a timber frame raising of one's own

This upcoming Saturday, May 2nd, Maxine and I will raise our own timber frame. It's a bit of a strange thing, but now I'm getting quite excited, having written that sentence. Years in planning, design and permitting, and now busily excavating, pouring concrete and laying block. Poof it's here. As my old friend Peter once said, "Jonathan, after years and years of hard work, you're an overnight success." I feel the same about this home I'm building, this timber frame structure about to go up.

Come if you can and you're near. Here's what I sent to a friend: "
Thanks for thinking about coming next Saturday. As timber frame raisings go, this one is modest. The home isn't large, and it is a hybrid between timber framing and a modified platform construction. We'll use a crane, and will probably start raising about 9:30. We'll stop for lunch somewhere around noon, and finish up soon thereafter. If you're around the lunch time, plan on soup and local breads from Marco's. There will be plenty.
Traditionally at the end of a raising we pin a bough to the gable and toast. Reckon this will happen, and I do believe we'll drink a beer. I'm ready to savor the moment a tad."

To be ready it will be quite a week: prepping the masonry slab, including laying out the radiant tubing today and Tuesday, backfilling the foundation and rough grading Wednesday and Thursday, pouring the slabs on Friday, and then delivering the timbers, pre-assembling Friday afternoon through Saturday, when we raise. Even this last Sund
ay found Maxine and I finishing parging the basement wall. Lordy there is SOMETHING about a woman in khakis wielding a trowel.

Of course, we might not have been so far behind if I had not been at a Timber Frame Business Council event in South Carolina last week, where, among other things, I rode bikes with Tedd and Christine Benson, of Bensonwood Homes, and Jeff Arvin, of the Cascade Joinery, to raise money for the local Meals on Wheels group. They deliver 1500 meals in Greenville county every day, to people who may or may not get a four square, and even more likely won't get a visitor. Our combined 240 miles didn't seem so far after all.