Our story so far: My husband celebrated his birthday with a litany of complaints about the enormity of the church conversion project we had taken on.
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Tyler’s birthday wasn’t the only occasion that week overshadowed by work at the church. A few days after Tyler aged another year, we celebrated a milestone wedding anniversary: Ten years.
Since we were buying things for the church like Home Depot shopping addicts, we agreed we didn’t need to exchange gifts for our anniversary, but I requested earlier in the month that we mark the occasion by going out to eat. Tyler obliged by making dinner reservations.
When our anniversary arrived, I realized I would be spending the entire day on my hands and knees. Hand-washing every square foot of wood floors in the church so Tyler could apply the last two coats of polyurethane before we left for the weekend.
If I didn’t do this, all the dust and tiny paint splatters on the floors would be forever encased in a layer of shellac, reminding me of my sloth and sloppiness.
I donned a pair of kneepads and began on the second floor. It was about 10 o’clock, and at this point, I was sure we would not achieve our goal because the floor of the sanctuary was still covered in ram board, miscellaneous cabinets and tools. But while I washed the pine upstairs, Tyler and his hired man St. Johnny cleared and vacuumed the sanctuary so by 1:30 when I finished the upstairs and the main floor master suite, I moved to the enormous empty open-floor-plan great room.
I earned a repetitive-stress strain in my shoulder by performing the same sweeping wiping motion with a wet rag a thousand times. Hand mopping sawdusty floors required me to refill my wash bucket several times for each room. Remember, at that point, the only running water in the church was in the basement. So I made many trips up and down two flights of stairs. I also scraped off paint splatters where I found them, so I carried sharp implements in my pockets (which, not infrequently, poked me, too). Fortunately, our painter prepped well, so there were few drops of paint to remove.
I finished washing at 4 o’clock, just in time for a much-needed shower before dinner, while Tyler wrapped up the first coat of polyurethane (to be specific, it was the third coat in total, but it was the first of the final two coats—if you’re counting down, which believe me, we were).
We dined on steak and pasta, which we most definitely earned.
The next morning, we surveyed the results before Tyler applied the final coat of polyurethane and we decamped elsewhere and left it all to dry. The way everything looked was the best anniversary gift ever. In the morning sun with the lights on, the kitchen literally glowed. The sawdust and tools were gone, and the floors gleamed.
I tiptoed around in my bare feet, taking pictures like a pro with both our phones so we could share the results with every last person we might encounter over the long weekend. We were so proud of ourselves. The pain and effort were worth it.
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Tomorrow: What time is it? No more guessing. Read about about it here.