April 2003

From the Editor
    The Issue at Hand

High Anxiety

Lately, I find myself feeling a lot of anxiety. I attribute this anxiety to three things: all the talk about our nationís poor economy, the imminence of going to war with Iraq and the fact that Iím nearly 35 weeks pregnant with twin boys. 

Iím sure many of you are familiar with the talk about the economy and especially how it is now impacting the home-building market. Even while other markets have been hit hard by the poor economy, the home-building market has remained strong. 

However, now the poor economy is starting to rear its ugly head even in the home-building industry. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has reported recently that new-home sales fell below the million-unit mark for the first time in six months this January, slowing 15 percent from December 2002ís record-high pace to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 914,000 units. This was the slowest pace of new-home sales since January 2002.

The NAHB is supporting President Bushís ten-year, $665 billion economic-growth package, which the association hopes will help move the economy forward by providing a much-needed, near-term stimulus to consumer spending and capital investment.

The possibility of (as the news casters put it) the imminence of a war with Iraq, has been tied to how the economy will fair in the coming months. Some analysts say that a war would improve the nationís economy, and others have the opposite opinion. Many of us also worry about the war and how it will affect business. I know many of you employ reservists or National Guardsmen, and while you understand and support the need for them to defend our nation, you are concerned about how war could impact your company financially.

Personally, I worry that my husband, who returned in late July from a deployment in Egypt, will be called up again, as Iím sure many of you who have loved ones in the active military, reserves or National Guard, are worrying too. 

With the economy and a potential war weighing on my mind, my husband and I also are about to embark on a whole new step in life: we will shortly be welcoming our twin boys into the world. 
One thing I can say is that while Iím on maternity leave for two months, I will not worry about SHELTER. Now, before you say, ďI canít believe she just wrote that,Ē please read on. The magazine will be in the extremely capable hands of managing editor Penny Beverage. Penny will be editing the May and June issues of SHELTER

Please donít hesitate to let Penny know if there is something you would like covered in an upcoming issue. You can e-mail her at

I look forward to hearing from all of you in a couple of months. 

Samantha Carpenter, editor 




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