The morning of September 15, the excavating machine arrived, the champagne was poured. We paused to gather with builders, excavators, our minister and 3 of our newest neighbors to think about what we are doing. Builder, John Mead, of Cellar Ridge Construction captured the moment with these words:

When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us. Let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that women, men and children will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, “See! This our fathers and mothers did for us.”          -John Ruskin (1819-1900)

The pastor of our local church pronounced a blessing.

The pastor of our local church pronounced a blessing.

Then, Debbie and I shared our dream to live in a home that will generate enough power to live on, plus charge our electric car. This is the natural next step on our net-zero journey: we have lived in partially solarized homes since 1978, our Eugene home was 2/3 solarized, our Eugene church has a 28K photovoltaic system and cut its carbon footprint 60% in 2010.

And this groundbreaking is timely: with wild fires still raging at the close of the hottest summer on record, with even the Pope now calling the world to climate justice and the U.S. to step up. In the spring we signed the Paris Pledge, to cut our emissions and help our churches cut theirs to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020, 75% below by 2050. We are putting our money where our mouths are and calling the nations to do the same. We will not be those grandparents who have to face our grandchildren to explain why we didn’t do everything we knew how to do to work for justice and keep for them what’s still left of the immense beauty of this Holy Earth.

It took us two tries, but we smashed the bubbly on the scoop shovel and the earth began to move!!! The old foundation by that persistent fuchsia was first to go, the back floor, the front steps. With amazing precision, the sculptor with the tattoos and the controls carved out the footprint within a half-inch of perfection. In no time, it was finished. The first movement was done!

Then the porta-potty arrived.  A sure sign of legitimacy!  Maybe our best-laid plans weren’t just pipe dreams after all, like going to the throne with high hopes and just passing gas!  It felt like the first movement was done! So here we go!!!


Stay tuned for more!


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