2019 was a year of "division". No matter which side is "right", a country divided will not be able to service its peoples' needs. On local levels, many have come together to address community needs of hunger, housing, and family security. Every home has its own personality and bundle of stories. Once completed, it is part of the foundation that starts a new life journey.
As we leave 2018 behind, we enter in to 2019 with new hopes and many dreams. Much of 2018 was navigating through uncharted waters with monster forest fires, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, scandals, trade disputes, shutdowns, elections, new Supreme Court Justices, families looking fore a more secure future, and the search for the "truth". There is plenty of need to be addressed.
Across form he Hunt's Hollow Ski Area just north of Naples, John and Jamie Ketz found a small hill farm that resembles a New England farmstead complete with stone fences, deep stream gorges and waterfalls.
We welcomed in 2017 as we racked up over 45 inches of snow, making it 20 times the amount of snow we had last year at this time. With more winter to come, it will help with the water table, as the past summer was a very dry one with many drilling new wells. The election is over, and the winners may find it easier to get elected, than it is to govern. Alexander Hamilton was a great believer of this so let's see what happens.
We celebrated the first part of 2016 by completing the mechanicals and finishing touches on Jim and Elva Martin's custom Real Log Home saltbox located just south of Binghamton, NY. We offset the main girder from the ridgeline to give added space in the second floor for a bedroom and loft space.
Where is the winter in the Northeast? As of January 31, 2015, there has been little measurable snow and little bitter cold to deal with. Let's see what El Nino has in store for 2016. There will be an election in 2016 so the main show and several sideshows have emerged. The volley of words (including personal attacks) is extreme; and I sure hope some of the real issues that need to be addressed will be debated. There continues to be much unrest throughout the world as good families are being ravaged by war and power struggles.
Through the spring and summer of 2015, Dave Mathiason and Bill Ball continued to work on Mathiason's Southern Tier Retreat adding a wood stove, interior walls, kitchen, plumbing, electric, and finished ceilings. It is at a point now where if the winter does decide to set in, Dave has it pretty nice.
As we come to the close of 2014, it is surprising how fast this year has gone. The country has gone through another round of elections, and there is hope the new Congress will address many of the main issues like immigration and budgets. Civil unrest, here, and throughout the world, leave much to be done.
We started 2014 with finishing Gretchen Voss's camp north of Naples. All the planning finally came together, and the family's retreat will provide an opportunity to enjoy the area for years to come.
As we look back on 2013, the Senate passed a comprehensive "immigration reform" bill and a farm bill only to have the house not address immigration and split the food aid side from ag programs of the farm bill. Everyone is trying to figure out what "health care" reform means without addressing the additional number of general practitioners needed and limiting litigation settlements (tort reform), We saw much of the country suffering far less from drought; but there were several local weather related disasters that placed many in peril. The economy appears to be recovering and with that, a renewed interest in home building.
As 2012 closes, we can say we survived another "painful" election and sent our choices to Washington to do the "business of government". the hope is that the "fiscal cliff" of its aversion doesn't throw the countr'y economy off the deep end. The Year 2012 was spent completing projects started in 2011 which are both featured in the Real Log Home Calendar for 2013 (June and August).
The year 2011 had a "wet" late spring followed by a bone-dry late summer and a mixed fall. Winter has still to hit the Northeast. Both Europe and Japan had "meltdowns" while elected officials here struggled, at best, to address the real issues, posturing for self-interest instead. 2011 will be another year of politics.
In March, we celebrated the completion of Curt and Patty James' Real Log Home in Naples, NY with an open house to share with the public. For Curt, the shorter drive to school has been a blessing and Patty seems to like the "wind-down" time she has coming back from Strong.
The year 2009 was one that the world stepped back to try to get its "house" in order. It has and is a "new experience" for many. Credit and investment markets had run on speculation and are now finding themselves without enough equity to stay afloat. Government spending will take generations to recapture; and any job is of value. The world is yet smaller; and there will be another 2 billion people (30% more) to feed and care for.... in just 40 short years.
In 2009, Real Log homes with their sister company, Timberpeg Post and Beam, did some reorganizing and combined the administrations and production under one roof in West Lebanon New Hampshire. A new model will be constructed utilizing both the timber frame and log materials.
"May you live in exciting times", would pretty well capture 2010. We were all glued to the drama of the Chilean miners finding their way back to family and a future, truly a miracle. The economy, while very difficult for many, did provide opportunity for others as the stock market rebounded and banks rest their practices. Politics had many sounding boards and yet the need to find common ground is the largest challenge to move policy ahead.
Curt and Patti James began dreaming of a log home 20 years ago; then last year, their daughter was married at Garrett Chapel on the Bluff just below Penn Yan. The family celebration at "A Beautiful Place" log home rental overlooking Keuka Lake.
Ed Schoen has been building homes since 1976 and writing about them since 1997.