Thursday, October 27, 2011


 Necessity makes even the timid brave.”


 Many of you already know that we live on a very busy working farm. There is a beautiful huge barn that was built in 1939. The neighbours tell me the original one burned down while thrashing grain. It is a magnificent barn and we take great pride in it. We maintain it as well as we can.

 This design of barn has a very high roof. It was practical in the day for moving the loose hay from the wagons to the haymow by using the hay trolley that is attached at the very top of this barn. It is not very practical now with the invention of round balers. We do not store hay in the barn anymore except for a couple of hundred square bales.
 The barn needs constant maintenance; it is in need of a paint job, a very expensive endeavour indeed.  The steel on the barn is mostly original except where the wind has torn it off in those big windstorms, making for new sheets to be added. This would be the downfall of such a high magnificent barn.
 The barn sits high in the sky with no shelter from the prevailing winds, and storms. If the wind finds one loose nail, or screw it will continue to assault this spot until the whole sheet has eventually lifted leaving a gaping hole. This in turn lets the rain, and snow into the barn resulting in damage to the stored machinery and items. This can rot the barn floor if not addressed soon. If left unattended the hole will get bigger, and bigger. I have seen barns collapse, as the wind takes off the whole roof at some point.
 This brings me to my story. Necessary Maintenance!
 My Hero dragged our very heavy 50-foot ladder out with the aid of the tractor. He leans it on the barn and extends it a little at a time. It eventually reaches the spot on the roof that needs his attention. I am starting to shudder reliving this. He has the loader of the tractor fully raised and cradling the ladder creating a stabilizer of sorts. Not my choice but this is how he does it.
 This is where my knees start to quiver and my heart starts racing. My teeth are clenched, as not to say anything silly like “Is this safe?” My knuckles are white from gripping the bottom rung so tight. Let us be honest here if that ladder decided to go there is no way I am going to ever be able to stop it. This holding on thing is a token job at best.
 I watch him make his way up the ladder. I immediately drop my head and start staring at the ground. I am now holding back the tears as all these scenarios, and questions run through my head.

What if he falls?
What will I do?
Where is that cordless phone?
Why does this scare me so much?

 The last time we did this Brother B (readhere) was helping and I could hide in the house if I wanted, this time I could not hide I had to endure it all alone. I hear the screw gun and the hammer; I cringe as I hear him shuffle (his words) the ladder over. I hear his footsteps as he climbs even higher.
 He comes down the ladder and I am relieved I assume we are done. No; we just have to move the tractor back so he can reach a different spot. I back the tractor up he wiggles the ladder over to the cradling bucket.
 After two hours, which I must say felt much longer, he finally comes down and I can finally breath. I will never get used to this.



  1. He is a lucky man to be so loved and cherished.

  2. Be warmed by the fact that he wants to get back to you as much as you want him back. A scary endeavor indeed.

  3. Heights scare the bejesus outta me!

  4. A scary, but needed, repair. Glad he returned safely to terra firma.

  5. What would we do with out these brave men to repair our barns?
    We to have a very high barn that is 201 years old..many repairs take place, it would be nice just to redo the whole outside new but the cost would be significant..

  6. I know exactly how you feel. I was painting the side of our new house a few weeks ago and my Dad held the ladder. I told him I knew him being there was a false sense of security. I had to teach him how to use my cell phone before I took the first step!

    Cindy Bee

  7. Oh my, that is high. Obviously he doesn't mind heights. Good thing he is down with his feet on the ground now...
    My youngest son loved to climb and walk on roofs and anything that was higher. Yet the other son hates ladders.
    We are all different..

  8. I don't blame you! I get nervous when my husband has to get up on to the roof of our single-storey house or garage, or when he balances the ladder to cut a few wayward branches off a, I honestly don't know how you do it, or how you keep silent. I'm constantly saying, "Please be careful!" which I know probably annoys my husband, but I can't help myself. I hope you're feeling happier today after the stress, anxiety and loss of the last couple of days!

  9. Buttons our barn is 1909. Like yours with a high pitched roof, made for loose hay that was thrown in through upper wooden windows. However we have no steel in the barn just heavy wooden beams with wooden joins. Quite the masterpiece, and a lot of maintenance come spring, after the winter winds have hit it, like you said loosening the nails. But we can't do the work inside with a winter supply of hay inside. So it becomes spring work. Dearest and sons go by ladder on the roof, with a pulley system to reach the top to screw down the metal roofing. Like you I hide in the house! Fear of them falling.

  10. My hubby is up in the air all day for his job -- but when it's at home and I'm in that same position you are, it's always scary.

  11. I was wondering yesterday, what that job you dreaded would be...and now I know! I found my insides all in knots as I read your post. Oh, how I hate heights. I feel a similar fear when my hubby is at the top of the silo moving the gooseneck, or something similar. SO glad that's over for you and he is safe!

  12. i have a fear of ladders - not of climbing them or heights - but actually stepping off of them onto a roof. eek!

  13. My husband has done painting for the past 15 years and has finally retired from going up those tall ladders. Not my favorite thing to do!

    Hope you are doing well today.

  14. I am afraid of ladders also. Why men aren't is beyond me. I think it helps him knowing you are there however. Hope that's over!

  15. I can appreciate your concern. A somewhat difficult job to do by the sound of it.

  16. The Man has been on the roof repairing our chimney lately. I feel your anxiety!


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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