Barn: Part 8
We knew we were close. After a balmy autumn, the air began to change as we pressed ahead with the remaining few days of work required to close up the barn floor for the winter. The daily weather pattern included rapid and continuous oscillations between blue sky and dark, snow-filled clouds. Throughout the day, each burst of heavy snow was followed by hopes for clearing weather. Back and forth it went, and on into the night. Each morning began with the task of sweeping an inch or so of new snow from the frame (above) before we could start nailing down more of the 5/4″-thick hemlock sub-flooring planks (below).
Two days after laying the first piece of sub-flooring, we neared completion. The process included taking each plank from the stack next to the tree-line in the middle meadow, squaring one end, marking the 12-foot length, cutting the line, then stacking the planks on the tractor’s loader forks for the trip to the barn deck to be nailed in place. Marion and I operated with an efficiency that comes from working together so often over the decades. The pace was brisk, which was fortunate because we didn’t have any days/hours to spare.
By the end of day two of the sub-flooring, the sun set for one last time on an exposed barn cellar.
By midday on November 16th we’d finished the sub-floor (above) and were ready to roll out and fasten the house-wrap that will protect the wood from the elements for the coming months.
First, we paused for a photo on what would have been a tremendous dance floor (below) if it had been completed for our wedding. (Believe it or not, that had been a far-fetched hope earlier in the year.)
Rolling out and attaching the house-wrap in the light breeze was a challenge. (Bad words! Bad words!) But we had it secure by mid-afternoon, just in time for the first significant snowstorm of the season (which was followed a week later by a 14-inch snowfall on Thanksgiving Eve).
We needed a rest, but there were still two large loads of timbers (for the main frame) lying in the middle meadow. The next day we’d begin the chore of organizing those timbers into stickered stacks from which we’d access each piece for the next phase of the project, creating the components of the main frame.