Silo suggestions

The weather is chewing away at our silo, bite by bite. Thanks to mother nature and neglect — it grain-storing days long past — the old structure will soon be topless.

That’s okay with us. Seeing that it rained in the house last Sunday, we’re barely maintaining the buildings that we need. The silo is a casualty in the war on home improvements.

About six years ago a summer storm roared through. It grabbed hold of the silo roof and pulled. When the weather cleared all that was left on one side was a twisted piece of metal, dangling like a hangnail. Three days ago I noticed that the hangnail was gone.

But that’s just the way it’s gonna be…the wind and rain will open the roof like a tin can until one day, the rotted wood and sheeting flies away in Wizard of Oz-fashion. When the roof’s lopped off, it’ll look like an empty toilet paper roll.

But funny enough, it’s the first thing that visitors notice when come here. They climb out of the car, squint up at the sky and ask: “What are you going to do with that silo?”

The question used to irritate me and I’d point out more pressing and costly repairs like the barn roof, which is huge, dizzyingly expensive to replace, and leaks like a sieve.

But now I just ask: “what do you think we should do with the silo?” Most frequent reply: convert it into an observatory. Runner up answer: make it into an apartment. Craziest suggestion: convert it into a kids’ play area….because windowless, concrete cylinders are a toddler’s dream.

Martin once boosted me up to the lowest ladder rung built along the side and I gingerly climbed up. Looking back, it was pretty stupid. The roof was damaged and we didn’t know whether the sides were structurally sound. But I made it to the top, peered in the old window and nearly lost my grip and fell when a dozen pigeons fluttered past my face.

I regained my bearings and shakily descended. But not before taking a good look around at the birds-eye view: the fields of timothy waving below, the horses grazing the neighbor’s ridge and the woodsy treetops, folding down in a crease in the valley, marking the river.

One day the silo roof will be history but for now it serves its purpose:

Barometer of storm strength. And pigeon conservatory.