Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Ugliest Wallpaper in the world is gone and a 14 year promise is fulfilled!

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The Ugliest Wallpaper in the world is gone and a 14 year promise is fulfilled!
We had worked hard to complete the work on that first house we had bought.  It was 1995.  We had never done any work on something that we could call our own.  Up to that time we were always working on someone else’s place… the Church Manse/Parsonage.

The Church Manse was always a mess after the last fellow left it. It seems that the men that had served in the church prior to our coming were not very good with a hammer or screw driver – or any tool for that matter.

The other problem which was more likely the truth – they were all too busy with the work they were called to do at the church.

There was always a promise that someday we can make the changes here or there in the old houses. But it never happened.

That someday only came when we moved in to the old houses and started making them livable.

In one previous house the pastor and his family loved curry… and the place reeked of the smell that is attached to this favorite dish. That particular pastor also never cleaned up the messes the kids tended to make around their dining room table. The carpeted floor was literally caked with old dry foods from ages past. It makes me shudder to think of how ugly and dirty it was in that house.

The church was small and he should have had time – but he did nothing – or at least it seemed that way.

In that particular house the oven door would no longer stay closed – so a chair had to be propped up against it. Think of cooking on the stove top and leaning forward with one knee on the chair’s sitting part!  The refrigerator’s door was held together with black electrical tape.

The place was an ugly mess!  But when we moved in the wonderful congregation had all the work done before we arrived.

That had been our pattern to doing things for many years. We were asked to come to a church and then either had the church house cleaned up and made ready for us to move in – or in some cases it needed to be completely renovated as was the case in the “curry house”.

Now having that pattern established in your mind made it hard to shift gears when you finally bought your own home.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph – that first home that we owned(with the Bank) was completed before we moved in.  We lived in a “friends” house until I was able to complete most of the work.

That church was very gracious and also not that large – so free time was more possible.

Our second home… 925 Western Ave., Peterborough, Ontario…
In the month of June, 14 years ago right now, a call came to me while I was in northern Canada fishing.  My wife was relaying it from a Minister in Peterborough, Ontario. They were asking me to call back and to possibly consider letting my name stand as a candidate for the position of Pastor at Northview Church.

(I loved that part – they – the congregation came looking for me!  I never went after them… ahem. Sorry that is another story!)

14 years ago this next month we were voted in as the Pastor of the Northview Church.  Whoa! What a rush – a 98.5% vote in favour to come to the church, moving from western Canada to southern Ontario!!!

That meant selling the house that we had renovated and finding another place in Peterborough.

On September 9, 1998 we moved in to our new place… without any renovations done and with super ugly everything!

Unlike the church houses of past we had no one to do the work ahead of time. There was no budget to get it cleaned up and renovated. That money would come in time after we moved in.

September 9th, 1998 – our 31st Anniversary day…
We got the key the keys the day before and opened doors to the “stink” of the shut up house. The moving truck was coming on the 9th. People in the church were coming to help unload their new minister’s stuff (and look it over carefully to see what kind of people they were:-)

One the 8th at night we slept on the floor of the master bedroom.

Alida looked up and said flatly, “This is the ugliest wallpaper I have ever seen!  It has to go!”

I looked at her and laughed, “We will get that done very soon for you! I promise!!!”

The front room floor was covered with a very ugly brown shag carpet that was so dirty that it was stuck down to the underlay and the plywood below. The sticking down was because the previous owner’s Boxer Dogs (2) had peed on the carpet a number of times – then the subsequent carpet cleaning had made it even worse! Gag me!  The carpet had to go!

Room after room we worked on the house until it was livable! It took 14 years to do that.

But one part had not changed in 14 years… the ugliest wallpaper in the world was still on the Master Bedroom walls!!!

Last week the wallpaper was stripped and the new coat of undercoat paint was applied. This past few days the first coat of the new paint and paintable wallpaper(one wall) was applied. In the next few days the last coat of paint will go on! Whew.

Yesterday when Alida woke up she stated, “That was the best sleep I have ever had… under my new room’s decorations!”

Why tell this story today?

In this Blog I try to celebrate Big and Little things for my readers.

Paint and Wallpaper – a celebration?

You better believe it!

A few days ago I married a young couple that made some huge promises to each other at that special place in time.

45 years ago I did the same for and to my young wife. I promised that “I would take care of it.” – whatever “it” was!

Now the Ugliest Wallpaper in the world is gone and a 14 year promise is fulfilled!

Yippee! Double Wahoo! It is done!  Does that ever feel good!!!!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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