, Andy, and Elvis, then stacked boards for a while. For about an hour or so I held onto a safety tether that was thrown over the roof of the barn. Attached to the other side of the tether was Doug who was hammering nails into the metal roof of the barn. If he were to have slipped and started to fall, theoretically, and I hope "actually(!)", my holding the tether would prevent or ease any fall. The tether was tied to the side of the barn as well so in the event that I couldn't hold it, Doug wouldn't slide off the roof and into the great beyond.

At the end of the day Chris took some time and showed me how to use the air gun that was used all day to do much of the hammering. We were on the second story, which will eventually be the hay loft, and he positioned about 18 ft. of floor boards that I hammered down. A neat experience.

About 1/4 of the metal roof, two skylights, and 1/4 of the walls are up. More of same next weekend. Some people were saying that it should take another 3 or 4 weekends until it's finished.

The spirit lives. Another day of people having a great time for all sorts of reasons and in all sorts of ways.

While working at the barn around 3:30 or so, I happened to look over at Ralphie, Andy, and Elvis in their field. They were each lying on their stomachs about 20 ft. apart from each other in somewhat of a tri-angular formation and were facing in exactly the same direction- towards the setting sun. Each had their head held up at the same level and each were "stone still". They were all getting the last rays of the sun as a group and they stayed in their positions until the sun had set. It was a "just stand there and absorb it" type of image for me, and one that I've often thought about since Sunday. Enormously powerful and gently peaceful at the same time. I showed Jen and she said that they often do that and that it was also "cud chewing time" for them.

More barn next week. Many images to re-play until then.


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