September 2012

Knowing what summer and fall are like in Maine, we decided to head back in September this time. What an excellent choice! The weather was perfect for working during the day, relaxing in the evening by an outdoor fire, and doing a little more sightseeing. Again we took along my 88 year old mother, “Monya” to Justin. She knew what she was getting into – bath in the clawfoot bathtub, and this time sleeping upstairs where she would have to remember to turn right in the middle of the night trips to the bathroom, instead of left (the steep stairs down to the first floor!). But she also remembered the sunny front porch where she could watch the street and all it’s activities, while listening to her book on her CD player, cocktail hour, the yummy meals, and most of all, spending time with Justin and Heidi.

Steve was determined to accomplish several things on this trip – the primary one – the windows. So once again he set up his work station, and began removing windows for complete restoration. He did 6 windows all total – 2 on the front of the building and 4 on the east side. This completed the job of replacing all the broken windows in the Grange. There are 12 on the north side, 4 on the west (front) side left to do!  But at least the weather or critters can no longer get inside the building.

Early in the week, Steve and I were on the third floor and began once again began discussing making the space into an apartment for us to live in when we are back there. The concern had always been getting to the ground in case of a fire. We realized that we actually have two sets of stairs down – one at either end of the space – the one that goes behind the stage on the second floor leads directly to the fire escape. It seemed reasonable that we could actually get out quick if we needed to on one end of the building or the other. So we began to look at the third floor space in a different way. We decided that we could make the largest space – 24′ by 48′ – our living space, with a bathroom and perhaps the bedroom in the back. Having made this decision, we got to work clearing out benches, chairs, and all sort of other things to empty the space. I vaccumed all the nooks and cranies, and prepared the space for cleaning. With the help of Monya (how amazing!), we washed the walls and floor (3 times!). The buckets of soapy water were black! I decided to paint the ceiling white, which was a fiber board nailed down with wooden slats that had been varnished. After experimenting, I decided to paint it all, with Steve doing the finishing. What a difference!  The space was clean, bright, and ready for furniture.  Heidi and I went to Fryeburg and I found a rug at L.L.Bean – our first furnishing – but being only 5′ by 5′, it looked pretty small in that big space.  I later found a floorlamp when Steve, Justin, Heidi, and I went antiquing.  The beginnings for our new apartment!


We left the final weekend free to spend some time in the White Mountains.  Justin, Heidi, and Steve went hiking, while Mom and I hung out in the Appalachian  Trail Hiking Center in Crawford’s Notch.  It was a beautiful, but cold sunny day.