I always remember being aware of rhythms. Rhythms of the waves, of sand underwater, the kelp swaying with the currents and tides, branches in the breeze, the snow level rising and falling with the seasons. I grew up living on the waters of Puget Sound in Washington State. We camped on the beaches, played in driftwood and boated from southern Puget Sound north into the Canadian San Juan Islands. I learned to snow ski at 4 and water ski at 5. I was a certified NAUI Scuba diver by 15. A friend and I would camp for a week around the Sound in our 16 foot runabout, the only rules were to cook on shore and sleep in the boat. Clams, crabs and fish~ oh my! My connection to rhythms was felt in the waters while diving, watching the fish move back and forth as the underwater waves constantly moved them around as the sole would wait in line to be stroked on their backs. When skiing on snow or water the rhythm is in the turns, the breathing, tensioning and releasing. When I’m not skiing I enjoy teaching others to ski and sharing the rhythm.
Texture, color and shape form a living rhythm. Only man expects to see straight lines in things he tries to follow or control.
The rhythm of life and family took over in 1970 when April and I married. In 1974 we started adding to our family. We camped and hiked in the Olympic Mountains and on the beaches of Dabob Bay. Our kids grew up outdoors as we had. Water was always involved.
I started working in my trade as a carpenter in 1974. One of the first things I was taught was at the end of the day you stopped and looked back at what you had accomplished. The rhythm of the building process. The beginning of my working with wood. I felled and peeled trees to build our log home in 1975. We started Woodhouse Construction in 1982 and incorporated in 1984.
In 1994, for health reasons we moved to Lincoln, Montana. We built our store/apt. for Summit Seekers Inc., a snowmobile sales, service and rental business we started. We figured this was a good move because we had never even owned a snowmobile and my closest friend lived in Bigfork. We did the snowmobiles for about 8 years while continuing with custom home building through the fall of 2015.
We bought 20 acres on Cooper Lake in 2004 and in 2006 put up a yurt that we enjoyed almost every weekend until we moved in full time for a year while we built our final home in 2009. We enjoy the mountain views, sounds from the creek, the changing seasons, cycling of wildlife, huckleberries that the bears share with us and all of nature’s creatures. When we see the first turkey in the spring, we know the bears are about 2 weeks behind. When the lake ice turns, our summer neighbors will start to show. Rhythms. Our ground is steep and the snow gets deep, a reasonable price to pay to live in this unique setting. We walk down to the lake to fish and swim with grand kids, to water ski in the mornings or to lay in the boat feeling the rhythm of the lake. All my senses fill with memories of our journey.
After 40 plus years my body is saying no more building. I was fortunate to reconnect with my mother’s old tools and the stump rising through the snow in 2013. Revealing Rhythms in Wood is the same rhythm I feel when I water ski or sense the seasons change. The process takes me to places that have always been. Connecting and sharing them is my rhythm.