Confessions of the City Boys

I couldn’t decide if my new category, Ranch Hands, should be called that or Confessions of the City Boys. The latter is certainly appropriate! I’m not sure where I will land on that decision. The only problem with Confession of the City Boys is its length.

Anyway, this post is yet another of several confessions we have made thus far as we learn to transition to a rural lifestyle.

The hay for the horses was to be delivered from the lumber yard. I had just walked back to the house when I heard their phone message. They were due to arrive to our shop just as I was listening to their message at the house. Not to worry, Steve was already up at the shop. No worries.

But, well… Steve needs a bit more guidance, shall we say, than I do in matters related to animals, shops, stables, saws, tractors, tools in general, and the like1 . The house-tending responsibilities typically fall under my job description. So, I headed off to the shop right away.

Now, the shop is just down the driveway, but that’s about a quarter mile away. So, I decided to take the electric scooter. Riding it would be much faster than walking that distance.

When I arrive at the shop, I could see from the tire tracks off to the left side of the shop’s driveway that the hay delivery truck had already pulled behind the shop to deliver the hay. Now, this shop is huge: 40 feet by 60 feet, and I’m not sure how tall, but very, very tall2 . One leg of the driveway goes up to a giant door in the front of the shop. I suppose this is for driving vehicles, like the tractors, an enormous RV, a large boat or similar large things into the shop. The back also has a large door on it. Just inside the back door is where we stack the seasonal hay delivery.

These enormous doors slide along the outside of the building on tracks to reveal access to the inside of the shop. You can see this in the photos.

When I walked into the shop, I was horrified to see that someone had slid the back door the wrong direction, and the door had come off of the track and was sticking out into the yard. If it had been slid much further, it would have come completely off of the building, fallen to the ground, and reattaching it would have required an army of strong men. This door is huge. This door is heavy!

I was incredulous. Before I could contain my shock, I blurted out to Steve, “What idiot slid the door the wrong way and off the track?!” Okay. I confess. My language was a little more colorful than that. Well, alright then: I admit it. My language was outrageously more colorful than that. I mean, who could be that stupid!

Yes. You guessed it. My dear husband, whom I love with all my heart, who graduated at the top of his large, prestigious high school class and went to university at Yale, he was the one who opened the shop’s back door, sliding it the wrong way3 . In the process of coming off its track, the door suddenly kicked back and hit him in the head. But this is nothing new. Steve hits his head at least a couple of times every week–no really. He really does. He wasn’t too hurt, just dazed enough not to hear my profanity laced mutterings as I walked away. I had to walk away. This was going to turn into a nightmare of epic proportions.

How on earth were we, two old men, going to get this huge, heavy-as-hell door, this top-heavy, very tall, totally unwieldy door4 , lined back up and onto the track to then open it the correct way for the hay delivery? Did its coming off bend the track? Did it bend the door? Were the hay delivery men going to just leave because they couldn’t get the hay into the shop? Were they just going to dump the hay onto the ground behind the shop and leave it there? (Another front of winter storms were rapidly approaching.) To say I was an unhappy camper is no small understatement.

As it turns out, these guys were crazy nice men. They got our tall extension ladder out. One of them went up to the top of the shop on the ladder by the rail system that holds the door when it’s properly attached and guided the huge door into position as the other one jimmied a monstrous solid pipe/crowbar-like thing up under the door and used all his might to lift the door up to the track. It took them several tries and about 20 minutes, but they did it! They actually did it!! And it works fine once again. Nothing was damaged!

I really was amazed. They didn’t have to do that. They just did it because they were nice guys.

The Hay Delivery

They then offloaded the 5 tons of hay and stacked it up inside the shop. Stacking 5 tons of hay is no small job! They were as pleasant as they could possible have been as we chatted the entire time. Yes, the people around here just really go out of their way to be nice – really nice. In Atlanta I have little doubt the delivery guys would have been pressured to make X numbers of deliveries an hour and would have had to move on to their next job.

Now, in Steve’s defense, one would assume that the back door, just like the front door, could not be opened the wrong way, could not possibly slide off the track. But such is not the case. I need to fashion a solid striker like the one on the front door that will keep this from ever happening again, because, without ever intending to do so, I am fairly confident that Steve is fully capable of doing this again.

  1. Make no mistake: I’m no pro at all by any means. I’m just a bit more mechanically minded, I guess you can say. 

  2. You can see in the photo below that the door is every bit 2.5 times taller than Steve. 

  3. Trust me, I do my fair share of stupid, too. I just do different stupid. But I swear I do less of it. [Smiley face with a halo] Between the two of us, we have most of the stupid bases covered. 

  4. 2.5 times taller than Steve 

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