No place like home

Our story so far: My husband and I spent many months renovating a 126-year-old Methodist church into a residence, and we were getting close to wrapping up refinishing the original wood floors.

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Chapter 33

We had spent so many months thinking of the church as a work site, a project, a financial puzzle and unending to-do list, we had forgotten it was our home.

Home. The very word makes a person breathe easier. This place—this sawdusty, tool-infested, unfinished blank slate—was going to be our home, a place of refuge, a thing of beauty, a space to put up our feet and enjoy a roasty cup of coffee or an ice cold beer.

There was a moment at the beginning of summer after we’d finally squished the spiral stairway into the church and erected it in the corner, a moment when I was reminded, ah, yes, this place was going to be something special.

And then we went back to sanding floors.

unfinished railing
When we were gone for a long weekend, the metalworkers brought the almost-finished railing to the church for final measurements. You can see the basket spindles are still unpainted here.

But, as fortune had it, we went with the same spiral stairway company to fabricate our balcony railing. And when they installed the railing at few weeks later, those same feelings came rushing back. I think it was the instant gratification. Instead of building 150 walls or applying twenty coats of paint or driving back and forth to Home Depot, the railing got installed in less than two hours, and then it was finished. All that was left for us to do was dust it.

“This is really ours,” Tyler said to me as we sat by ourselves in our rolling office chairs in the great room at the end of the day.

“It’s going to be beautiful,” I said.

“Yup.”

We were in a good place, figuratively as well as literally. As we coasted down the side of the mountain that was finishing the floors, we had something finished to admire at the end of many days.

finished railing
Here’s a shot of the finished balcony railing. If you look closely in this “Where’s Waldo” picture, you’ll find the two office chairs in the great room Tyler and I frequently used to admire our work at the end of the day.

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Tomorrow: Summer flowers. See them here.

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