Sunday, January 16, 2011

Episode II: Cleaning out the Farmhouse

It's taken me a while to summon up the energy to describe the rest of my adventures in the farmhouse, but if I don't do it soon I won't ever do it!  So, here it goes: I believe that I left off with pictures of the mattresses.  The upstairs bedrooms still had their beds (all nicely made up) and dressers.  Indeed, the dressers and wardrobes were still storing clothes and various other items.  That's where I found all the handkerchiefs.  Due to the narrow staircase, the only way to get the furniture out the house was to take it apart. 

You can see T's dad's school project about Africa on the wall.
 T. and his dad took care of that part while I lugged down the mattresses and bedding. 

This photo is a bit fuzzy; I was supposed to be working so I couldn't really take my time with the photos!
And I then carried down the footboards, headboards, boxsprings, and railings as separate pieces.  Once everything was out of the house, we then had to get them into the hayloft.  Again, we had recourse to an old hand-made ladder (this one was much newer though, in comparison) for the light pieces.  Essentially, the books and other items that were still in good condition (and that hadn't been claimed immediately by me, myself and I) were to be stored in the furniture in the hayloft, once the furniture had been reassembled.  So those small items we took up in a basket as we climbed the ladder.

But before we could place the wardrobes, etc. in the hayloft, and then reassemble them, we had to first clean out the hayloft.  T. got the privilege of using the old pitchfork to move all the 30-year-old hay to the far side of the hayloft.  Luckily I was spared this very dusty and sneeze-inducing task.  Once he had finished that, T. felt that it would be better to really clean out that half of the hayloft (where there is even a concrete floor).  Translation: he felt it was a good idea to move a 3-foot-high pile of 10-foot-long wooden planks five feet to the right.  Groan.  I wasn't in favor over this idea; it didn't seem like we were accomplishing that much.  Needless to say, I lost that argument and I found myself picking up one end of the plank and helping him move them, one by one.  Five feet to the right.  But the stack we made was much prettier than the original stack.  Sorry, no photo, I was working!  I took of photo of this though:

Some of the old horse tackle still hanging around.
Once that was accomplished, T's father and I stood on the ground level of barn and we handed up to T. (who was in the hayloft) - piece by piece - the various parts of the wardrobes, etc. that were destined to be reassembled and stored in the hayloft.  T's father and I had to jointly hand up the pieces (backs, side doors and whatnot) because they were quite heavy and we were having to lift the pieces above our heads in order to reach T.  I don't know how T. was able to take them and carry them to the other side by himself.  Apparently he has better developed upper body muscles than I do!  And he never even had sore muscles (or so he claimed), but I sure did.

Once all the pieces were up in the hayloft, T. and his father put them back together.  They were able to do this fairly rapidly despite the fact that it was late afternoon and rather dark up there, and of course, we didn't have a flashlight.  I am really impressed with the construction of those armoires - simply ingenious.  Very user friendly and high quality; Ikea could take a lesson.

You might be wondering what we did with all the items that weren't worth keeping.  Two words: the dump.  We took a tractor-pulled, very long flatbed trailer filled with junk to the dump.  Understand me, this was a very well organized dump.  You had to sort everything appropriately.  There were something like ten categories.  Luckily we could pull the tractor right up to the big bins.  We stood on top of the trailer bed and tossed things in.  Nonetheless, it took us quite a while and we had to go around twice because we missed some things on the first go-round.  One of the employees even came over and helped us determine what could go where.  We had to throw out an old treadle Singer sewing machine.  I know, horrible!  But it was in really poor condition; very, very rusted and the wood was all rotten.  Trust me, if I could have saved it, I would have. 

I think that's about it - for now!  We might find ourselves doing more work the next time we visit.  The house will be really beautiful after the renovation.  It's a special house and it deserves some love and attention.  I know I have been complaining about it, but secretly, I am glad to be part of the process.  Here's a few pictures of the nice parts of the house and the grounds:



2 comments:

  1. Sure sounds like a lot of work!
    Does T read your blog, by the way? I feel like I'm reading Kafka when you call him T. Which is a good thing.

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  2. He does read it :) I decided not to use first names, even though mostly everyone knows who I'm talking about.

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