So today we attempted to demolish the barn. After of course fixing the brakes on our other car so we don't go careening off the side of a mountain because WV doesn't believe in guardrails.
First off we emptied out the barn, which was a god damned adventure. First off, my Dad believed that if it was free it was the right price. Even if he didn't need the object in question. Like his compulsive need to collect broken shelving. Not that he put anything on the shelves, mind you. They were laying on their backs and sides, presumably waiting for the slow release of death. There was also a large pile of doors, some of which were great, and others that were so flimsy I could move them by myself. Also there was piles of chains, horse tack, farm implements, roofing materials, trailer skirting, and enough rotting lumber to make a good sized pile of sadness.
However what you have to understand is that the barn was not really together anymore when we went to empty it. It was leaning at a very odd angle, and the only thing keeping it upright was a bunch of boards propped up on the outside and inside. Some of them were sitting on cinder blocks, others were just sunk into the earth. Tarps were strung up inside, which were the only things keeping the stuff inside dry.
Also, there is no floor.
When I say that I mean it literally. There was a sort of shelf on each side formed by the rotting remains of the floor, with boards slung over the chasm to create a place to walk. None of the boards were the same size, or evenly spaced, or secured to anything. Also, when I said there was no floor, I mean it. There was a good three feet or more between the boards and the dirt.
I boldly went in, passing things out to Scott. I waved him away many times when I was struggling with something, as he was the only one who could drive me to the hospital if I fell.
Then there were the rats. Plural.
The whole placed reeked of rat urine. Rat poo encrusted EVERYTHING. I moved a random cardboard box out of the barn, passed it Scott, only for him to look in it and say “there's something alive in here.” Right before a rat leaped out of the box, dodged my boots, and ran under the floor. So that was exciting.
We got it done, however, despite the many setbacks. We put things in trash bags, stored away the good lumber, tarped things, and made trash piles.
This was the moment we had been waiting for: taking it down.
We cut and removed the electrical lines running to the barn, and very carefully removed the outer supports. We then used a heavy rope to pull out the interior supports, holding our breaths the whole time hoping for the satisfying crash.
Nothing happened. We got impatient and smashed out the cinder blocks holding the back up. Nada. So it still stands. It's probably going to fall down while we are sleeping, or during the middle of a blizzard, or when we least suspect it.
If you don't here back from me, it means the barn got me.
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