The Christmas Break Refreshing of Our Mission Offices
While some of the missionaries and the correctors made plans for trips over the Christmas holidays, (December 2008) Ruth decided that she could give some days to giving a fresh new look to some areas of the office. At first it was to be the back stairwell, then the stairwell going to the basement was added.
The Fall EMV (Emergency Measures Volunteers) project had raised funds for a new laminate floor in the large general office room. The old carpeting there was beyond hope of ever getting really clean again. Ruth suggested that the walls be painted before that new floor would be laid. So that was added to the planned Christmas break paint job.
Over several lunches the missionaries discussed what colour should be painted. They agreed on Penny's suggestion of a daffodil yellow. Joe went to buy a 5 gallon pail of the paint. The day before Joe and Penny left for their Christmas vacation State-side with their family, Joe helped move the furniture out of the large common room. He suggested that if there were enough paint the postage room could be done too.
Meantime, Ruth mentioned this project to her cousin Gary Friesen, who offered to help as he was between jobs because of the cold weather. This turned out to be a huge blessing, as he had more experience with "mudding" (plastering walls to make them smoother).
They began on December 18. . . .
The large common work room of the office was prepared, Gary doing the "mudding" and Ruth cutting-in the corners and edges at the ceiling painted with a brush so the roller wouldn't need to bump other areas. With both Gary and Ruth painting on the Friday with rollers, the room was finished in just over an hour.
They also prepared the stairwells, and rested over the weekend.
On the Monday, Ruth painted the stairwell to the basement, overcoming nervousness of heights because of the lumber Pete Buhler had brought for scaffolding purposes.
Priscilla was in the office and often took photos to record the various stages.
Ruth was rather concerned about how to reach the high upper-most section of the tall back stairwell.
However, she did as much cutting in as she could and with Gary's encouragement, painted as far as she could reach with her roller.
Henry Dyck came by when the water was cut off due to a main break in front of the restaurant next door. He figured out a way to set up a ladder and a couple of 2x6s to create a way to reach those upper parts.
Ruth waited a while, and sure enough, Gary went up and did that corner of the ceiling and walls. She was relieved!
Gary also painted the walls in the utility area between the back entry and the large common office room. Meantime, Ruth went on to the postage room to do the taping and cutting-in painting there.
On Christmas Eve, the plan was to only work until noon. Ruth painted the postage room by herself, and also the small alcove storage area in the utility room.
She had lunch in her office before she left for some last minute shopping at 1 pm.
The fact that the big painting job was done was some comfort as she rested over a quiet Christmas, and the rest of the week.
Meantime, Arnold had ordered the laminate for the floor and Gary agreed to come lay it. Allen Martens agreed to help. Ruth arrived first on Monday and started to clear out the large office room.
Before long the men were ripping up the glued down carpeting and rolling it up to carry out.
Gary and Allen carried the large chunks of old carpet out the back door and dropped them in the snow near the garbage bin.
That left the raw plywood floor to be scraped and some seams to be screwed down firmly. The men scraped and Ruth swept and swept. At noon they had got as far as the big heavy desks moved to the far end, so they stopped for lunch in Ruth's office upstairs.
Gary carefully laid out the sub-floor sheet and the first laminate pieces after doing a plumb-line because the walls are not perfectly straight.
Arnold joined the workers in the afternoon and helped as he could. Here they are watching as Gary carefully cuts on his electric saw, the piece that meets the door-frame.
Allen is holding a board, while Gary is about to tap in the end piece for the day. The floor is just about a third finished. Everyone pitched in to quickly move those heavy desks and the laminate boards to the side of the room that is done
The laying of this flooring may be all finished tomorrow, December 30, as the heavy work is done now. More photos may be added then.
Ruth was replacing electrical plates, and cleaning up painted areas and rooms. Tomorrow she will paint baseboards and door frames. Everything should be finished before New Year's Eve, and things can be moved back into place again.