Timber Frame!

"Severe storm hits Portland area," read the Sunday Oregonian. It went on with this first paragraph: "A short but severe thunderstorm Saturday afternoon killed one person, cut power to about 30,000 people, capsized two sailboats, clogged traffic and knocked over trees across the Portland area."

We were okay, and feeling a bit strange/lucky/special when the storm hit at about 3:30, not ten minutes after I had raised a glass in thanks and good cheer to all who had just helped cut and raise a timber frame home that will be my family's personal shelter, New Energy Work's western show home, a LEEDS-H Platinum candidate and a culmination of the design and craft-intensive building we have worked so hard to achieve over the last 25 or so years.

That's a great deal to ask of these posts and beams, of these craftsmen, of this design process. And the timber frame represents not only an important structural and visual element, but the very real and symbolic backbone of our effort, expressed and to be seen by all who may.

So it is that we make a big deal of raising day. Lots of people came for a bit or longer. We shared hot coffee and muffins in the morning, soup and bread at lunch, a beer and glass of wine as we toasted the day's work. We watched skilled joiners and frame climbing. We dodged a few showers and that one smallish wicked tempest. And generally, we appreciated the building of shelter.

Can't help but send some thanks: Nick Harville and Rogue Breweries for extraordinary beer. Susi and Chris from Christopher Bridge Winery for a case of pinot gris and pinot noir, both recent double gold winners. Oops, all gone. Marco's for soup. Yes. Daughter Sierra who came down from Seattle and high school chum Bill who came up from Ashland. Corrie for organizing and cheering. Dean and Irene's tents and photos. John Santana for a subtle hand on the crane.

For years people have told me our co-workers at New Energy Works are special. Saturday I got to see our newer Mcminnville group step up to their own plate. Val, Doug, Adam and Justin got the stage call. They didn't disappoint. And of course Iain Harrison, our manager out here who preceded me west from Farmington, kept the pace and the humor. Nos vidas son buenas, por supuesto!