From now to the ides of March.

In Oregon it will rain, not a pleasant happy rain, not a warm shower or gentle mist but the kind that comes sideways and stings the skin. In the mountains this rain will be our summer water. The cats won’t go outside and even the dog looks at me with watery eyes; out the door and then to me, as if I had some control over the faucet in the sky.

Thankfully it is a quiet time of year and I have a job indoors. The previous owners built the shed without runners instead setting the non-treated 2x4s straight against the concrete slab. The years have not been kind to their decision.

You might also notice the water up against t he concrete and the mud on the floor. This is a natural result of not grading the hill behind the stable; the soupy silty soils migrate each winter when they become waterlogged and travel. A few more years and the building would likely have joined the thousands of other collapsed barns that line country roads. It is however my only covered storage so overcoming my own inertia one night after work I cut up some treated 2x4s and shored up the load bearing section in the worst shape. Today the plan is to start on more permanent repairs.

I have to admit irritation at the builder; a single pressure treated runner and some land grading would have saved me a lot of work. Realistically though they were probably like me; in love with the countryside and the view, land rich and cash poor, in need of some stalls and hay storage. They cut some corners, maybe even told themselves they would fix it later. This is a trespass I have made myself. My church translates the word to “debts”, the intent is the same. My belief is that most people mean well and are doing the best with what they have; we take that and build upon, learning from their mistakes to do better, and by this we become better than our former selves.

I am aware it will be cold even in the barn; but at least dry. So with a last deep look into the bottom of an empty coffee cup I heave the cats off my lap to find my shoes. Wish me luck.

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