Since we, Ron, and Rosanna arrived on the ranch Wednesday night, it has been transformed. The work crew is composed of six – five seniors (Rosanna, me, Odel, and Art and Suzan, the RV’ers who have been property sitting for the past month), and 30-year old Ron. What a congenial group! The energy and good humor of everyone in the group has made this tough project rewarding and fun – I sort of imagine this is how pioneers or homesteaders felt out on the range or prairie, everyone bringing their strengths to the effort, then sitting around swapping stories at night.
On Thursday, after burying Farah the sheep, we all started sorting and hauling, There was way too much “stuff” to get a clear picture of the scope of the effort, so we just started filling bags and boxes: stuff yet to move to California; books to be donated to the local library (boxes and boxes!); useful stuff to give to Gene, who runs the local flea market; stuff that was being sold or given to friends or neighbors; and broken or otherwise useless stuff to go to the local dump (a BIG category).
Friday was more of the same: refrigerators and deep freezers were emptied and defrosted; shelves were emptied; cupboards were cleaned out; piles were sorted, pickups were loaded, and goods were hauled off. A friend of Rosanna’s arrived with a trailer to carry away furniture and the piano, and we began to see real progress. By the end of the day Friday, sitting at the dinner table in Art and Suzan’s RV, we made a plan for Saturday – beginning with breakfast, to use up the eggs in Rosanna’s refrigerator! I put some of the pinto beans we found in the barn freezer in the crockpot overnight, and we all agreed on breakfast at 8:30 am Saturday.
Loading up after breakfast.
Odel with a load for the dump.
What an excellent beginning to the day! We enjoyed scrambled eggs, pinto beans, salsa, avocado and freshly cooked tortillas sitting in the morning sun. It was so much fun that we settled on an early (4 pm) dinner so we could dine outside again. Then we got back to the business of packing, hauling and cleaning. We filled one pickup with trash for the dump, and Odel and Ron took off for Elfrieda.
Art and Suzan ready to head to Gene’s.
Ron almost lost a thumb to this cage!
Suzan and Art’s pickup was loaded for a trip to Gene’s flea market; they took off as Odel and Ron came home with a load of hay for the four remaining farm animals. Once they unloaded the hay, we filled the pickup with another load for Gene and away went the guys.
Rosanna and I just kept loading and sorting bags and boxes; every so often, I took a break to work on the dish (Southwest Cornbread Pudding) I was putting into the crockpot for dinner. Just as I finished up in the kitchen, Rosanna knocked on the door saying I had to “come and look”. This is what I saw – and I’m posting this photo for Donna, for Sydney and Frank, for Auntie Carol, for Joy and Greg, all the people who know what the barn used to look like (borderline hoarders)!
By the time all the trucks arrived back at the ranch (early afternoon), Rosanna and I were taking a break in the sunshine, and soon our four co-workers joined us for iced tea and beer. Then it was back to work, but relaxed… a little work here, a little there. We cleaned up an old table from the barn and set it with a tablecloth and some of Rosanna’s old dishes and wine glasses, then converged with food, wine, and good appetites.
A toast to the ranch! A toast to the workers! A toast to a great day!
The old barn table cleaned up pretty well!
Another good meal with good folks.