Little did I know that one idea would turn into something I myself only could imagine? Not only a Reclaimed Barns and Beams business, but the ability to help others make their dreams come true. Friends, family, acquaintances, social media encounters, have all come together to reclaim pieces of history and pass that history forward.
I now have buildings on my farm filling up with reclaimed lumber. Lumber that I have had to learn to dismantle, board by board, without the barn falling in on top of me! Faced with the daunting and discouraging task of taking nails out of wood on a daily basis; wood that has been home to those nails for over 100 years, I thought I would call it quits, until I found secrets of the trade. I began shopping for things like pneumatic crowbars and a nail remover gun, which by the way causes my friends to question my sanity as they for the most part have no idea what I am talking about. The dirt, the cold, the pesky critters are all part of the adventure. My ability to back a truck and trailer into extremely small spaces has become exceptionally impressive!. Not to mention the ability to calculate board foot, square foot, and linear foot all at the same time with measurements you receive in a text message with no context at all. If you have not done this since 8th grade algebra, you might want to give it a shot. Not as easy as it sounds. And as I brag about this to people, they just look at me like I have lost my mind. The bruises on my arms and legs are from hitting myself with boards and tools, but they make me look like I’ve gotten into a fight in some back alley. There are the men that tell me I should be careful when I have a chainsaw in my hand or say who takes those barns down for you. A woman in a man’s work world is not new to me, nor will it slow me down.
I’ve set the bar high because with great expectations great things can happen. For many that is a lot to live up to, but for us as it is for so many it is all that we know.
As I pull on old boots, t-shirt and jeans to drive an hour to walk through an old milkingbarn with someone who has deemed it is time to let it go, or I meet someone to show them our inventory of historic reclaimed beams that we just brought into the yard, I have one thought. This is it. This is what I love. This is what I want to do. One dream leads to another. I dream of a time where there are no conference calls, no reports or salesforce entries, and no sales meetings that cause me to miss dinner with my children yet again.
And I will love it.