Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tales from Plainfield and Back Acres Farm

Terrible news about a barn/arena roof collapsing in Southampton. I am trying to feel the owner’s pain - though I am sure my imagination comes way short of what he must actually be feeling. Thank god no horses were hurt - I have spent my own share of sleepless nights during bad weather twitching with worry for the same reason. The newer barns at Back Acres were built with heavy snow loads in mind - very steep pitch on the indoor arena since the roof is so large. The cupola barn was built as a replacement barn and has the steepest pitch of all - the old barn nearly collapsed from the snow load, as well as being afflicted by frequent flooding in the spring.

Early on, after our first horrific flooding episode, we were fortunate to have our new neighbors streaming over to help us get the barn drained.  Good thing, since I was recovering from surgery and my then-husband only had one arm. I remember going to buy new shavings to replace the bedding lost to water, and having the store manager tell us "Oh yes, my barn floods every year, too". We asked how long that had been going on, and he reckoned since about the 1780's or so. We asked how come the situation had not been fixed yet? He said, "Well, in the spring it’s flooded, in the summer it’s dry and not a problem, in the fall we are too busy, and in the winter it’s frozen",  in a matter-of-fact way as if illuminating the obvious to not-very-bright people.

Anyway, liquid water is certainly not the problem now. I am wondering where we are going to put the remaining snow this winter, if it carries on arriving. We are keeping the parking lot plowed well enough, but its dimensions are dwindling. This morning in the tackroom, three of us were discussing what to do about the next weather-related thing, and as one - we raised a cheer for New England weather. Not for sissies.

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