Jay Bridge is an artist, he has an artist’s way of looking at wood and metal and the things he fixes, he looks at them, thinks about them. Driving home for lunch, he though we ought to replace the wood in the big barn from the top of the windows down. Some of the wood is worn by time, some by the donkeys gnawing on it in winter, when they have nothing else to chew. We bring them toys and pieces of bark and twigs, but this winter was rough, the ground was covered in ice and snow and they could hardly move away from the farm.
Jay suggests that we put a fence up to keep them away and we will do that. I thought there was something evocative about watching Jay cutting and trimming his hemlock, patching the worst holes. We can’t handle replacing the side of the barn right now (last year he replaced our front porch, which was rotting away) but perhaps in the Spring.
Things are coming together for the Fall and then, of course, Winter. We have four cords of firewood, we need two or three more to feed our two wood stoves. We are assuming this winter will be hard and cold as well. That seems to be the new pattern. We have about 125 bales of hay in the barn, we can always get more if we need more.
In a few weeks, I’ll ask Tyler to come by and start stacking the wood in the shed – we’d like to give it some more time in the sun. Jay will also insulate the pipes in the basement to hopefully forestall another ground freeze like the one that knocked out our frost free water line in February, the same week Joshua Rockwood’s water froze on his farm.
In my county, the police don’t come and arrest you when winter hits like that, they come by to help if they can. We are lucky to have Jay, he is an intelligent, thoughtful and well-traveled man. He loves what he does, he loves to work with his hands, he loves to work by himself. I felt like I was in an old English village today, watching him work with his wood and saws and cords and measuring tapes.