Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Cows Move In To Their New Digs

The day finally arrived.  After thinking about getting a barn nearly two years ago, to chatting with Frederic about design ideas, to the actual plans of the barn, the permitting process at County, and finally the building of the barn.  After all those many months, the cows moved in a few days ago.

I got to enjoy the barn for myself for a number of weeks.  The main structure was finished even though the lights weren't up, the gates not installed and the mangers not yet built.  I began to think of it as my barn;  a place for me to seek refuge from the world.  From the main room you can look out onto the pastures and gardens and yet be protected from three sides.  The wall that faces the road is completely solid, shielding you from anyone coming down the driveway.

I found myself often taking my laptop out to the table I set up in the middle of the barn and would write and think and be 'away'.  My wi-fi signal wouldn't reach that far, no electricity was yet installed and it was calm.  Sadly, like the parent that realizes that he has to stop playing with his kids toys late on Christmas Eve and put them under the tree, I had to hand over the barn to its intended residents.

Frederic arrived late last week with the mangers; the feeding troughs that the cows would eat their hay out of.  Beautifully designed and built, they are well crafted furniture;  cow furniture.
Pegged construction, simple yet sturdy, I think Frederic took more pride in them than in the barn itself.  I want to bring them into the house and have cushions made for them.  Odd little sofas they would be.

And so the cows marched in minutes after we unloaded the mangers.  Frederic began to giggle as they marched up and began chomping on hay that I had put out for them.  I had never heard cows chewing.  In the pasture, the sounds are lost. In a tight space, five cows crunching their teeth, eating a bale of hay makes a bit of noise.  A great noise.

And then it happened.  Minutes later the first cow added manure to the beautiful space. Oh, and a great stream of urine as well.  It was rather disturbing I must admit at first.  I quickly cleaned it up, only to have another cow follow suit.  By this morning it looks very much like a barn.  A bit of manure here and there, hay thrown around, cows feeling very comfortable.  

I will miss my private space, but now I can sneak in after dark, flip on the lights and put out some hay for the ladies.  They come and join me now, it is now our private space.  The place that is just for the cows and I, a space to find solace.  And hay.

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