Rock and a fortress

Our story so far: Five months into the renovation of a 126-year-old Methodist church into our home, spring arrived.

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Chapter 24

Our church renovation project was beginning to look like the list of traditional gifts one should give one’s spouse for wedding anniversaries. We’d put the paper year behind us when we dumped a ton of it during the demolition phase. We’d observed the precious metals years by replumbing and rewiring the church. And wood? Tyler and crew handled innumerable two-by-fours in building walls and ceilings. We’d skipped over the crystal and china years to land squarely in the stone years.

heavy equipment
Pouring liquid stone.

Sheetrock, for example. It was the brand name for our drywall. Sheetrock. And what’s concrete anyway? Concrete, of which we’d poured yards for the foundation walls of our garage and would pour many yards more, was a substance created from gravel and cement that dries rock hard. Speaking of gravel, Tyler spent two days using his cousin’s dump truck to haul load after load of gravel from a nearby gravel pit for the base of the garage foundation.

One can’t build one’s home solidly, as we aspired to do, without stone. What’s more solid than stone? It was bricks, after all, that stymied the huffing, puffing Big Bad Wolf. Our church structure was built on a sixteen-inch-thick foundation of field stones.

Now, as we executed the interior design of Church Sweet Home, stone in some form or another played an important role. First decisions to make were about the fireplace.

Somehow, we managed to neglect the fireplace in our Tequila Budget. Might have been the tequila we were drinking at the time, but we were probably more drunk with excitement in those first heady days of dreaming about buying a church.

Of course, we were going to have a fireplace. It wasn’t one of those bad-news budget-breakers like redoing all the heating and cooling ductwork. And it wasn’t one of those great ideas we added to the project midstream like the balcony. Nope, we just forgot about the centerpiece of our great room when we were planning our great room. Duh.

Unfortunately for the budget, a fireplace isn’t like register covers (another one of those things we neglected to think of when we were figuring our figures). A fireplace costs big bucks, and we weren’t likely to find the gigantic one we wanted on Craig’s List.

So the Tequila Budget took another hit when we shopped for a fireplace.

Maybe we’d burn it at some point.

In the fireplace.

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Tomorrow: It’s only the genuine article for us. Maybe not natural, but genuine. Read about it here.

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