We have an ancient barn, which our miracle worker Roger and his late partner John explained was really one, maybe two, very old barns reincarnated into our current barn. But the current barn was reborn at least a century ago and then completely rehabbed about a dozen years ago by John and Roger. That work reclaimed the usefulness of the barn and the attached three-holer outhouse. The center bay has an enormous sliding wooden door, which rolls on metal wheels up in the rafters. That’s the bay where we park our car.
Monday, we had freezing rain blowing in from the south. But we had already rescheduled our appointment with our attorney and were determined to keep this one. I headed out to the barn without tossing on a jacket or pulling on boots. It’s a quick scoot across the dooryard and I had already “sanded” the walkway with (non-clumping!) kitty litter so the traction was fine. I hip-checked the sliding door a few times and felt it free itself from the icy buildup at the sill. Several determined pulls and shoves allowed me to slide it all the way open. I hopped in the car, started it up and pulled it out into the driveway. I decided to leave the engine running so that the defrosters and heater could warm up.
I popped out of the car, dodging sleety rain to close the barn door. I got it about halfway when it ground to a halt. I did my best imitation of the actions of a “Pushmi-Pullyu” trying to restart and close the darn door. As I got it underway again it began to slow. So I stepped inside the barn to give my feet better traction. Giving one more generous pull it slammed shut.
But I was on the wrong side of the door!
I tried to pull it back open. No dice. I immediately turned to the double doors on the adjacent bay on my left. They were latched from the outside. I turned to head into the house via the woodshed, but quickly remembered that since I hadn’t used that door, it would be locked from the inside. That left the back door to the barn which is on the north side. We never use it. The snow drifts up into the little corner between the barn and the outhouse and stays there until spring is in full force. I was wearing Birkenstock clogs and didn’t really want to go thigh deep into the snow.
I turned back to the sliding barn door. I told myself not to panic - which when you have to tell yourself not to panic is really not a good sign! I tried pulling on it and then thought to go get a crowbar out of Chuck’s workshop in the bay to my right. I returned and did my darnedest but could only oonch the door a couple of inches. Now I was panicking. If I hadn’t left the keys in the ignition I could have used the remote to trigger the car alarm. That would have easily gotten Chuck’s attention. Chuck, by the way was inside the house in the main part of the building, upstairs in the bathroom. I wasn’t sure if he was still in the shower. Which if he was, he would have the radio playing loud enough to be heard over the sound of the water.
So I did what any level headed 52 year old woman would do. I began to yell “CHUCK” at the top of my lungs! My voice echoed around me and I realized I needed to add a bass line. So I began rhythmically kicking the barn door and hollering. It was a cross between the dots and dashes of an SOS and the chest compressions and breathing of hysterical CPR. Sooner than I imagined possible, Chuck appeared at the kitchen door. He caught sight of my desperate face through the barn door window and came to my rescue. Lord love a duck, I felt like such an idiot! But Chuck was once again my hero!