I awake to the sound of water being pumped from our well, and the smell of coffee brewing. I smile. Outside, workshop participants are congregating in the camp kitchen we've set up, making themselves at home. Breakfast is eaten standing, or around the fire ring. Tyler and I are in charge of feeding Peter while he's here, so I scramble up some eggs, and invite Peter into our little camper for breakfast.
When 9:00AM rolls around (we'll begin at 8:00 from tomorrow onward, but today we're having a leisurely start), we all tromp down to the workshop site and find seats on the giant timbers we arranged on the concrete slab last week. To begin, Peter introduces himself and the project we're about to undertake. Once he's done, we all get a chance to introduce ourselves, and then it's time to get to work!
The first order of business positioning all the posts for easy access to their tops. When Peter points out what needs to be done, the gung-ho-ness of the group is amazing—some of the attendees jump right in, attacking the wood with so much excitement that I look on in awe and horror. Go slowly I think, everyone just chill out and let's think through this instead of using brute strength! I'm afraid someone is going to get their fingers squished, but maybe I'm just being sensitive from our recent injuries.
Guiding the timbers from one place to another is quite a feat. It takes six or eight people to move a single frame member (Head up, butt down! Ready? One, Two, Three!), and it's an exhilarating feeling to do so. It's amazing what we can maneuver with nothing more than a few sticks, some rope, and a bit of muscle.
While the dog-pile of moving timbers takes place, I watch our friend Deanne calmly avoid the fray. She peacefully takes a shovel and begins carving stairsteps into the steep dirt slope that leads to the workshop. Her work is quiet and determined, and so much appreciated. We've been skittering down that bank for ages now, and it has never occurred to us to make stairs.
With the site staged, the rest of the day is spent cutting ears into the posts.
They end up looking like enormous clothes pins!
We also cut flats on wall plates.
By the end of the day, I'm grimy and tired, excited, and totally overwhelmed. Everything is a lot more complicated than I had imagined it would be. As it turns out, there's a reason people build with dimensional lumber—it's easier! Even with sketches and diagrams, I'm having trouble visualizing what exactly we're doing and how it will all fit together. However, I remember feeling that way when we cut our little timber frame cottage, too, and I trust that I'll grasp it all by the end.