Playing dress up begins at age 5 and never truly ends

Our story so far: Phase Five of finishing details had arrived at the old Methodist church we were turning into our home. Chapter 38 concludes.

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Besides installing shelving in all the various cabinets we’d installed in the church, we needed closet rods before we could start moving in.

We reused the closet rods that came with the hall closet, and Tyler hung a standard closet rod in the upstairs closet in a matter of minutes. The master walk-in closet, with nearly twenty-five feet of horizontal hanging space, required a bit more effort.

Tyler was inspired to use half-inch steel plumbing pipe for rods. It was strong, cheap and eminently customizable. I liked the industrial vibe so much, I’d chosen cabinet pulls and closet light fixtures to match. I spent one evening researching standard closet measurements in order to achieve the most efficient use of space. One morning, Tyler operated his measuring tape inside the closet and dictated measurements to me. He ordered pipe fittings online, and he called up the nearby Big Box store to have pipes cut and threaded to size.

When everything arrived, we laid it all out on the bedroom floor, a bit confused about where to begin. Which pipes were forty-two inches long and where were the forty-four-inch ones? Is this one a vertical pipe or a horizontal pipe? Which pieces do we screw together first?

After the first attempt, we realized we needed more five-way pipe fittings. Oh, and the ceiling and floor weren’t perfectly parallel, so we’d have to have some of the pipes shortened a bit (which the plumber handled for us on site with his pipe cutter-and-threader—his tool probably has a different name, but this was its function). As with all construction projects, this one also required a bit of grunting and sweating, but the stud finder and electric drill came in handy. As far as items on the Honey-Do list went, this one was pretty easy. Presto, change-o, the plumbing pipe turned into closet rod.

pipe flange
That thing used to attach the pipe to the wall is called a flange. The thing a girl learns in a construction project.
closet rods
If you think the size of this closet is extravagant, wait until you see the size of Tyler’s TV.

I had lived for two years in a camper or a tiny rental house, neither of which had more than a few feet of clothes hanging space. I had been pretty proud of myself to downsize like that. In truth, I had gotten rid of a lot of out-of-fashion and ill-fitting items, but several boxes of really nice clothes had been packed away, waiting patiently to be worn again. I was in heaven, admiring something as simple as closet rods.

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Tomorrow: Chapter 39 begins: Everything that’s wrong with the church. Read it here.

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