Today my dad and I got an early start for fear of rain, made real about an hour ago. We have been talking about getting the sheathing on for the past week or so but the chances keep getting missed, and we missed this one as well. I love a day like today. It feels so cleansing; nourishing. I would be happy for the whole day to be like it is right now, silent, but loud with the rain in the trees.
I am experimenting with leaving the duck outside, alone, which makes me perpetually nervous for this vulnerable creature, but the other options seem worse - to let her sit in the cage all day? or to come up to my apartment where I follow her every move to make sure that nastypoop doesn’t land somewhere it shouldn’t? She doesn’t want to be up here, anyway. I can sense that. She’s happy outside, that’s where she belongs. But this is about the build, not about the duck. Everything ends up about the duck these days.
We added buttresses to the interior of the house today to get the walls level and plumb, which worked for three, but the fourth, the little one facing the front, is out of plumb and a head-scratcher at that on how to fix it. But for interest in getting out of the increasingly steady rain, we screwed it in place and will address it later. I woke this morning and felt the weight of water in the air; it hadn’t started raining but clearly wasn’t going to wait long. My first task then was to cover everything - cover the duck's cage, cover her hay. Cover the 1/2” plywood sheathing, cover the 2x8 rafters. Afterward I went to get some coffee, and my dad spritely said ‘lets get to work before the rain!’ and i spritely replied “yes! ok!” and he uncovered what I covered. And shortly thereafter it started to rain.
Yesterday we put up the ridge beam, and one ill-fitted rafter. He said in Amish barn raisings there would be a big celebration to mark the raising of the ridge beam. We smiled a bit, but that was the extent of the celebration. It felt great anyway - although now I think we did it out of sequence - but there it is, the central structure, the most important piece after the cornerstone, which this building does not have. I should have thought about a cornerstone. Obviously not a literal one, but something that marked the start of this construction, that implies the heart and soul of what was and is about to take place. Maybe instead I’ll make a little celebration of the ridge beam.
Ahem. Here's to you, o ridge beam! Here's to your strength and stability - may I always rely on you to keep this house together!