For a long time we wanted to build a Japanese Tea House on our property.

On December 8, 2012 we chose a site in the woods on the side of a hill, next to a small stream.

To commemorate we had an informal tea ceremony.


May 11, 2013

After 6 months of planning and preparation, we were ready to begin.

Our goal is to use only the left over lumber that we have stored since Hurricane Hugo knocked down most of our trees 24 years ago.

We loaded up the logs and took them to the sawmill.

This is the same type of sawmill that we used to build our home after the hurricane.



July 26, 2013

We officially broke ground.


August 3, 2013

Noah came over to help set the corner posts.


August 27

We moved the cedar beams to the site and started constructing the floor system.



September 14

We started on the roof.


September 22 - The 24th Anniversary of Hurricane Hugo.

We brought out the leftover lumber we cut when we built our house and spent the day preparing it for use.


September 24

We used the old pine boards to cover the roof.


September 28

We celebrated a milestone - the roof is on.


September 29

Back to work.


October 1

We will use leftover roofing metal to cover the roof.


October 2

The roof is ready for the metal.


October 11

Time to build the deck.


October 13

Finishing the wall structure.


October 18

Closing in the walls.


Tonight we had our first tea house guest.


October 19

Noah came out and help set the glass doors in place.


October 20

Began putting cedar boards on the exterior walls.


Lookin good.


October 23

Installed the first window.


Celebrating again...


October 25

Mary Anne covers the gable ends.


October 26

We started working on the tokonoma.


October 30

Beginning to get down to small tedious work... Tony cut small trim boards all day until dark.


October 31

Trimmed out the side window.


November 2

Mary Anne cleaned off all the loose bark on the interior and began putting up the interior gable end boards.


November 3

The outside of the tea house is nearly finished.


Our first dinner in the tea house. Not exactly keiseki !


Not our first bonfire.


November 5

Today we installed the glass. Scary job!


November 7

We started on the nijiri-guchi (crawling entrance).


November 9

Finished the nijiri-guchi.


Another excuse to celebrate!


November 10

Installed the paneling.


November 11

Completed the sub-floor today.


November 15

Tony worked on the floor and robuchi...


...while Mary Anne worked on the window frame.


November 17

Finished the toconoma.


November 18

The tea house is basically finished.


and of course, some tea...


November 19



December 4-6

Spend each day, all day, preparing and putting on the 3 layers of stucco.


December 7


December 8, 2013

One year ago today, we sat here and imagined...


A few days of rest, but we still have work to do...

December 14

Tony works on some new tea bowls


December 23

We made the shoji screens

December 25

Look what Santa left under our tree!




We also officially named the tea house:


kansha - "Gratitude"

December 27

Final preparations for our first "official" tea ceremony

Tony makes the required equipment


December 28, 2013

Our "official" opening!

20 friends and family enjoyed an informal Japanese tea ceremony



Thank you


February 2014


March 25, 2014