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154 year old Pennsylvania church converted to a home & artist workshop studio

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To say this project is a big one is a serious understatement. The amount of hours spent on everything we are doing is just mind boggling.

Over the last few weeks I've been spending all my time actually living and working in our home. It's fantastic when I wake up at four in the morning and feel the urge to scrape, paint, scrub or organize something. There are still thousands of staples in the floor that need pulling, piles here and there of old split wood that had been stapled and nailed to the original floor and don't even get me started on the radiators.

When I wake up, I make my bed. I do all the normal things that normal people do when they get up in the morning, but then these huge, never-ending projects take over. They push things like floor sweeping, dusting window sills, even bathroom cleaning to the very last entry on my to-do list. By the way, my to-do list is four long pages of tiny writing.

So when a friend was going to come up to help me paint, we do what we normally do when a friend is popping in, we clean. Then it hits me, like a ton of bricks, how do you clean something this huge while it's a constant construction site with so many projects happening? There really isn't a way.

Grabbing one of our many big floor brooms I started visiting several piles, starting around the east entrance. That's the one we use the most. There was a pile of dirt on the floor. Actual dirt. Soil. I had spilled it while filling up giant pots that hold giant ferns in I was planting the other day. Or was it the other week? Anyway, it was still on the floor. Something I would never do in my normal house, but when this happened I remember thinking about just how far away the broom and dust pan was. It was in the loft which is a whole other world of dirty.

Attacking the piles I made good progress until I stepped on some staples still sticking out under one of the windows. I'm a bare foot kind of girl and even though I know better, I am very guilty of walking around with no shoes or slippers on. Mistake. Big mistake.

Limping back to the bathroom I'm thinking about when my last tetanus shot was. Making a mental note to get one soon, I get in our well used first aid kit and go heavy on the antibacterial ointment. And now my piles of dirt and broom are forgotten because I get a good look at the sink. Shocking! Where did the bathroom cleaners get put while I was putting the floor down the other day? Or was it months ago?

Sidetracked is a good word for it. There are so many wonderful, hideous, delightful, drudgery and never ending distractions in this place, it's hard for me to keep focused on the task at hand. Plus, when doing one project too long, something on my body starts to hurt. It's time to switch to a new task to rest my neck, arms, legs, stomach and even my backside!

Coming out of the semi-cleaned bathroom I take a loving look at this magnificent building. I can see it finished in my mind, glistening from front to back and side to side, all the way up to the soaring arches of the ceiling that made me fall in love with it in the first place. I smile. It's perfect as it is. Just like it was perfect for decades and decades before. Just as it will be for hopefully decades to come.

I make my way back up to the stage to pick up a brush and a roller and begin painting again. The piles of dirt and booby traps of staples can wait. I'll just tell my friend to keep her shoes on.

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