Patience is a Virtue
I am beginning to realize that patience may be the most important skill that I learn this year. When we were first discussing building a creamery two years ago, there was little question about hiring a contractor to do the work -- it's just not who we are (plus, our labor is much cheaper). Now, I'm beginning to see the benefit! Since my husband, the mastermind of the building part of this project, works full time, and is already kept busy by the constant flow of projects and problems that come with 150 acres and 200 year old buildings, things are progressing rather slowly. Slowly, but surely.
Our future milk house, milking parlor, and cheesemaking space are located in what was the tack room of our bank barn. This room consists of a floor built on top of the existing barn floor, and four 2x4, 8' framed walls built within the much larger second story (or, since its a bank barn, the first floor. It's all a matter of perspective!) of the building. One wall abuts the stone outer wall, while the other three are completely separate from the barn structure. So far, I have managed to remove the old floor and clean out 10 years worth of mess (mainly old insulation and evidence of rodent households). Lumber has also been purchased for putting up new walls to separate the three sections of the creamery. Next steps: walls to separate the milking parlor and milk house rooms from the make room!
Being surrounded by history, as we are here on the farm, puts things in perspective. I am constantly in awe of the our barn, which has survived with very little help, for over 200 years. At nearly 3,000 square feet, it is an impressive space, made more impressive once you notice that only two timbers were used to span the entire length of the barn -- each nearly 40 feet long. This farm has morphed and adapted itself many times since the Georges first arrived in Virginia in the mid-1700's, and the barn has stood firm through these changes. When I become impatient with our lack of progress, or stressed about how much must still be done, I look at the huge floor joists, or the posts that reach 30 feet to the roof, and realize how small we are in the lifetime of this barn, this farm. Like all the changes that it has gone through, ours will happen in good time.