January is getting under way and the Christmas tree is heading towards its last stand on this Epiphany Sunday.
Although the snow has been light, only 6 or 7 inches the ice has been thick!
So far we have been busy sanding the driveway with shovels by the trucks load.
Our driveway Mary garden has been prepared for winter. Mary has moved into our second floor to look out the window onto the pasture land.
But there is much more happening at the Mary Theotokos Retreat Center at this time, as we prepare for our largest group of retreatants heading our way next weekend.
The plumbing and heating has moved into the second phase. Quite an improvement since last year this time when the family huddled around a room heater and watched our breath in every other room of the facility.
Old heating registers that have been found defective from neglect and frozen cracked pipes have to be removed and set aside. Throughout the house these registers have been sawed off and
old rusty water drained out.
Even older pump motors, valves and circulators are disassembled and checked for reliability.
A new series of pipes are set up for water in the second floor.
Once this dirty prep work is done, the professionals arrive, and we are grateful to see them!
And we are grateful they made it up the driveway, that has already disabled one family vehicle.
With consummate professional skills these men continue to thread flexible heating pipe through all the facilities and attach them to the new registers, creating new heat zones through out the structures.
These flexible pipes now traverse every room from basement to the top floor.
A new and super efficient heating unit is installed and a
new panel of circulatory pumps are set up to handle the entire facility.
Now that there is strong heat on all the floors of the house, (and soon to be the same in the church) new thermostats are set in.
Aside from new baseboard heating units, new systems are placed in the basement as well.
On the third floor a new heating unit is installed and firewalls have begun to be set up.
A new year and a new corner is turned in the work done at the center.
So with a prayer for humility and faith in the redemptive power of hard labor, I forge ahead.
My family and I are grateful for so many blessings, on this adventure, this mission of ours.
As everyone does, we wait to see where God takes us next.
But we do know, that next week there will be a dozen young adults here to snow shoe, hike, pray and wander in the beauty and serenity that is,
The Mary Theotokos Spirituality Center,
Pax et Bonum