Monday, December 14, 2015

And the Wall Came Tumbling Down

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fix a failing barn wall.
Jill prevailed
And popped a nail
And the wall came tumbling after.

Marty and I had another episode of Mars and Venus recently. All ended well but there was a moment in the middle when either one of us could have been killed, maimed or destroyed and everything in between. It started when we were tasked to fix a section of the old barn wall that had come loose in one of our ferocious north winds a couple weeks ago.

Marty had a plan as he always does and he set about accomplishing it. I just happened to be in the barn while he started. I wasn't there to interfere. I was just there because I was cleaning up. However, as he began to work I, of course, noticed the proceedings and I, of course, had a thought or two. I always do. Sometimes I have a good suggestion and sometimes I don't. In this case I had some concern because the section of wall in question was quite large and heavy and was all of one piece and if, for some reason, it came loose and fell it would cause a lot of damage and I didn't want the damage to be on the head of my dear beloved. So, of course, I went over and said "I have a suggestion, Do you want to hear it?" And he, because he loves me so and tolerates all of my shenanigans big and small with load and loads of patience, well, he said yes. Sometimes I even have a good idea and he admits it. So I told him. How about if instead of trying to prop it up with the tractor bucket we attach some pulley ropes, lower it to the ground, take it apart, add a cross beam to the barn so there's something to attach it to and then nail the whole thing back up piece by piece." 

Easy peasy, right?

He says that's too much work. 

So I back off. When he says it's too much work that's my cue to shut up and let him do it his way. He always makes it work even if I'm standing over in the corner with the cell phone ready to order an air ambulance to take him to the med center when it all fails. It never fails. Oh, ye of little faith.

So the tractor bucket can't quite reach high enough so he's creative and scoops up dirt to raise the level of the tractor so he can maneuver the bucket into position to push the failing section up to a point where he can nail it back in place. It's looking really good. The hill of dirt under the tractor is a stroke of genius and I'm admiring the ingenuity of my man. What can I do to help?

Over on the edge of the section I see a board that is kind of snagging so of my own volition I decide to go over and help dislodge it while he's got the section teetering on the bucket of the tractor. Off to the side I position a 2 x 4 and push the offending board aside and out of the way.

Immediately and without any warning the whole section of barn wall comes careening down.

 What the hell happened? Apparently this section was held on by one nail in the one board and when I pushed - with good intention - the nail came loose. I'm standing there. He's sitting there. We're both bug-eyed.


He gets off the tractor and comes over to stand by me. Well, you got your wish. Now I am going to have to take it apart and put it back together piece by piece.

Sometimes things don't go the way you thought. 

Or do they?

It's winter for sure. It's cold and rainy. Things are finally getting green. (the conundrum of the Planet California. When everywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere is getting brown and white we're getting green. ) The water in the livestock troughs has frozen over a couple times and all the leaves on the deciduous trees are down. I like this time of year. I like the rain. I'm not wild about the wind but if I have my trusty North Face windbreaker pants on I'm good to go. Christmas is right around the corner and so is the winter solstice. The days will start getting longer and it will not get dark at 4:15 any more.

A view of the hay barn from across the creek.
The creek bed. I think the textures and colors here are beautiful.
The round things are oak galls. There are a lot of them.