Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"How's that bridge building going?"

As some of you know, we live on the other side of a creek. We park by the road on one side......then we walk across the bridge and up the hill to the house. We live in a situation where "God willing, and the creek don't rise" actually applies. We knew what we were getting into when we moved to the farm. Well, Farmer John knew what he was getting into. It's taken me a long time to get used to my daily treks to and from the house.

The bridge has become become a part of our daily lives. So much so that I think it should have been part of our vows when we got married.

"I, Mollie, take you, Farmer John to be my husband. I promise to haul the groceries up the hill, in all of nature's elements, and not complain about it too much."

"I, Farmer John, take you, Mollie to be my wife. I promise to make many trips up and down the hill to load our car for trips, put sand on the icy bridge, and hold your hand on days when it's very slippery." When we bought the farm several years ago, we planned on using some of the loan money to build a driving bridge. And it's been a long process and we've learned a lot about building bridges. This spring, Farmer John found a company that uses decomissioned railroad cars to make bridges. So we're going back to our Northland College roots and recycling a railcar. This summer (fingers crossed, knock on wood) we're going to get our driving bridge! Perhaps one of the most challenging things about this project is the span of the bridge. Our bridge has to be at least 80 feet. (Oh, how much easier our life would be if it only had to be 60 feet!) The railcar is 90 feet long and wide enough for a vehicle to drive across. Step #1 of the process began on Thursday when the abutments arrived. The abutments are just big concrete blocks that the railcar will sit on (and be attached to). The blocks have round humps on top and holes on the bottom so that they fit together when stacked. Think of them like concrete Legos. Our abutments also have a pretty face on one side that look like they're made of stones. Most of ours will be buried though, so the face doesn't matter so much. We watched excitedly as the abutments were unloaded.And now we have 14 concrete blocks sitting by our mailbox. We're happy to be done with step #1 and will start working on all the other steps soon. But, that will have to wait for a little while. Farmer John and I are going on vacation. We'll start more work on the bridge as soon as we get back. If anyone is driving by the farm next week and notices cows or chickens out of their fences will you put them back please? Thanks!


  1. Cute ammended wedding vows. Never a dull moment on the Jennings Brae Bank Farm. Now my questions about that bridge are answered. Sounds like a orginal solution and should make life easier. Enjoy your vacation!

  2. Sounds like it'll be the coolest bridge ever!


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