I’m a sucker for charm. I love antique stores and coffee shops with chipped mugs. I love babies with curly hair and little kids with lisps. I want a house with winding staircases and bookshelves as tall as the ceiling. The smell of old wood makes me want to sing, and stained glass windows draw me to prayer.
Since starting my new job yesterday– helping to run service learning camps for teenagers during which they get to experience a bunch of service projects over the course of a week– such charm has proven to be a fickle friend.
When I “moved in” (slash just unloaded all of my crap from out of my duffle bag) to the church where I’ll be staying this week and several weeks later this summer, I got to choose which room would become mine. The kids are sleeping in two large rooms on the third of four floors, so clearly that floor was out of the question if I ever wanted to close my eyes again. The first floor is comprised of a large kitchen and dining space– not much room for sleeping. The second floor houses a preschool, so those rooms weren’t available to me anyway, unless I could prove that I am potty trained, can tie my shoes, and don’t bite people.
Wait, why am I not sleeping down there?
No matter, I chose the fourth floor anyway. It’s the forgotten corner of this old church, and it’s exactly what I was looking for. Quiet, out of the way, with small rooms that would just fit me and my stuff. I chose a library room, of course, because the books smelled wonderful.
Also because the first book that caught my eye as we toured the building was called Jesus is Fabulous and then I imagined Jesus drinking some wine with some disco divas with really big wigs and I figured that’s a pretty accurate depiction of what Heaven will be like.
So I moved in. Set up my air mattress and sleepingbag, threw my clothes across a table so that I can separate the clean ones from the dirty ones, and piled my other stuff into one corner so that I could easily see everything and get to it as needed (read granola bars for whiney teenagers, tampons for surprised teenagers, hair dryer for pampered teenagers, and ibuprofen for one very achey Jillian).
Man oh man, was I sitting pretty. The huge windows are framed by gorgeous molding. The wood floor grain is so familiar under my feet. It is quiet and all mine.
But do you know what is missing from this lovely corner of the universe? A bathroom.
There is one stall on the third floor– usually occupied. There is one stall on the second floor– usually occupied. And there are two stalls on the first floor– often occupied but with access to the sink.
Wake up in the middle of the night and have to pee? Run down two flights of stairs and then back up.
Get up in the morning and need to brush teeth? Run down three flights of stairs and then back up.
Forgot a waterbottle after breakfast? Run up four flights of stairs and then back down. But don’t forget a coat, extra snacks, directions, a notebook, six pens, and the laptop which has to go in the car for safekeeping. Each of those requires a run up and down the stairs too.
Because I’m in charge. So I have to be everywhere at once, but definitely not on the stairs because nothing actually happens on the stairs except running.
And working those butt muscles.
Little rear end of mine, I hope you are happy after this summer. Feel the burn…