Monday, August 9, 2010

The Basement Saga

I woke up this morning determined to finally finish the basement. Way back in April while we were away on vacation, we had some tremendous rain storms. We came home to a flooded basement which ruined our carpet and just about everything sitting on the floor, making an awful mess. The mess required us to finally put in a total French Drain so we wouldn't have this mess ever again.

Putting in a French Drain meant we had to take out a whole set of built in bookcases and cabinets that had been built around the perimeter of our basement. It also meant taking down hundreds of books and way too many knick knacks we had collected over all these years. But it had to be done. Our handyman Tim, who only works on weekends painstakingly took out all of the bookcases and cabinets one by one and piled them up in the middle of the basement. He ripped out the carpet and we piled book after book in box after box and stored all of those in the basement as well. We hired a French Drain company that was obviously way too busy fixing other basements. Finally late in May or early June, the French Drain people came, jack hammered away putting a thick layer of dust over everything, but the French Drain was done.

And then weekend after weekend, Tim came back and replaced much of the damaged floor, then put in new drywall, fixed the plumbing, rebuilt the base for the cabinets, replaced the cabinet counter tops and then finally put back the bookshelves and cabinets.

Today was my day to clean up all the mess. I examined book after book dividing them into donation pile and keep pile. And knick knack after knick knack with most going into the donation pile. I painstakingly dusted off each item. Slogged all the donation boxes up the stairs and out to the garage to wait for The Purple Heart. Then I swept the floor twice, vacuumed the floor, got down on my hands and knees and hand washed the floor. I did the same with each of the cabinets and bookcases, scrubbed from top to bottom, inside and out. All that took me from 7:30 until about one o'clock with a one hour break to mow the lawn.

In the afternoon, I put the remaining books and knick knacks back on the shelves. Scrubbed down the exercise equipment (tread mill, stationary bike, hand weights, exercise bench and returned each to its original landing place, scrubbed clean of all the dust and dirt. Finally, I was finished. To me, it looked FABULOUS. Smelled like Pine-Sol. Oh, such a sense of accomplishment.

Then I asked my darling, wonderful, way too organized Ken to come down and inspect the new basement. He came downstairs, took a good long quiet look and then suggested I rearrange the books so that his books took up the first three sets of shelves and then put my books on the second set of shelves. I smiled and grit my teeth and said maybe I'll just have a gin and tonic.

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