"It seems strange to say, but what can help modern man find the answers to his own mystery and the mystery of him in whose image he is created, is silence, solitude -- in a word, the desert. Modern man needs these things more than the hermits of old." Catherine Doherty

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This week at This Old Monastic Center!

This week at this old Monastic Center; John and Bill tackle the dark, dirty house basement-dragging out what they can to keep or rotten wood to burn. Cathy and her small team of volunteers tackle the second floor of the main house-guest room carpets are vacuumed, debris is gathered into bags and it looks as if the snow is melting. But hold on kids! NOAA weather is talking about SNOW accumulation for this Thursday! Will the gang ever be able to stand straight again after all this bending? Will Bill and John ever emerge from some dirty basement to walk in the light? Will there be even more snow to plow off John’s arch nemesis- 
                                                           THE DRIVEWAY?!! 
                                 Stay tuned to This Old Monastic Center to find out!

In these shots you see Bill and John tackling the house basement, dragging and shoveling out debris and rotting lumber, mostly bucket by bucket. Then it’s a drag, literally, dragging the rotten sheets of lumber up the stairs and outside to the burn pile through the spring time mud. “Just keep your head down and keep moving” is the quote of the day. At least the fire feels warm! The dog just follows us everywhere with her soccer ball, hoping someone will give it a kick.

Upstairs in the main house the retreat rooms are taking their last fix ups. Months ago they were filled with wall to wall debris and discarded items, now those have organized away and the rooms undergo a real cleaning. Bagged debris is carried away, keeper items head for the basement and rugs are shampooed!

                 Another great day with a lot done! Now we will wait and watch for snow!
                      Stay Tuned for the next update at This Old Monastic Center blog!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

This week at This old Monastic Center, John and workers return to the dreaded Church basement, where mice and ice were all found under the floor boards. In hopes of salvaging the basement floor and walls, the boys struggle through icy cold and back breaking labor to carry all damaged wood out and remove nails from all the wood they can save. Cathy and her team continue the work in the main house. Its all hands on deck, as well as on knees, as her team puts in carpets, cleans cupboards and mop floors.  Will John and the guys surrender to the never ending basement penance? Will Cathy and her team ever turn the corner on home repairs? And will someone PLEASE wash the dog who has been rolling around in the driveway mud all day? Follow this blog to find out what happens!

                           The ice damaged basement lumber that cannot be saved.

The lumber that has been de-nailed and saved as well as a cleaned disinfected floor ready for sealing in the Church basement! Half the room still to go.

The half of the room we have to get through today to turn the corner on the basement penance labor! laborare est orare. (work is prayer!)

All Hands on deck!
                        And by the end of the day the other half of the room looks like this. 
                                     We are finally turning the corner on this basement! 
But wait there is still a little time to work in the 60 foot crawl space! Mask up!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Week Update

This week at This Old Monastery, John struggles against mountains of snow and failing plow equipment while Cathy heads up the carpet installation and house cleaning for the "BIG MOVE". All the while volunteers struggle with the cleaning and salvage operations in the church basement. Will they be stuck in the main house and or survive another snow storm? Will the long driveway stay open without a stuck plow truck? Will they find more burst pipes? Stay tuned to this Old Monastery and find out!

March 22nd, 2011. Well it snowed again. Ah spring in Vermont! Fortunately it wasn't the THREE FEET we had a few weeks ago. But still recovering from the big snow that blew in right behind the plow on the precarious 1/4 mile driveway, then the melt and muddy ruts that formed, the plow truck was in a weakened state, the Kubota was in for repairs and we all were pretty tired from the 16 hour storm detail. Thankfully  last night only snowed 8 inches, so we plowed out at 9 PM, again at 12 AM and then woke up at 2 Am and 5 Am to check for accumulation. So not so bad. Today we head back to renovations, and repairs; so the word is rough carpentry! 

A view inside the Church and Chapel

Looking to the future

After waiting for mud season  to begin and snow to melt away, we turn our thoughts to spring. Hopefully these pictures remind of us the what we have to look forward too,..