To rats, bats are angels

Our story so far: Reroofer, the guru who helped us fix the roof of the church belfry, showed up to help Tyler install a new header in the space where we intend to build a balcony into the sanctuary.

# # #

Coincidentally, we had another visitor: A bat, circling the ceiling of the sanctuary.

Um, where did he come from?

We went nine weeks without a sighting of anything alive in the church beyond a few spiders. Reroofer repaired the belfry with much noise and commotion. No bats then.

But now, a bat appeared out of nowhere.

Somehow, the bat got into the basement (if you know anything about the flight of bats, you know this is possible, but difficult to describe, what with all the squeezing tight of your eyes and the screaming). St. Johnny and I chased him around for a few minutes, randomly waving brooms in the air and shooing him out of window wells a couple of times, but he refused to find the exit. Suddenly, he flew into the furnace room.

The dark, duct-filled furnace room with a million nooks and crannies where black bats could hide.

“Are you going in there?” St. Johnny asked me.

It was clear St. Johnny wasn’t going in there.

I peeked inside only long enough to determine the bat wasn’t flying around and wasn’t in the window wells, and slammed shut the door. St. Johnny helped me secure it, and I returned upstairs to where Tyler and his helper, Reroofer, were conferring about the header.

“We trapped it,” I said breathlessly.

“Great,” Tyler said, barely looking up from the architect’s drawings. He was focusing on the bigger picture.

Then I spotted the holes in the floor of the sanctuary. The holes led to the furnace room.

Fortunately, we were surrounded by scrap wood in all shapes and sizes. I gingerly slid a couple of boards over the holes.

belfry demo no bat
Initially, we theorized the bat came from this area of the belfry (the second floor of the belfry is behind that shiplap), which St. Johnny demoed the day before the bat appeared, but upon further investigation, there was no evidence, guano or otherwise, that he lived here.

“Well,” I said, dusting off my hands. “I guess he’s the HVAC guys’ problem now.”

I quickly developed three suppositions to comfort me.

One, out of sight, out of mind. The bat was in the furnace room, and I wasn’t.

Two, a bat, which navigates the night with echolocation, is a guide through the darkness. No one wants a bat in their house, but maybe he was a sign. A good sign. A symbol that we were on the right track.

And three, the bat was in our furnace room. He was not in our belfry.

Then the bat disappeared as mysteriously as he had appeared. Days later, the HVAC guys tore apart the furnace room to prepare for the new ducting, but the bat was gone.

# # #

Tomorrow: Tyler and Reroofer proceed with installing a new header on the main floor of the church. Read it here.

3 thoughts on “To rats, bats are angels

  1. […] Our story so far: As reality has caught up with this blog about converting a 126-year-old Methodist church into our home, I’ve run across a few odds and ends that occurred after I wrote about the subject initially. That’s how it goes with a real-time memoir. Sometimes stuff happens after publication. This week I’m sharing a few little stories that will ultimately be integrated into the relevant location in the memoir. Think of this as the time in the novel—especially a mystery novel—when you page back to reread a few passages to remind yourself about what’s going on. Here’s a conclusion for Chapter 15. […]


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