House Story, Chapter 12


Here I am with my newborn. I recently brought something into the world that never before existed. The delivery was touch ‘n go and not without a few tense moments. Seeing it was my first attempt, I had no way of knowing whether the form I prepared would withstand the pressure…and the birthing weight of 70 pounds.

Other vital statistics in inches: Length 33 – Depth 19 – Thickness 1.5. Color: gray, leaning toward charcoal, depending on the light. Surface: ultra-smooth and hard as a rock…actually, cured concrete. Hidden feature: a sheet of wire mesh tucked as a middle layer, making it strong enough to withstand the weight of a semi-truck (don’t know that for sure, however).

Cement Top&Cabinet

We created this cement slab to hold a white vessel sink and a new faucet. I built the soon-to-be-painted cabinet using old shelves rescued from the basement of the house we’re rehabbing, plus plywood pieces my childhood buddy Wally tossed my way. I salvaged the oak floor from the former parsonage of First Congregational Church (UCC) in Rochester, MI, a few days before the fire department torched it as part of a training program.

Though probably not as adventuresome as skydiving, casting a cement countertop is not for the faint-hearted. This modest creation, however, pales in comparison to some of the projects you can find online. In hindsight, it’s a lot easier to go the kitchen department of a Home Depot or Menards, point to a sample of granite or quartz, and let them do the job from start to finish.

Yet, having birthed a countertop, I know why—emotionally—I’m more drawn to the creation story in Genesis 2 than I am to the more familiar creation account in Genesis 1. In the second story, God is close to the ground. God’s hands get dirty. Fingers manipulate dirt and dust. Nails get chipped. Knuckles get scraped. That which existed as undefined raw material, is fashioned by God’s hands and presented to the world—the human being.

Now . . . if only I can behold every human being as God does.

[For previous installments of A House Story go to and pull down the CATEGORIES menu and select A House Story]  




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  1. Rosanne November 2, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    As good as the picture is, it doesn’t do justice to this unique countertop. It has an amazing texture and finish not visible here.

    Great work on this special delivery!

  2. Jim Henderson November 3, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Thanks Dr. Plasman for a wonderful delivery!

  3. Marge November 3, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    I see all of your posts as pages in a devotion book. The idea that God got “down and dirty” just to make humans and me is somehow encouraging. When I am emotionally bruised, scraped, and dirty, it is enough that God did the same for me. The next day I can dust myself off and try again.

  4. carol November 4, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    congratulations Dan – looks beautiful – you r making great progress. Rehabbing a house is not for the faint of heart but many of us have survived. Cheering you two on!

  5. Judy Atwater November 5, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    Bravo Dan! Bravo God!