Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Big Erection (Photos)

It's up. It cost $125 an hour, required a crane and the help of two local boys.

On Wednesday, September 8, 2004 the stars aligned. Scott showed up from Corvallis, the Zoeller boys from across the river, Joe Sopko from Seaside with his crane and we assembled the various parts of my new house.

See the photos at (no log in should be required)

The weather gods were mostly with us. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were fine, but Friday night the forecast was not good. I feared we would have to put the roof on in the rain.
Friday night's entry into sleep was a fitful one for me as I listened to the sound of rain. Under most circumstances a welcome sound, but last night it was like water torture. I awoke in the morning to silence. It was still overcast and gray, but the forecast was calling for a shower or two. The house got a good soaking during the night though.

Right now the mist is lifting and contrary to the forecast I can see a patch of blue (a small patch).

Still, today we hadto put on 9 roof panels. The most we had put on in a day was 8 in about 8 hours. About 1 hour per panel. It's going to be the longest day unless they just slide together. They hadn''t so far. On the other hand we were getting better at this.

The crew consisted of myself, Scott McClure (the timber frame designer, and two local boys (young men), Jordan and his brother Jason. The latter are ranchers and a construction team. They already have some very nice barns under their belts.

After 4 really intense days, the structure is up. I have four walls and a roof. The weather gods in the end were merciful . Though it poured last night we got a rain-free day today.
We finished up around 5pm, and it was 6:30 by the time we cleaned up, packed up Scott's Van and headed into town for a burger.

My mail is unread, bills unpaid, dishes unclean.

The house needed some trimming and shimming, but it's a pretty good fit, and I'm very pleased with how it went together. It was the hit of the neighborhood, with many local folks coming out to visit several times. Tonight , as the crew celebrated with a beer , we looked out the living room windows to watch a deer meander down to the woods.

Everybody had a great time. At the end of it, looking out the first floor window was a real pleasure, but not to be too maudlin, equally satisfying was exposing Jordan and Jason to this new house building technology and especially to the craft of timber framing; introducing them to Scott McClure, and keeping a timber framer employed and happy.

Just before we parted in the drizzle outside the Birkie store, Scott told me that not only had he had a great time, but over the four days he had gotten a taste of the fabric of the community. He's a bit of a free spirit and an adventurer. He's kayaked down the Grand Canyon. His interest in old tools and structures also makes him curious about small towns. If one passed by Birkenfeld you would think there was nothing there. But over the four days, Scott saw people literally come out of the woods to say hello. Crusty old timers, and young families all alike. For him, pulling back the curtain of small town America was a real thrill. And for me it was a joy to have given him that experience. And that in the end, turns out to be the real investment.