Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Barns, Buildings, and Brides

Today my mind turns to barn raisings. In my current Work in Progress; Prim a Needful Bride, I'm building not only a barn but a whole town.  As the town of Needful Texas grows it makes me think of my childhood and the work that the family would do as a group.  My whole family is very handy with a hammer and saw and when work needed to be done they all came together to get it finished. I still remember my cousin raising the roof on his house one year and how the entire clan turned out to strip it down and set new beams and rafters forever changing the profile of the home. No matter who you were, or what age, there was something you could help with. Kids carried boards, while one uncle cut them to length, and the woman laid out a spread of food that would make your head spin. As a teen, I was allowed to carry boards up the ladders to the men waiting to put the place back together.  For me imagining an old fashioned barn raising is as easy as letting my mind drift back to that day or many others.

Before power saws and construction crews communities came together when someone had a big building that needed to go up in a short time. Mortise and tenon structures made with huge beams and hand-cut rafters needed to go up fast because each part held the other together. The old barns were pinned with large wooden stakes pounded through holes drilled through the heavy wood framing. They literally pinned the whole thing together and each part of the structure supported the other. This is also how some of the old communities worked. Men and women would pull together at a barn raising, wedding, birth, or even tragedy. They knew that without their neighbors they were on their own and fostering good feelings and a community spirit was important to the health of the whole area.  This doesn't mean that friendly rivalry didn't play a part in some aspects of life. Old fashioned rodeos were designed for a bit of fun and friendly competition. Cowboys could show off their skill and earn bragging rights at least for that year.

As I'm working on my Brides of Needful Texas series my mind turns to how community and friendship, or even a bit of rivalry can be good for everyone.  Sometimes building a barn or a house was not just a chance to get work done quickly. Many young couples could start courting at a gathering like this. It was an opportunity for unattached men and women to meet in a well-chaperoned environment. Perhaps young men might have vied for the attention of a specific young woman or girls may have flirted with handsome young men showing off as they swung across rafters, or stepped boldly over wide beams high above the ground.
I wonder if Primrose Perkins will meet her match at a building party. Only time will tell.  I hope you'll be watching for Prim: A Needful Bride in the near future and see how this new community comes together.

The loss of her father has left Primrose Perkins in need of a way to provide not only for herself but also for her mother and sister. It also gives her a new and wonderful sense of freedom to discover who she can be.  Will she be able to find a way to ensure that her family will be cared for? Needful Texas is a growing town with growing troubles. Rowdy cowhands, drunken parties, and wealthy ranchers who don’t think they need to become a part of the community. How can Prim, find a home and the help she needs in a town with more men than is good for it? 

If you haven't read any of this series yet please feel free to check out Daliah on Amazon. 

Orphan Daliah Owens has been working for the Smithfield bank for two years without a problem at least until the new manager arrives and her drawer suddenly comes up short. Dismissed from her job and disgraced by a crime she didn't commit, Daliah seeks a second chance with an elderly couple heading to Texas on a wagon train. Facing the hardships of the trail with bravery, compassion, and faith Daliah quickly endears herself to not only her employer but many of the other members of the band as well. Invaluable in her knowledge of herbs for healing and nutrition she is soon recognized as an indispensable helper to all.

Spencer Gaines, still bitter after the loss of his wife is a hard man to talk to, but his five-year-old son Chad, and greatest treasure is more trouble than he can handle. Determined to finally settle down near his brother in Texas Spencer signs on as a chief scout for the wagon train but his duties often lead him far afield leaving Chad to get into so many scrapes they could both well be dismissed.

Will a devastating accident leave Spencer empty and alone forever or will he not only learn to trust God but also give Daliah his heart?

1 comment:

Alicia Haney said...

Thank you for this very interesting and nice post! I think it was very nice how the whole community would get together to help their fellow neighbor when they built a house, the barn raisng seems like it was pretty nice team work. Your books sound like very good reads and the covers are Beautiful! Have a Great evening. God Bless you. aliciabhaney@sbcglobal.net