Roofing the Barn Day 2
Climbing up to the ridge of the roof. Every measured step takes me a little closer to my goal. The old wooden ladder flexes just a little under my weight. As I reach the hay loft I carefully swing my left foot onto the boards that rest on the first row of beams in the barn and pull myself up. I suppose if I was a roofer I would get use to working on top of buildings, but that is not the case today. I am overly cautious. I quickly move away from the edge of the loft to the next latter and finish my assent. Finally arriving at the top I realize that I forgot to bring up a hammer so I have to return to the ground. Looking down from the loft I realize how many useless things we have stored in the barn. I must remember to add cleaning out the barn to our to-do list. Getting back to the top platform, my husband has already started removing the first few rows of tile around the rotten beams so we can position the new beams in place. The work goes relatively fast and easy. The new beams slide into place with only a few taps of a hammer. Sliding in a bolt we secure the two beams together then bolt the new beams to the old ones. By this time it’s 11:00 so we decide to descend for lunch and a rest. After lunch I’m back on the platform removing some more tiles to get to the ridge cap at one end of the barn. My husband is on the ground mixing up some cement to use under the ridge caps. Our plan is to replace any broken tiles and cement the ridge tiles in place with a mixture of 4 parts lime, 4 parts sand and 1 cement. When my husband finishes mixing, he puts the mud in a bucket and we hoist it up to where we are working. He joins me on the platform. I climb up on a step stool and stick my head through the rafters. Starting at the wall I line up the first two rows of tiles on either side of the ridge, put mud on the underneath side of a ridge cap then push it up through the rafters to the top of the roof. The cap is heavier than I imagined. This is going to be a workout. Once the cap is in place I fill in the other tiles below it and move down to prepare the next piece. My husband stands behind me and stacks the tiles I remove from the roof or hands me the tiles to put back on the roof. He fills my trowel with mud and butters the inside of the ridge caps with cement. We are a good team. The work progresses at a steady pace. Unfortunately, the sun is beginning to get low in the sky so we have to stop for the day. As the sun sets we cover the hole in the roof with a few tiles and realize that it is completely dark in the barn. Thank goodness we have our mobile telephones to use as torches to find our way out. Tomorrow I must remember to pack a proper flashlight.