ABERCROMBIE, N.D. — As of July 2015, the U.S. Census counted almost 49 million retired people in the country. Retirement can look different for everyone, with some using their time to travel the world while others might even get another job.

For many, staying busy is key to enjoying a full life once they've exited the working world. For Guy Klosterman, retirement from the railroad industry in 2018 meant (possibly) more work than he was doing before.

"I told him we needed landscaping," says Guy's wife, Yvette. "So he decided that we should build a pergola."

Guy Klosterman talks about the construction of his gazebo, which sports a roof from a grain drying bin. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Guy Klosterman talks about the construction of his gazebo, which sports a roof from a grain drying bin. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Flying saucer to home

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The project began with an ordinary grain bin.

"(Guy) had this vision and I'm thinking, 'OK...,'" Yvette says. "That grain bin roof is from the farm that he grew up on. They sold the farm to this lady and Guy stopped in and told her he used to live there and asked if he could buy the grain bin from her. That grain bin top sat in our yard for the longest time. People would drive by and they thought it was a flying saucer! We had this great big thing and nobody knew what it was."

The roof of the Klostermans' gazebo after it was removed from a grain bin. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
The roof of the Klostermans' gazebo after it was removed from a grain bin. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

The "roof" of the Klostermans' gazebo rests in the yard, waiting for its final placement. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
The "roof" of the Klostermans' gazebo rests in the yard, waiting for its final placement. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

The grain bin "roof" of the Klostermans' pergola is moved to the support posts. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
The grain bin "roof" of the Klostermans' pergola is moved to the support posts. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

The grain bin "roof" of the Klostermans' gazebo is placed on wooden support beams. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
The grain bin "roof" of the Klostermans' gazebo is placed on wooden support beams. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

The grain bin "roof" of the Klostermans' pergola rests on the support beams. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
The grain bin "roof" of the Klostermans' pergola rests on the support beams. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

The gazebo project, which began in the summer of 2018, took over a year to complete.

"I put a lot of hours into it," Guy says.

"He worked on it whenever he could," Yvette says, adding, "whenever he had the time."

Once the roof was in place, Guy worked to install the concrete flooring. By pouring concrete and stamping it, he was able to create a unique look for his one-of-a-kind landscaping project.

"He did it all himself, but the stamped concrete, he had help with that," Yvette says. "But everything else is him."

Guy also had a hand in creating the couple's home, a task that Yvette says she remembers being a tad skeptical about back then.

"He had a vision and he put it together," she says. "It's like our house. When we built our house, he said, 'Well I am going to help them,' and I thought, 'Oh dear, you've never built a house in your life.' But look how good he did. It's a nice house."

Rebar is in place for the Klostermans' gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
Rebar is in place for the Klostermans' gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

Stamped concrete serves as the flooring for the Klostermans' gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
Stamped concrete serves as the flooring for the Klostermans' gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

The ceiling of the pergola is wood Guy reclaimed from a forage box, an endeavor that took quite some time.

"I got it down by Minneapolis," he says. "It was a day of labor to take them apart. That was a process."

After running them through a planer, a machine for producing planks of even thickness and flat on both sides, Guy was ready to put the reclaimed wood up into the ceiling.

Plywood is set in place for the ceiling of the gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
Plywood is set in place for the ceiling of the gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

Holes are cut in the plywood ceiling of the Klostermans' gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
Holes are cut in the plywood ceiling of the Klostermans' gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

Finished wood covers the ceiling of the gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
Finished wood covers the ceiling of the gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

Giant metal medallions from the University of Minnesota's theater department were spruced up and inserted as lights in the ceiling of the structure, giving it a glow when lit up at night.

"(Guy) bought them and they were old, rusty medallions that he sandblasted and painted black," Yvette says. "Aren't they the coolest things?"

One of the three metal medallions used in the Klostermans' grain bin gazebo waits to be installed. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
One of the three metal medallions used in the Klostermans' grain bin gazebo waits to be installed. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

A metal medallion is lifted to its place in the ceiling of the Klostermans' grain bin gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
A metal medallion is lifted to its place in the ceiling of the Klostermans' grain bin gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

One of the three metal medallions is installed in the roof. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
One of the three metal medallions is installed in the roof. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

While North Dakotans are known as tough people, they are still no match for the below-freezing temperatures that come with our brutal winters. But why should all of this hard work result in something relegated to just one season per year? Guy thought of that, too.

A huge, spherical fireplace was installed in the center of the pergola to give off heat and a beautiful glow at night. Windows encircle the metal behemoth to allow a view of the fire from any angle.

The spherical fireplace was prepared for sandblasting and painting before being installed in the gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
The spherical fireplace was prepared for sandblasting and painting before being installed in the gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

The giant fireplace getting ready to be painted. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
The giant fireplace getting ready to be painted. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

The fireplace waiting for instillation in the gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
The fireplace waiting for instillation in the gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

Guy Klosterman made this wood-fired stove for his gazebo out of a propane tank and welded the door and windows in himself. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Guy Klosterman made this wood-fired stove for his gazebo out of a propane tank and welded the door and windows in himself. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Having recently finished up the monumental landscaping undertaking, the pergola now serves as a cozy spot for Yvette, Guy and anyone else who finds their way to the couple's rural home.

Guy Klosterman had been eyeing these fixtures from an old University of Minnesota auditorium before deciding he could use them in his unique gazebo.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Guy Klosterman had been eyeing these fixtures from an old University of Minnesota auditorium before deciding he could use them in his unique gazebo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Reclaimed wood is paired with custom ironworks for one of the supports for Guy and Yvette Klosterman's gazebo.
Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Reclaimed wood is paired with custom ironworks for one of the supports for Guy and Yvette Klosterman's gazebo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Nighttime brings about a special ambiance with the sounds of the country filling the air as the metal medallions are lit up and the fireplace casts its warm glow over the comfortable seats that line the outer edges of the construction, making those who choose to sit around the beautiful work of art feel right at home.

Metal medallions act as lights in the Klostermans' gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
Metal medallions act as lights in the Klostermans' gazebo. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

The spherical fireplace in action. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
The spherical fireplace in action. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum

The Klostermans' grain bin gazebo at night. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum
The Klostermans' grain bin gazebo at night. Guy Klosterman / Special to The Forum