Home Repairs

As if real life wasn’t busy enough right now, we’re having some pretty major home repairs done in the house where we live.

The house is actually a “parsonage,” owned by the church. We moved in when I came to Northaven in 2001. I believe the church bought in the early 1990s, and there really haven’t been any major repairs done since then….there was new carpet in one room when we moved it, and some nice tile-work in the bathroom…a little paint.

But, over time, stuff mounts up…the carpets are pretty bad now (at least 15 years old…) …there is some significant wood rot outside…a leak in the roof…and IVY…ivy that grows EVERYWHERE. It was all over the backyard, and had crept its way across the front of the house too.

Uusually, I think ivy *looks* nice, except that this stuff always had poison oak and poison ivy mixed in with the good stuff. Which really caused everyone (me included) to not be too keen on keeping it up. Sensing our human hesitation, the ivy had taken over.

So, the Trustees of the church have decided to do some major upgrading, for which we are deeply grateful. Painting everywhere. Fixing the leaky roof, sagging soffit, rotted wood on the backporch (which probably means a new sliding door in one room, painting and new carpet/flooring throughout. And, finally, a general clean up of the outside.

They’ve hired Northaven’s own Tom Kargas to do the work or, for stuff he can’t do, work with contractors to get it done.

Let me say here, Tom is a home repair genius. He’s got a great visual sense for things and there are so many little things he notices that we just don’t.

(We’ve known this for years at Northaven, as he is the guy who does the flower each Sunday, and often the one who creates our “visual” look on the chancel area…)

So far, the biggest changes visible are outside. They dug up much of the landscaping that was there, and cleaned up the whole “look” of the front of the house….much simpler and cleaner. (Also new gutters and some drainage ditches to move the water away from the house…)

It wasn’t until after they’d taken all the old foliage out that it struck me “Hey…we shoulda taken a “before” picture…”

For better or worse, I suppose that’s where Google “Street View” comes in. So, thanks to Google, here’s their lastest image which serves as a pretty decent “before” shot:

Note all the ivy and general overgrown junk in front.

Here’s what it looks like now:

Here’s a flowerbed closeup:

Obviously, the newly planted stuff will grow in and fill out a little. And, next Spring, the grass will grow back where the bushes and ivy were before.

But, we love it. It’s sooooo much cleaner and neater.

I really, really wish I’d taken a “before” pictures of the backyard…because it’s even *more* dramatic. Alas, Google Street View doesn’t take pics of your backyard (actually, now that I think of it, this is a really GOOD thing…)

Tom’s also been doing a lot of work inside too. Mostly painting so far inside. He’s done all the bedrooms except for the Master Bedroom, and the “study/studio” (where I’m writing from now…). But he’s also replaced some fixtures and just done a lot of other little repairs that, as I said, we often miss but are deeply appreciative of.

This has meant that, for the last few weeks, we’ve been moving crap out of one room and into another…so that he could paint…only to move it back once he was ready to move to the next room. Pretty tedious and tiring. We’ve just spent the morning putting a lot of stuff back where it goes, and it’s looking really great inside. It’s nice to have new paint and cleaner, more open, windows everywhere. (especially in winter…)

Obviously, we’ll have to do all this again when it’s time to do the carpets/flooring.

So, although you probably won’t hear me mention it every day, sufficed to say there’s a *lot* going on behind the scenes here.

We’re VERY grateful to Tom for his creativity and home decor genius, and to the Trustees for being willing to do have all this done.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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