Quiet Time

Saturday is special to all of us, but today is derby day. In England my soccer team Liverpool is playing the city rivals Everton in a hugely anticipated rivalry that stretches back over 100 years. Well hugely anticipated in my house anyway, hence the reason I think that I have been up since 4am. So even though the game starts at 6:30, I have some time before to read and ponder.

With six children,  two dogs, a cat, parakeet, a lizard, fish and the aptly named hamster called rhino, we can get a little busy during the day. So my opportunity for quiet and creative time usually comes before everyone wakes up.

This morning in my hand is a book detailing the work of Walter Gropius, the founder of the legendary Bauhaus design school in German and the mid century modern community that developed near the base of Cape Cod as he accepted a lifetime professorship at Harvard and invited other Bauhaus masters, students and colleagues to join him at "a marvellous piece of earth". 

I'm sure that the troubles that they left behind, and the promise of hope and opportunity that moving to the United States offered and still offers, filled the newly formed emigre community with energy and optimism. As an immigrant myself, and leaving a country I knew well to arrive here in the land of rich opportunity and freedom, I can completely relate to the sense of both optimism and confusion of where do I go and how do I start.

Architects, artists and designers soon joined them in creating a community where mid century masters, living in their works, separated by the trees of the Cape could flourish. Now we are so used to seeing these types of mid century modern designs in communities around the country. I am definitely a sucker for a mid century modern classic and I recently bought and renovated a home in April Sound for this very reason. It made little economic sense, but my emotional homage to this ideal drove my decisions. (My wife has since been a little vocal in pointing out that I have checked this box and have no need to repeat this project). 

Regardless, these homes look a little dated now as the material and technologies they worked with in the late 30's are now fading and have been overtaken by 80 years of developments in construction. However the design principles are what fascinates me. 

It's no secret that I am looking for clients to build a modernist home for in woods or on land away from the city. I trust these clients are coming and so in preparation for meeting one day, I am spending time with my books to understand the passion, motivations  and energies of the innovators of this movement. It's interesting that they ended up in the same Country as me, where their creative freedoms could be expressed. Now I am not equating myself to a pioneer of the modernist movement, after all I am just a builder, but understanding the mindset and culture of the greats is sparking creative home ideas and sketches here on our little table this morning, that won't be possible in 30 minutes once I am again consumed with the life a death struggle of derby day followed by work and family activities.  

This time is precious, and when I have the most development daily. Today I am meeting some new clients and I really enjoy the opportunity for new relationships.  Last night I met a great couple at our home for sale at 1554 Sue Barnett, and I really hope that they decide to let us build for them. We didn't discuss much about their creative influences, but I get the feeling that a project creating, designing and building for them could be really enjoyable.

Later today we are renting a uhaul to pick up a load of donated furniture to deliver to Ed Burford at our favorite place the Sunrise Community Church. Ed has been running this homeless shelter for years and works through the night to then put his wages into feeding and housing up to 250 people without homes during the day. There is an exciting project growing with small businesses like mine and other churches that are just getting drawn to Ed and his cause, so today will also offer the opportunity to serve them. 

Then of course in a house of boys, we will need to get some dirt bike time in. I am not a lover of electronics so as many people know, with our boys we get outside whenever we can to enjoy what GOD has given us. So all things considered a busy day ahead. Hence the quiet moments this morning are being savored and enjoyed. Maybe a little calm before the storm?

I love a little quiet time, what do you do when you can't sleep? 

RTH