The plan: My Dad casually mentioned that the carpenter had an opening and would be coming the next day to put stairs up to the barn loft on the South side. We call it Q loft as the North side of the barn faces my sister, Bonny McKeough's garden, aptly called Q Garden. I had 24 hours to think about this and long story short, the stairs migrated to the North side and the landing went from 3' x 6' on the East side to a 4' x 12' to the West after I realized there was a tree to consider and what the best angle of view would be.
The barn is an example of a Dutch Colonial Double Hip barn that the previous owner had built for his horses and hay. I asked the carpenter to use the 24' planks on the right for the stair risers and the treads. He was not too keen and preferred to use the pressure treated stuff. But I insisted. These planks easily over a 100 years old had sentimental value I explained. Aside from being stored in my barn for 10 years with no use , they had been salvaged from an old building at the Pines, the Ursiline Convent girls school I and siblings had all attended. I recall at times my attendance at the Pines was not so delightful: my infamous antic of taking the lead letters of the sign on the gates of the school and switching the I with the E! Yikes!
Carpenter graciously complied and informed me that the Pine's planks were also made of pine! How lovely and such synchronicity. We will have to treat with linseed oil to weatherproof but voila stage 1 is complete.
We are very pleased, now, way up here where the bats and wasps used to hang out but no longer. Before this, the only way up to the hayloft was an inside ladder which was out of reach to Maudy the dog; she would sit at the bottom of the ladder and whine non-stop.... and similarily my Dad who does not do ladders at his 94 plus years.
So Maudy is very pleased and sister Bonny, can revel in the view of her Q garden that it overlooks. But Q Loft is in dire need of some windows!!!
Enter the Pines once more! Those nuns must have forgiven me and have me in their good books after all. Would you believe it if I told you that the french doors also came from the Ursiline nuns? Well, they did. Not the school, but the Ursilines used to have a very old summer cottage close by. A family friend bought the house last year and in the process of renovating gave us 9 French doors. The carpenter ran out of time but eventually we will put the same doors on the South with a deck overlooking the lake, but for the time being we are all happy to savour the view looking North out at Q garden.
Absolutely a barn with a view, thanks to Bonny. How she grew Q garden is a story in itself. http://www.gardendesign.com/ideas/from-folly-to-fabulous Enjoy.
And happy upcoming Fathers Day to all.