And so it begins…..
The first time we set eyes on what we had purchased – a decrepit old building in need of lots of love and attention, I felt overwhelmed and dismayed. But with the encouragement of my energetic and hardworking husband, we cut back the weaving tendrils of an incredibly tenacious plant, pried open the doors, and began our work and vision. What followed was several days of cleaning out, cleaning up, and thanks to the locals, hauling away of years of leftover stuff from stage sets, meetings, meals, etc., all which we carefully shifted through and gleaned for anything of value. We vacuumed, swept, dusted, mopped and removed bird’s nests, oil cloth curtains full of just-awakening wasps, and a multitude of bug bodies. Outside, around the building, we pruned bushes and trees of all sorts; and later Heidi helped keep the poison ivy at bay spraying it every few weeks all summer. In the kitchen area, I emptied the cupboards and drawers, discovering 84 coffee cups (I counted them!), various matched and unmatched dishes, cutlery, and pots and pans – some big enough to feed a crowd. I sprayed bleach into the spaces littered with the years of mice activity and sorted the dishes to be soaked and washed later. We decided to attempt some painting, so we scraped – the paint peeling off in sheets – and primed part of the south facing exterior clapboards, and part of the front wall, so the building looked as if it had been dipped in milk. Steve began the process of spraying Boram, a solution which is supposed to kill powder post beetles that had infested the support beams and joists under the building. Dressed in his version of hasmat gear, he managed to find various treasures of time’s passed – whiskey bottles and a workman’s overalls and hat, probably size 8 today. We are still in the process of destroying these pests who want to destroy the Grange. In all, we found 157 chairs, most of good repair, and 25 card tables with the names of local families – a time capsule in itself.