And so it begins. With the addition of a couple of Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD), the need for additional housing is upon us. The need for housing is nothing new for a farm. Most livestock farmers seem to be in a perpetual state of need. The same could be said about farmers in general. I suppose those that are fortunate enough to have the ability to build a 40×80 structure probably don’t have the same issues. Either way, we are at a deficit. The most reasonable course of action would seem to be, get the materials and equipment ready and knock it out. Being a male, it would also follow that this be done in the most efficient way possible. Which typically results in me working alone–this does not always wind up being the most efficient method. But it occurred to me, what really am I teaching our children. Yes, some tasks should be done alone–even if only to instill that even though there may not always be someone around, you still need to get things done when and where possible. It can also help build a sense of self confidence, independence, free thinking and problem solving. Sure they’ve been helpers before–tasks reasonable and safe for their age. However, it often precludes them from most work as there is something thoroughly and utterly terrifying about the thought of a 7,8 or 9 year-old with a pneumatic nailer in their hand. Just saying.
Sure, this dog house can be built with power tools. Yes, it will most assuredly be done faster. Yes there will sanctification in actually checking something off the always growing to do list. But, how much will my children learn? The answer is not as much as they could. There is something to be said about learning by doing. Most folks process and retain information at a higher rate by doing rather than watching.
So going against ever fiber of my “must-get-it-done” being,
we are I am learning to let go and doing it as a team. Work together is what we preach. Be it herding (when it works, it’s like pied piper) the free-ranged chickens in at night. Feeding the animals. Taking buckets of water down to the barns in the winter time. Or helping the shorter family members put the dishes away in the hard to reach places. And so it begins…
Day 1: Put it on the Floor
Like all things in life, success is the benefactor of a good, strong foundation. Whether it be a house, a shed, a career or our Christian lives. A house built on unsupported sand, will not stand. A life built on anything other than Christ will fall away. A dog house built on junky wood will cause me to have to build it again in a few years time. Which is one of the worst thing that can happen for a left-brained person such as myself.
Seeing that this is going to be a dog house and not the Taj Mahal, I opted for 2×4 framing/joists. In the end, it is not going to be that big and the load that it will support should not be all that great.
Having said that, we framed out the floor, hand in hand, one nail at a time, together.
Enjoy. (No power tools, children or father were harmed in the building on this day)