Barn chores

by Scott Smith

When we moved to Hickory Corners, the barn was used by the previous owner as a pool hall. There were booze bottles stashed in mouse-infested cabinets, and broken glass littered the goat-shit-encrusted barn floor. And, for some strange reason, dozens of matchbooks.
Robinson and I decided to clear space for the first stalls. Armed with shovels and a power washer we dove in. Old hay becomes solid after who knows how many years; it’s like trying to dig through OMB boards. The power washer, which I resisted using at first, made easier work of the hay removal. It broke up the layers just enough to allow me to dig.

After many hours and cart loads, we have half of the first stall space cleared. This was a good day. Hard work, yes, but I didn’t end up flat on my back from working too hard — although, my legs were rubbery. On Wednesday, we’ll finish this up and get to work on building the stall.

I did end up hurting my back: At work, I reached for my coffee mug and something popped in my upper back. The irony of getting fit for farm work is that my body can’t handle all the sitting.

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