Raise Them Up: Barn Building


“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” ― Shel Silverstein

Part of the backbreaking beauty of being young property owners is not hiring anyone for anything. Well, sorta. We didn’t know just how many projects we had actually dreamed up until we were knee deep in all of them. One of them – the biggest one – being our barn. It’ll be a pole barn with no walls for our June wedding and a finished horse barn months later. Like everything else we’ve built, it was a matter of fact – we need this and it’s seemingly impossible to hire someone to do it so…let’s do it ourselves.

It started out as a 28X41 staked outline last fall, four lines of white string in a large rectangle at the northwest corner of our farm. Up until this past Saturday it was just nine posts in the ground, 13 footers and 9 footers, all hand-dug and set by Chris alone. Saturday we had our barn-raising party, which consisted of burritos, teamwork, celebration and cinnamon rolls. Chris, his friend Pat, my friend Julie, and I lifted three 200-pound beams one at a time and locked them into what are called mortise and tenon joints that Chris had spent weeks chiseling beforehand. The result? It worked. What was supposed to be hours of labor turned into a forty-minute completion!

Moments like this – when we’re standing on hay bales and laughing because everything went better than we imagined – are near miraculous. You can’t help but brim with happiness. Yes, things went right! But also, because you’ve satisfied the child in yourself. You haven’t abandon it in your adulthood. I’m still playing horses in the front yard and Chris is still playing legos or Lincoln Logs, just, ya know, bigger. Neither one of us will tell the other that we can’t, so we can.

In other news, spring weather is filling all the hard-to-get-to places in me and our home. I even opened the windows today. Since the barn took so little time, we took to the yard with rakes and finished the roof on our horse shelter addition. The burn pile is large and wiry with loose hay and fallen branches from a long winter. This weekend I will torch it and watch it burn the remains of a hellish winter. Its billowing smoke will say, we’re still here – we survived! 


Right wing taking shape.




Spring cleaning, readying the burn pile.


Holding Peckerina, Timber keeping a careful eye on the situation.


Each hen needed to lay after I cleaned the coop.


I spy…tulips!


Despite spring, still chopping wood for warmth.


Our photogenic Steve. Those eyes.


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