Where've I Been {...of Church Renovations and Gardening}

Where have I been this week? Doing my work and my Preacher's work, while he does God's work, which in this case includes a whole lot of manual labor...

We have been deep in the throes of renovations for a year now, downstairs at our church building. A kitchen was demo'ed, relocated across the hall in what used to be nearly unusable space. That space is now the most beautiful church kitchen!

Three new nurseries were added, to keep up with our population explosion...

That was phase one.

Phase two was to add a cafe to the whole south end of the basement. Well...a large, multipurpose room, with a counter, bar stools, tables and chairs and a multimedia wall...

...okay, really just a place to hang. We Harvesters are hanger-outers. And coffee fiends, the whole lot of us.

Here is a before shot:

You had to step up into the space. By the time this shot was taken, there was already a sense of improvement and expansion, because a part of a wall had been blown out, there to the left.

Another before. By this time, another wall had been blown out (hence the two temporary poles) and two smaller rooms were one large room. The raised floor had been demo'ed, and the old oak floor donated to our son-in-lawJonathan Howe for his artisan-frame making...since he (and the other son-in-love) have given, and are giving, many hours of hard labor towards this blessing!

And if you buy one of J-Howe's landscapes in the future, it just might come to you framed in an old oaken Harvest Church floor...how beautifully cool is that?

Here is a shot from about mid-way into this project...

And now, we are almost done! This shot only shows you 1/4th of this huge new space. New wood floors...lots of beautiful light...just a huge room...which will see many conversations, small gatherings, Bible classes, English-as-a-second language classes, lots of celebrations...and art workshops!

Compare the first shot with this one, above, for a small sense of the big change in this space!

...as is always the unintended but inevitable result of my Preacher having to work 65 hour weeks (maybe more? I truly am probably being conservative...) I have to do, here at home, everything he would otherwise do for me.

...like plant the entire garden. The raised beds weren't hard...(I have Kentucky Wonder pole beans, lettuce, and lavender in mine...when I open my bedroom door, which opens onto a deck, right next to the raised beds, you can smell the lavender, and the tea olive bush. Heaven...)

This was hard, I won't lie. I couldn't get the whole space in the frame properly, but I sort of singlehandedly weeded, planted, mulched, and treated (organically) the entire garden this year, as well as worked a fine layer of bone meal into the whole thing. I also created (weed mat, stakes) and mulched the path that goes through the center of it, and another small path leading to the raised beds.

And planted up all my containers (this shot is obviously very un-styled...my garden boots are where I left them yesterday, as well as my little sit-n-scoot wagon I use for the sit-down jobs)

We have patio tomatoes, strawberries, ferns, and even an azalea topiary back here. We had a storm, just before this picture was taken. So add "sweep away and pick up storm debris" to my chore list. Sigh.

And the butterfly garden still needs weeding and mulching...

But first, I will stop here...with my Bible and a cup of coffee...I will stop long enough to thank God for the health and strength to do my work, and what would ordinarily be the Preacher's work...

...so that God's people can have the blessing of a newly renovated church basement!

Grace and Peace,

Sheila Atchley

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