Back from the farm after a three-day trip. I worked on the east side of the barn, replacing siding boards that had come off under the last ownership. This is actually the side that requires the least amount of work and I’m trying to get it fixed up so I can say at least one side of the barn is “perfect.” I have to make four windows for this side however before I can finish up the siding work. My father built this lean-to onto the barn in 1950 to have room to feed a few livestock under cover. He put four windows in this side, the side that faces the road. I’m not sure why he went to all that extra work rather than just siding the whole thing.
He always did appreciate a good-looking barn however and I guess he wanted to pretty it up. Or as the old German farmers would have said, he did it “chust for pretty.” Over time the windows got knocked out by inquisitive horses, however. And the last farm owner didn’t help matters any with his active neglect of all the structures on the farm. I did manage to find three of the old window frames, but they’ve been chewed on by livestock and weathered and the mullions broken and the glass knocked out. So I think I’ll start from scratch and build some windows. They should dress up that side of the barn. The other reason to do the side of the barn by the road is I’d like passersby to know that there is some intent to fix the farmstead.
It was hot down there last week. Temperatures were still in the 90s. One always hopes that by September temperatures will have moderated in this part of the world, but that’s generally a hope not realized. My nephew-in-law came out with his skid loader and pulled a bunch of concrete plugs out of the ground. Much of the pipe corral fencing has been removed now but every where there was a fence line there is a bunch of concrete plugs. It’s no wonder these people went broke, with all the money they put into fencing and concrete. The person who bought all the fencing finally got it all removed and that improves the look of things generally and makes it easier to keep the weeds down.
Concrete is one thing we can’t do much with as we clean up the farm. Wood and metal can be recycled. But chunks of concrete have to be buried in a pit. There are already a half-dozen pits full of debris on that place and I hate to make another, but it may come to that. The other thing about concrete is that it can’t be manhandled. Chunks of any size require machinery to even move them.
The riding mower I fixed up last winter has done yeoman service this year. That’s a bright spot. My niece has been keeping up with the mowing. The mower, which I described on here last spring, was my dad’s, her grandfather’s, and she has fond memories of using it when she was a kid visiting the grandparents. I’m surprised it still runs, after all these years and being it storage for twenty-plus years, but it does.
There is water in the farmhouse now. We had a plumber crawl under the house and replace a corroded copper line. I haven’t tried it yet. Saving that for next time. There’s always a next time. And more to do.