Monday, April 6, 2009

The Raising

I'd like to tell you a little story. There once was a man who did everything he set his mind to. The end.

Paul Bunyan is just like this man. It's incredible. Every time he says he's about to do this super human feat, I'm always like, "there's no way dude." And then he just goes ahead and does it anyway. He did this two summers ago when he said he was going to build a post and beam garage and shop. Yea, Paul Bunyan is a nurse by trade. I haven't said that yet (and I'll explain my theory as to why he is a nurse later) but that's how he brings in the big bucks. I mean, he would love to make his living from the woods and in the woods, but the fact remains that he is saving lives three 12 hour shifts a week in the emergency room of our local hospital, the only Level 1 trauma center in the state. He is our hero. It's also nice to have someone like that around the house, because frankly, when there is a choking kid in this house, it's his name I call out.

So to go back to the whole post and beam thing, Paul Bunyan had never done that kind of thing when he came to me two years ago. But sure enough, if he says he's going to do something, he sure as hell is going to do it. Here's how it all unfolded:

My own Paul Bunyan, much to my chagrin, cut down some beautiful pines right around the homested here. And hired a beautiful portable saw, and a dirty man, to cut the trees to size. I'd like to state that Paul Bunyan definitely wanted to purchase one of these said "portable saws" until I talked him out of it.

After the beams were cut to size, he had to mortise and tenon them; which basically means he had to put either penises or vaginas in them. Not to sound too graphic, but that's the most basic way I can explain what Stinky Jon and Paul Bunyan are doing here. Stinky Jon is one of Paul Bunyan's college buddies and closest friends, and he's also the one who knows a little more about post and beam building, as he built his house in N.H. in just the same manner, all by himself, with no nails!!

While all this is going on, the hunting cabin, which once stood on the spot where the new garage was going to go, had to be taken down and was either burned or taken to the dump and in its place a big hole had been dug. This was super cool to a certain few boys who like big machines with big buckets attached to them.

This, of course, made a muddy mess that a few certain muddy monsters couldn't resist playing in.

But luckily, when the first Part A's went into Part B's correctly we knew things might actually work! Paul Bunyan laid the first supporting floor joists himself, with the help of his tractor.

On "raising day" we had a good old fashioned raising with lots of friends and family. Everyone came to lend a hand (thank the good lord). This is Mike, our builder, who Paul Bunyan kinda has a man crush on. He is setting up our block and tackle, since we raised this sucker by hand. No cranes came to our aid...we did it old style with pullies, and well, a John Deer (didn't they have those back then?).

Here is a snip-it of the first "bent" going up. A bent is a supporting wall. In Paul Bunyan's garage, there were three. We did the first two on raising day. The third one was done primarily with John, the tractor. I was very (very) nervous during this video, which explains why I was video taping the ground through most of it. I thought for sure that the whole thing would come back down on all our favorite people in the world. And they would all be dead. So...sorry for taping the ground. It was life or death.

Here is my father-in-law wondering how the hell we're going to raise that third bent without all our friends.

But sure enough, look who is celebrating building this thing from scratch...with his own dog garn hands. And, of course, a village of friends....and muddy monsters.

I love what you can do Paul Bunyan, especially when it seems like it's impossible.

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