Our story so far: My husband and I purchased a 126-year-old Methodist church, demolished the interior and rebuilt it back into our dream home.
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My sister, who followed my every move on Facebook with enthusiasm (like a good sister should), had been privy throughout the construction of the church to a string of secret pictures and previews. Frequently, she implored: “More pictures.” So I obliged. It was easy, thanks to Verizon and smart phones. When we talked, the church and our work was all I could prattle about.
But until October, she and her family hadn’t seen any of it in person. She and my brother-in-law were busy people, parents to three busy boys, and they lived seven or eight hours north of our little renovation project. Finally, a long weekend break—and the prospect of an operational bathroom and guest bed—offered the perfect opportunity for four of them—my oldest nephew was off to college—to pay us a little visit.
Sister came bearing more of Dad’s homegrown apples and an obscene amount of Halloween candy. And gushing. Lots of gushing. Music to my ears. Even the fifteen-year-old, who probably couldn’t care less about Auntie’s crazy church house, was complimentary. And my ten-year-old—a doll! He carved a Halloween jack-o-lantern to decorate my church sign.
But despite the string of pictures I’d shared with her, few of them were “before” shots. Nothing to brag about there. After seeing our work in all its semi-finished glory, she wanted to be reminded of how far we’d come, so I dragged her up to my office and took her down memory lane with a slide show on my computer. Printed photos? So last century. Check out these pixels of dust, paneling and old carpeting. This is what this place used to look like.
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Dear reader, I’m going to take this opportunity to remind you of how far we’ve come in a year. Tyler and I closed on the old church just shy of a year ago, and the changes have been immense. So for the next 10 days or so, I’m going to take a break from the memoir-in-progress and tell the story in before-and-after photos. Whenever possible, I’ll try to use the same perspective in the “after” shot as I did long ago in the “before.”
Let’s begin with a look at the church as you drive up:
Tomorrow: Front door. See it here.