When you have helpful visitors you realize how nice it would be to work together or live communally. So much more can get done on a farm when there are more hands involved. When Virgil, Tami and Meah were visiting I got all sorts of things done that would have taken me much longer on my own. And, some things would, quite simply, not get done at all–like the cleaning of the barn roof! Although it needed doing I did not have it as a priority on my own list of things to do. The harvesting, drying, canning etc is paramount for me and the ‘incidentals’ of keeping things looking pretty and clean move to the back burner.
As luck would have it Virgil was more than happy to help out when he visited me this summer. First thing after morning coffee, he asked what sort of things needed doing and I rattled off the various tasks on the list. I don’t remember how the cleaning of the barn roof came up–he may well have noticed that is was dirty and suggested it himself; he’s that kind of guy. At any rate, once the idea was in play Virgil was on top of it. It was an ugly job (the roof was very dirty and had nearly four years of accumulated birch tree sap all over it) and it took him the better part of two half-days to do it, but it was spotless when he was finished.
Finally, feeling slightly guilty about how hard he was working at it, I suggested we didn’t need to be able to eat off of it. “I just don’t feel right about not doing a job well” he insisted and continued beavering away until the job was done to his satisfaction. I reckon it’ll be another four years before it gets done again (unless Virgil is able to visit every summer!). Thanks friend, you’re welcome back any time!