|View of barn interior through gate at back door.|
Several years ago, before we moved out here from town, I put in a drain field using a shovel and a wheelbarrow. Since then, the difficulty of every job I've undertaken has been judged in relation to that one. This barn thing comes close in difficulty. Then, I dealt with trees and roots and hard-packed soil, working in the open air. This job stinks, as the manure is still fresh under a two-inch crust. It would only get more noxious as I got further into the building where there's less air circulation and more flies. None of this comes as a surprise. I could deal with this.
|First load of manure waiting to be unloaded|
on existing compost pile.
What I'm having a problem with is me: in particular, my limitations due at least in part, I hate to say, to my advancing age. Earlier this week I was over there slinging shit, dealing with a sore back and a neck that hurt so much I could hardly turn my head. Afterwards, the fingers on my left hand tingled from carpal tunnel syndrome. The nurse at my doctor's office warned me that if I continue this task, I could damage myself permanently.
I rarely back away from a task I've set myself, but I'm going to do that here, on the advice of that nurse, my chiropractor, my husband, and what may be an attack of good sense. Giving up bothers me on two levels. At the personal level, I hate to admit that I can't handle work of this nature with the same aplomb as a younger me, and I really would like to have more of the manure than I've moved to date. Then there's worry that the barn might not be cleared before cattle are again housed there. I've called the owner to tell him my decision, but just got the answering machine. Sure hope he'll do right by those creatures that depend on him for their care.