Thursday, August 31, 2017

Little Chapel in the Field Reveal



We've done it . .The Little Chapel in the Field exterior is finished. . .Would you like to venture a guess of the final cost of this up-grade? . .$136.25. . .Had John and I not done the work ourselves, of course it would have been more. . .But, we enjoy a challenge. . .We had to take it slowly. . .and could only work when we had a spare hour or two. . .We also spent time searching the barns for make-do items we could incorporate. . .'It was a labor of love.'
I've had the idea for a while. . .since the year we purchased the up-right piano from a local country church. . .Crossroads Baptist Church was razed several years ago. . . The Blaylocks got in touch with us before the church was torn down. . . They ended up giving us so much more, including pews, a podium, songbooks and Bibles. . .I thought we might build a chapel for ourselves one day. . .Like we need more buildings . .(I think at last count we had twelve.)
Chapels or churches among the tenant houses and in local small communities are historically a big part of our Delta history. . .Country churches dotted the back roads. . .where almost every little settlement had it's own. . .Many were used for grades 1-8 schools in the early 20th century also. . .
So after a tornado damaged the roof and porch of our smallest example of a tenant house, I saw an opportunity to turn it into our own unique little chapel. . .As they say, 'The rest is history'. . .(pun intended).


The building we started with sure didn't look like much. . .just a small, grayed outbuilding. . .damaged by the winds and tornado. . .
Obviously. . .something needed to be done. . .We rolled up our sleeves and got to work. . .Nothing sketched out. . .We made it up as we went. . .The only rule was: We had to use as many repurposed supplies as we could. . .only purchasing items if we had absolutely nothing else.


 Our first task was to remove the porch. . .saving the decking that was usable. . .
Instead of side steps, we decided to place steps at the front.



We needed posts next. . .After combing the barn stalls with no luck, I remembered that I had seen the 1950s metal posts from my Grandmother's home in the loft of the big barn. . .Did I wait for a younger person to come along and climb up there? . . Of course not. .  .I've climbed all over that barn in my lifetime. . .I wasn't about to stop now. . .Sure enough, after upsetting Sissy and Fred (our barn owls) and digging through decades of junk, I spotted them. . .Perfect. . .
We did purchase the side railings. . .but the hand rails were recycled off the previous deck. . .They were given to us several years ago. . .




We decided to add the steeple before the porch roof. . .Can you guess what it is? . .A garden trellis. . .
It was black iron, so John simply painted it white. . .He made the aluminum cross from an old pair of crutches. . .We decided to leave the steeple open because we often have very strong winds and find ourselves in constant repair mode of our other buildings. . .This way the winds can blow right on through. . .


The building was spray painted white to look as if it were a little weather worn. . . the metal posts and rails were hand-painted with enamel. . .

First coat of paint. . .



Replacing the skirting with vintage corrugated tin. . .salvaged from other buildings over the years. . .was probably the hardest task of all. . .It wasn't the tin itself but the ground of 'concrete' (gumbo). . .If you live in this area, you know what gumbo is. . .and how it turns to 'concrete' in the Summer heat. . .Poor John had to get the pick axe out. . .for two days. . .


Once the skirting was in place, it was time to frame in the roof. . .and add new corrugated tin. . .leftover from re-roofing one of the shotgun houses earlier in the Spring. . .


We wanted a larger bell. . .and will be on the look-out for one. . .
but for now, the smaller bell will do. . .
To make the porch look more complete, we filled in the peak with more tin. . .





Our little chapel was done. . .We thought. . .but it was looking a little plain and lacking. . .We didn't want real windows for maintenance reasons. . .This had to be simple. . .


I was inspired by the country church birdhouse that John made for us a few years ago. . .Why not copy that idea on a much larger scale?. . .Had no idea what to use that wouldn't be costly. . .We searched the farm. . .without luck. . .One day while on a run to Lowes, I spotted fencing marked down to 98c per board. . .I guess you know we loaded them up. . .




Finally, the day came to begin adding accessories. . .and flowers. . .I planted white lilies in the concrete planters. . .It will be next year before they bloom. . .I also added day lilies to a big planter in back. . .Pulled out the wrought iron chairs and table, stored from my childhood home. . .Mulch. . .A bench on the porch. . .Simple things. . .
By the way, those stones around the flower pots are chunks of concrete salvaged from an old fireplace torn down a few years ago. . .That's the nice thing about having a big farm with lots of barns and buildings. . .STORAGE galore. . .


By next year, when the flowers and shrubs begin to take hold, our Little Chapel in the Field should look as if it has been there for decades. . .Isn't it amazing? . .One of my friends has dubbed it 'adorable'. . .It's almost hard for us to believe the before and after photos. . .

Before

After

Our Little Chapel in the Field turned out much better than we ever expected. . .Next Summer we'll work on the interior. . .adding the items from Crossroads Church and a few other articles we have found along the way. . .For now, I'm content to enjoy the outside. . .


Early Sunday is my favorite time to sit on the porch and gaze out at the cotton fields. . .enjoying the cool of the morning and the many Blessings we have here at the farm. . .It's very quiet, except for Faith (our dove) cooing at me. . .and sometimes a mockingbird fusses a little. . .No traffic or distractions. . .No tractors or machinery. . .Cool. . .Quiet. . .Calm. . .On days like that, my thoughts inevitably will go back to an old church hymn from my youth. . .

There's a church in the valley by the wildwood,
No lovelier spot in the dale (Dell),
No place is so dear to my childhood.
As the little brown (white) church in the vale. . .






2 comments:

Little Susie Home Maker said...

It's beautiful Dru. Wow, what a wonderful thing to add to your property. You must be so happy that the two of you are able to achieve such great things together. Your Little Church is adorable. It is a testament to your hearts. What a wonderful thing that you and your husband can enjoy. Thanks for sharing it with us!
Blessings

fa7e5fc8-9b24-11e3-8ede-000bcdca4d7a said...

It is lovely and you should be so proud of yourselves...I love you blog!