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Timber Frame Cottage Raising: The Big Day, Part Two

by Tara

Shortly after raising the first bent, our dear friend Jenna arrives bearing a gorgeous loaf of wood-fired-oven-baked bread, and her tiny, bleating lamb, Brianna. We pause to greet her, and to hold the lamb, cooing at its perfect adorableness, burying our faces in her curly soft wool. "Can I take her home with me!?" Greer begs. All frame-raisings, I've decided, should involve baby lambs.

Greer & Brianna the Lamb

While we're involved with her lamb, Jenna surveys the situation with a mixture of delight, wonder, and pride on her face. She makes unintelligible squeals and and opens her eyes wide and points at the tall, dark, and handsome beginnings of our house. "Look what you made, friends!" she exclaims. We're beaming.

Soon, the break is over, and now we all get to work, hauling over the timbers we'll need to assemble Bent #2. For the actual assembly, I let our friends do most of the work, so delighted they are to be involved in such an activity: Building a house! Without nails!

Greer & Jenna Carrying Cottage Timber Frame Post Tara & Jenna Assembling Cottage Timber Frame Bent Greer Driving Pegs into Cottage Timber Frame Timber Frame Cottage Bent Assembly

Then, I pass Jenna the hand-hewn "persuader" and ask her if she wants to put in a peg. She touches the giant wooden mallet gently at first, and then takes hold of it confidently, gripping her strong fingers expertly around its handle as if she was born to wield such a thing. What a joy it is to watch her face brighten with pride as she swings the mallet in a manner that is part Viking goddess and part Scottish warrior.

Jenna Driving Peg into Cottage Timber Frame Jenna

Once the bent is assembled, squared, and pegged, we heave it upwards and nail it to the hurricane straps.

Cottage Timber Frame, Raising Second Bent Greer & Jenna Steadying Cottage Timber Frame Bent

After the second bent is standing, we install the floor joists for the half-loft…

Installing Floor Joists in Cottage Timber Frame Greer & Rick Installing Floor Joists in Cottage Timber Frame

By the time we were ready to start on the third and final bent, our friend Geoff arrives to help, too.

Geoff & Tyler Pegging Cottage Timber Frame Squaring Cottage Timber Frame Bent Geoff Steadying Cottage Timber Frame Post

I swell with happiness and pride when I see him looking up in wonder at what we're building, and especially when I overhear him saying to Jenna, "Look at that! Look what we helped build!"

Charlie & Geoff Raising Cottage Timber Frame Bent

Once all three bents are in place, Becky makes her way up to the house site, carrying a large cooler. Inside are several layers of crispy rosemary fried chicken, homemade of course, along with homemade buttermilk biscuits and an array of toppings, including butter, apricot jam, raspberry jam, and local honey. It is quite the spread.

"I just want to contribute in the best way I can." Becky says humbly, while admiring our timber frame. She certainly has. With its crisp, shattering crust, the juicy insides, this is some of the best fried chicken I have ever had. All frame-raisings, I've decided, should involve homemade fried chicken. Thank you so much, Becky!

Rosemary Fried Chicken from Becky Jams Charlie & Becky Brianna the Lamb