floating on the river

   We spent part of the afternoon immersed in tepid river water.  It was cooler than the air, and we lay in our tubes with the wind moving us over the surface of the water, there being no river current in our backwater.  As soon as we got out we began to sweat again. 

   The last bay of the new barn is taking second place to the woodshed-cum-equipment barn we are building at the turn in the lane.  Our neighbor, who has a twenty foot right-of-way where barely twenty feet are available, will doubtless object to its construction, but we have made our measurements carefully, and she will see that we are toeing the line.  Relations between us have for twenty-one year had the character of a nervous postman attempting to pat a chancy dog; his tail is wagging, but the dog seldom misses an opportunity to bite.  On our side, we try to have our defenses outlined before an issue surfaces.  The new woodshed will replace a clutter of skids and tarpaulins used to cover our second year’s wood.  A cord of dry firewood is like money in the bank.  Better.

   The orientation and design of the new shed has been a matter of much discussion, not to say conflict, between the men in charge, but yesterday they set out flags to mark where the posts will go, and used pick and shovel and rake to level the thirty-six by ten foot pad.  It is a simple project, and should go up quickly.  We hope so, because we have not yet taken the far bay of the barn off our list for the summer.  The old pigpen is really rather small for several four-hundred pound hogs, and S-4 is determined that the new pigs we buy in August and September will have a concrete pad under them by winter.  The last bay of the barn will also comprise our new feed and tack room, and the stairs into the loft, which is presently only to be accessed by ladder.  By the time the woodshed footprint was outlined and leveled, we were gasping in the heat, and adjourned to a cold lunch, and the dip in the river.  We need rain and a break in the heat.

3 thoughts on “floating on the river

  1. I’ve just found your blog after reading your wonderful book “The Independent Farmstead”, and I’ve started right back in November with the first post and am slowly working my way from past to present. I’m commenting here only to suggest that if you haven’t read “Thimble Summer” by Elizabeth Enright, try to lay your hands on a copy – a children’s book akin to Charlotte’s Web only less attached to the pig. It’s the heat in these posts that made me think of it. Her opening chapter could well have been written by you 🙂

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