Warning: Deadlines are much closer than they appear

Our story so far: After months of dirty demolition and exhausting reconstruction, my husband and I moved into the 126-year-old Methodist church we had turned into our home. But our to-do list was still long.

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Chapter 41

With “move in” checked off the list, Tyler eyed the calendar and began work on the belfry and shortly thereafter, the Garage Mahal.

See, our move in was very unlike any you would ever see on any episode of HGTV. The big reveal on those home improvement programs features flowers on the countertop and pictures on the wall. The project is done done.

no knobs
A drawer is pretty difficult to use without a way to open it.

Our move-in included none of those chocolates-on-the-pillow touches. We had no switch plates. We had no floor registers. We had no cabinet knobs. If we had door knobs, it was only because they were still attached to an original door (of which there were few). Many cabinets and closets had no shelves, and if you’ve ever really bothered to consider your cabinets and closets, they’re pretty useless without shelves. Every vase, every piece of wall art, every basket and organizer I owned was packed in a box or a bin, which were tucked into every available corner waiting to be unpacked.

floor register
Tyler chose distinctive black floor registers for most of the rooms in the church now home. Here’s one that actually got installed.

But Tyler couldn’t concentrate on these details, at least not yet. October was looming large. The days were getting noticeably shorter and cooler. One day, You-Can-Call-Me-Al, who’d worn denim shorts to work on the church all summer, showed up in jeans, and he looked like a different person. The belfry required attention and the garage needed to be built, and Tyler had limited time to get these projects accomplished.

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Tomorrow: Day One of belfry reconstruction. Read about it here.

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