These days, even Monday morning is all about heavy lifting. I met Mike U and Mike C at the worksite with a U-Haul bright and early this morning to haul the timbers and sheathing back home. It truly was a backbreaking way to start the week, but a rewarding one for sure. To my mind, piles of ancient timbers awaiting restoration are an embodiment of Ruskin’s vision for artisans to “build for ever.” Timeless craftsmanship of this sort is worth preserving.
When a frame well into its third century of use can be given a new life of sheltering the next generation, we participate in historic continuity – “tradition,” if you will. My children will live and grow up within the walls of two conjoined local houses, having engaged the past directly. They’ve pulled the nails, hauled the boards, and uncovered hidden relics. And they will help to bring it into its new existence.
There aren’t many instances of long-term continuity like this left for us these days. I, for one, will continue to take every opportunity I can to listen for the voices of our ancestors, and to teach my kids to hear them too.
There is a lot to learn. And lot of work ahead. We will continue site clean-up and make another round of hauling before we stack and sticker these timbers under cover for the next several months. Then, at some point next year, we will bring them in for repair.
May this frame live on.