I always tell people that in our 36 years of marriage, we’ve been in some kind of construction project 33 of those years, or so it seems. I will say that as we’ve aged things have NOT changed a lot ! We are currently in the throes of a sunroom project that will give us a relaxing view of our pines, wild life, and sunsets. What has changed as we’ve aged is that every once in a while I can talk Ernie into paying someone else to do the work! Emphasis on “every once in a while.”

Some of Ernie’s bigger projects have been building a barn and house, remodeling two 100+ year old houses—one for us, one as our former B&B, and beginning the restoration of an 1800s log house in our home area of central Pennsylvania.

Things have definitely slowed down in our life in The Black Hills. But not to a standstill! During our time in SD Ernie has built me a sewing studio in the back of our garage, finished the inside of our little log guest cabin, built a roof over our back deck, using log posts that he harvested from our property. But his favorite pastime at this stage of life is “putzing” in his workshop. He can spend the day whiling away the hours working on one or more of his fun projects.

One of the many perks of being married to a woodworker is that no matter what project I dream up, he’s always willing to oblige. Sometimes it gets “put on the list” and sometimes it’s tackled right away.   But either way, it gets done.

As I walked around the house today taking stock of the many treasures Ernie has made, I was once again in awe of his craftsmanship. I often tell him he is a master carpenter, but he declares that no one is a master at anything–a testament to the humble man that he is.

Our daughter has created Ernie an Instagram account , and you can follow him @custer_wood_putzer. (Don’t you LOVE it?)


~Ernie and Kathy Mowery are the owners of Dakota Dream B&B & Horse Hotel in Custer, SD.  Check us out when you’re planning your visit to The Black Hills!


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