Posted by kurtwood on July 1st, 2010
I must apologize for being so tardy in writing a new journal post. The web site was being re-done and there were other things going on. All excuses, mostly I just forgot.
I did want to share this bit from Monday though.
Frederic, the Frenchman who built the barn, the roof of the Cookhouse building and the roof over the wood fired bread oven, stopped by unannounced Monday afternoon. He was driving his work truck, a large 1956 Dodge flatbed truck with questionable mechanical abilities. Years ago he replaced the standard flat bed with a French timber frame base. It is a sight to behold. There is this great contrast between the rusting out, smoke bellowing, dented old Dodge truck and this beautifully crafted wooden frame. The past twenty years of weather have only given it more grace.
On the back of the truck was a large mound covered with a silver tarp, held down with thick web straps. He pulled up to the barn and let me know that he had something for me. Most intrigued, I went up to the truck to peer under the covers.
Frederic had decided to cut his pasture around his wood shop with a scythe, dry the grass and bring the resulting hay to my barn to feed the cows. Vashon might be a bit behind the times, but this still is a rare occurrence. He is certainly not a mow the lawn every weekend with a riding lawnmower kind of guy. A scythe make much more sense for his character.
Together we pitched the large pile of beautiful green loose hay into the hay room of the barn. I must explain that we didn’t use pitch forks from the local hardware; bright colored ergonomic spongy handled types, but rather perfect worn pitch forks. He brought two of the most beautiful forks I have ever seen. The wood was burnished from years of use, the prongs still sharp and bright, the curve and shape elegant.
When we had finished, Frederic loaded up the two forks, the tarp and drove back down the driveway to his wood shop in the old, creaking Dodge truck, the bed bouncing about as he navigated the pot holes in my drive. Tomorrow the cows will get a bit of the beautiful handmade hay in their mangers. I doubt that they will appreciate the whole process, but I certainly will.