Runaway Freight Train… Here and Abroad…

It has been well over three months since the last post–and I must say this has been the most intense, difficult, rewarding and challenging time I can remember since beginning Geobarns almost 30 years ago.  Part of it is the post pandemic building boom–with its perfect storm of pent up demand, ex-urban migration, less travel and more people working from home, and what I would denote as a general shift in lifestyle where our sense of place and belonging has taken on deeper value.  Be that as it may–we have never had this much work in so many places from so many disparate prospects with whom we simply cannot keep up.

On a more personal level–we also celebrated my dad’s centennial birthday (six months late) on August 7th–with all the children, spouses and grandchildren present on Kings Highway for a memorable weekend–my dad and six children and niece in the attached pictures.  Following those are shots from the project in Italy–finally permitted and underway after five years of wading through the Italian bureaucracy…note the massive seismic resistant foundation with all the rebar and the excavation for one of the several bio-pools intended to complement the surrounding permaculture farm and vineyard…now producing grapes!

On the east coast, we are close to completing a studio for David Wax Museum as well as a huge addition in Afton with a companion barn which is the tallest building we have built at over 40’… accented by live edge oak counters and stair treads we milled in my shop at Hightop from trees we took down years ago when building our home here.

We also have three commercial projects going at once here with the almost completed pavilion at Glenmore–accented by the magnificent chandeliers built by another client in western PA (Tuck’d Inn Farm)  We are also scrambling to finish up the massive Kent Island wedding venue project which started months late and has been an arduous race to complete in a timely manner ever since.  It has been a humbling experience to not be able to deliver the building as quickly as we all wished due to severe manpower and material delivery shortages courtesy of the currently insane building environment–and I have spent many sleepless nights with my stomach in knots trying to mitigate and rectify the consequences of the urgent schedule.  This intensity was accentuated by the third commercial project coming online before either of the first two were completed–which is going up in Glen Allen VA just NW of Richmond at Chickahominy Falls, an award winning 500 home/500 acre farm to table community where we have built and are building all the public buildings.  We just “flew in” the trusses last week with a big crane on a stellar day….

For some perspective–all these projects shut down/delayed over a year ago when the pandemic intensified….which I had nicely scheduled to start at 4-6 month intervals from each other…but when the economy came roaring back they all wanted to ramp up at once…so here we are running to catch up already late the day we started….😕

I am beyond grateful to my wife Susanne for her support and patience during this time of constant travel, as well as to my partners Ryan, David and Casey who keep the train on the tracks, and all the wonderful subcontractors and vendors who make this not only possible but still a blessing in the midst of the stress and pressure of this past half year.  Without their care and kindness I simply could not keep on keeping on.