It's quiet here in my common room on Vermont Street, the living room part of our new home that is open to kitchen and eating areas. Jake is off playing at Devon's, who has digital games. (Jake recently informed Maxine and me with great frustration that he is the last child in America without any digital games or direct TV. He'll live.) The rain on our metal roof is the steady and quiet white noise of today's background, adding to an atmosphere of rest. The wood stove pops and sends out a warm embrace.Maxine says I sprained my back on Mt. Hood yesterday in part because it was so clear that I could use a day or two just being. Just being on the couch. Ice has become my good friend all day. I realize it's been 3 weeks from my last post, and the "remember me" function on the host page doesn't remember me. I'm thinking it is just being snarfy. Now would be a good time for catching up a tad.A great nagging concern during the construction of this home was that when completed, it would not meet my standards. In our career at New Energy Works Timber Frame Homes, we've done fine work. We've been blessed with great clients, and they've expressed their thanks and their enjoyment of the home. But I simply did not know what to expect upon moving into one of our works, deep inside.

I am blown away by what we have created, of what we do as a company.

My irrationally high bar has been reached. Maxine agrees. ( Jake too, although he wishes it was closer to Devon.) Maxine has been saying that she feels like she is house sitting for someone very special, and that soon they are coming home, and we will be asked to leave. In late evening I sit and gaze at the sculpture in which we live and watch shadows, space and tone.

The house welcomed us and our family for our Christmas gathering. Sure there were packing boxes about, and we certainly didn't know how to work everything. People cut you a lot of slack in moments like this. The new space shone through the chaos.Now the holiday season ends. We're back to work finishing a thousand details and the studio next door. Maxine cooks fresh pirogies for the gang and Val sees his chance to deconstruct the ginger bread house, leaving only teeth marks.