We set 9 six by six posts in concrete one weekend. That's a heavy job for two, but we got it done. We were fortunate to have a brother in law with a post hole digger attachment for his tractor. If not for Dave, that little project would never have been completed in a weekend.
The following weekend, we began work on the beam work that would support the second floor storage area.
Last weekend, we installed 13 sets of rafters, It was a good weekend to do heavy work. There was a coolness to the air which allowed us to work hard without working up a miserable sweat (which seems to attract the bugs).
We worked together after a rough start. I have to say, initially I didn't know what he was doing. We've always built trusses, but this time, he used a ridge pole. I eventually figured out what he was doing. We pulled the long heavy boards up two pair at a time, and set them into place, climbed back down the ladder and made two more pair which I pushed up while he pulled up.
Tim made the bird's mouth notches in the rafter tails by using his grandfather's handsaw. This pleased him. His grandfather bought old run down farms back in his day. He rebuilt them and turned them into working farms once again, and then sold them and moved on to the next project. There is a dirt road that still carries his name. Tim's father ended up with those tools and when he passed, Tim's family gave him that old box of tools. It seemed right to them that he should have them.
We worked in the cool air and it was hard not to remember Uncle Herman, gone now. He would have gotten a big kick out of this work and would have been chomping at the bit to have his hand in it. He would have been a font of carefully considered advice. I pictured him, that quizzical look he'd get as he seriously pondered a new idea. I miss him still, and that missing comes at odd little moments.
A lot has changed in the 24 years that we've been together, and it was nice to remember those bygone days. Our property is across the road from a cemetery. I found myself looking across the way from my vantage point, pondering that too, the people resting there that were also once a part of our lives.
I remembered a poem from the Rubaiyat:
"Those we loved, the loveliest and the best,
that fate and time of all their vintage pressed
have sung their song
and one by one crept silently to rest."
I think of our children, and I wonder who will want that box of old tools when we are gone. I wonder about which of our stories will become family memories that are retold with fond smiles.
On the distant hills, I saw patches of red and gold, Life is so achingly beautiful sometimes, isn't it?