Organizing the Barn

A lot of the time when I show up at Meadow Gates, I end up throwing frisbees for the dogs for ten or fifteen minutes because it takes a while for Jeanette to get to me. She runs around like a crazy chicken, squawking at everything, turning in circles with indecision, before she makes up her mind about what she really needs to get done. She runs in high mode almost all the time, and I find it hilarious. Being rather sedate myself, I stand there with her older dogs, our heads turning back and forth like spectators at a tennis match.

We played another exciting game of “what’r we gonna do today?” and we ended up working in the office. Which actually meant that we were up in the barn loft going through old boxes. Getting up and down was a bit scary, but I had no problems skipping across the catwalk carrying bulky cages. Mostly, it just needed to be organized, but we tossed about 40 boxes for the burn barrel and she could use one of those rental dumpsters for all the stuff that’s been mouse-eaten or dust saturated. They need to get it cleared off so that they can put hay up there. We cleared out nearly a quarter of the loft altogether, thought not as far as I would have liked.

We did actually tackle the office at the end of the day, getting everything sorted into bins and stacked neatly on shelves, and all the tools went in a pile by the door for another day. The difference was amazing, and it was so satisfying to have it clear and organized when we left. I told her I really like to do this sort of work, and she immediately declared that we’ll be working on the tool shop when I come back next. I have to remember to bring gloves: or perhaps buy a second pair for out there.

I met her husband Mark for the first time. He works up on the slope, so he’s gone for several weeks at a time. He was a very sweet, gentle man, and not at all what I had pictured when she talked about him. Jeanette is so high energy that I had pictured a crotchety, cranky guy who would override her crazy energy. Instead of going over, it’s obvious he just hunkers down and goes under it, oblivious to the winds. Much safer, it seems, and very harmonious. He’s good at it, too. Jeanette was asking me to stay for dinner and I wasn’t sure if I would, and I had just about decided to leave when he mumbled disappointedly, “oh, but I put on extra hot dogs…”  –Just about melted my heart. Besides, any man that adores llamas the way he does is a-okay in my book.


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