Thursday, April 4, 2024

no one was hurt

Well, this has happened: 

the neighbor's tree came down across my barn.

There must have been an almighty crash, but the wind was roaring every time I woke up in the night, so I doubt I'd have heard it even if I'd been looking right at the barn when the tree came down. Based on the last time I checked the barncams, I think it was between 3 and 6 AM.

At least seven goats were in the barn at the time, either in the original stalls opening on the north side or in the Peace Pavilion on the south side. There may have as many as 10 goats sharing, because in unsettled weather the goats who claim the little duplex shelter on the Upper West Side will sometimes come up and bunk with the barn group.

The west half of the barn is a shambles. Everything that had been stored in the loft area is in a tangle on the floor. The roof is in pieces, part of it is completely gone. Doors are hanging, or snapped off. I won't even try to get into this part of the barn until a second person is here, just in case something else should snap or crumble or collapse.

At first glance I'd hoped the east end of the barn (on the left in the picture below) might be safe enough to continue using temporarily, but it is not. Rafters are snapped, jagged ends hanging. The sooner everything is out of there, the better. Right now the hens are still in the last stall on the east, with access to their pen, because there is simply nowhere else to contain them today.

The Peace Pavilion (on the left in the picture above) initially looked like it fared better. Upon closer inspection, I think the structural integrity is compromised. It looks better because it was better built. Some of the materials may be salvageable.

The insurance adjustor is coming tomorrow morning. My agent informed me that MY insurance will have to cover this, even though the tree demonstrably fell from my neighbor's property. I asked the agent to repeat this, because I thought I must have misunderstood. I'll have to hear it from the adjustor as well.

Do you remember when I had this barn built? It was the 6th of May, 2014. I told LeShodu it was a present for her 10th birthday, which was May 7th, 2014. I wrote about the construction day here. As time went on and I added dividers and benches, making the barn as functional as possible, I wrote about each improvement and experiment. As goats were born and raised and combed in this barn, I wrote about them. You have probably vicariously spent more time in this barn than in any other, unless you actually have one of your own. I can't imagine how many hours I've spent, day in and day out. And of course, when I finally added the long-awaited Peace Pavilion only a couple of years ago, it became one of my most satisfying projects ever.

Oh dear.

I'm not going to get sentimental about this. In fact, just wondering how on earth to deal with dismantling what's left of the barn is giving me such a sharp pain between my eyebrows, that sentimentality won't have a chance to get a foot in the door.
And I just keep repeating to myself...
"no one was hurt."


  1. Oh, what a mess. And what a bummer that your insurance has to cover it. I'm so glad that no one was hurt. The wind was worst at about 5am here (luckily no trees down). Good luck with the adjustor.

    1. Thanks, Sally. The extent of the mess is hard to comprehend, even when I'm staring right at it. It's good that the adjustor is coming right away, because I have no idea what I can/cannot or should/should not do, but I feel the need to do SOMETHING as soon as possible. It's a dangerous situation.

  2. I'm so sorry. Such a loss and a worry at once. Thanks for taking the time to let us know. Yes, I know that nobody was hurt mantra, it's a bit inadequate right now.

  3. Yikes! Not the kind of surprise anybody wants! Such a relief no one was hurt, but what a mess. I'm surprised that your agent says it will have to come out of your homeowners insurance instead of the tree owner's. Maybe the adjustor can explain.

  4. Oh no - such a tragedy, but as you say you have to keep the fact that no one was hurt foremost in your mind. Hopefully the insurance agent is wrong and that the neighbour will have to take the ding, but with all the claims that are out there these days I think everybody is trying to point the finger at someone else. So sorry this happened.

  5. Oh. No. What a mess! What an unbelievable mess. I surely hope that the adjustor has a different take on the situation than your agent. Thank goodness all the herd and flock are safe. BIG hugs!
    Chris from Boise

  6. Thank goodness no one was hurt. There's been some wild weather of late. I hope things are calm where you are and that you've gotten repairs on the barn started or done. Take care.

  7. Somehow I missed this post! I think I was in Florida at the time. What a thing to happen!


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