When the raising day is set – the family is anticipating the events. We ensure enough film is on hand. Work boots are ready to be double knotted, our men pack their tool belts, and we prepare extra pimento cheese and chocolate bars. We know that this is the day we all get to be around one another, support one another, and be timber framers.
If we’re lucky, the wind will refresh us, as we knew it’s going to be a hot one. By 8am, we were all gathered, those that were on deck – hard hats were secured. I looked at dad and watched his brow relax, as he knew he had a good crew. Before 9am, 2 bents were up, 2 rolls of film captured the scene and as I told dad – I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else on earth.
The folks that don’t know timber framing – don’t realize the calmness that we feel, at least those that are observing the raising like myself. The locusts are welcoming us with their unique song. I heard one of my favorites, Bob White. The white butterflies were bringing the job site good luck with each one passing thru excitedly, and to top it off, the mixing of the sounds of laughter on deck and cumalongs confirmed that this is in my blood – I love it.
When you are fortunate to be invited to one of these raisings – it’s not just finding a spot out of the way and feeling like you don’t know anyone – it’s the complete opposite. See – we’re all timber framers, their families, friends, and lookers – usually end up being all craftsmen of some sort – today we had a Windsor chair maker, a professional photographer, pen and ink artist, and I’m sure there were others. All the introductions were made, my lawn chair was your lawn chair and we made enough pimento cheese to go around.
The day has come to a close. Six hour raising, no one was injured, four rolls of film were spent, and the frame is breathtaking in its grandeur. I think we can all say we wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else on earth.
-Heather M. Kistner A Timber Framers Daughter