Finally the barn roof is fixed. After the big wind on May lifted a corner, then folded back a big section like it was paper, the question rose. To fix the old barn or let it sink into the ground like so many others. These barns are not used much any more so when the roofs go and the barn boards fall off, slow destruction follows even though the great beams inside, often a century or two old, stand firm, true and strong.
So long as they’re kept dry.
My old barn has been around since the 1860s and has stood up to every storm including hurricanes. So I harried the insurance people and got in the repair folk. I thought they might just fold the roof back in place. But not so. The section has to be dismantled, the ancient axe-hewn rafters put individually back in place and new steel hammered on All by a fellow hanging off the ladder of a retired fire truck.
For two days I watched one man hammering, the other man running the ladder controls, responding to hand gestures. A little to the left, a little higher, watch out for the gap. So now the old gal has a shiny new waterproof roof section and another chance to last a few years longer even though the hay mow is empty and the milking stalls contain only dust and pigeon droppings.
I admire the ingenuity of the workmen and am glad to discover that fire trucks can still have a life of their own after they retire from the front lines.