Another one bites the dust

I may have mentioned that in the last few months I’ve started cleaning out the house, closets, the garage, the backyard, and this weekend it was time for the dreaded basement.

The goal was to clear out one side, the largest, so that we can start the long delayed renovation. Weekend after weekend has passed since Fred and I sat down at the beginning of the summer and worked out that we should be able to finish it by the end of July.

Insert <LONG BELLY LAUGH> here.

My basement was not pretty and I think we were all afraid to even start.

So on August 14, I got up early to the smell of bacon and coffee. (Pause to appreciate the fact that Fred got up earlier and COOKED the bacon and made the coffee!) So I made waffles (whole wheat, no sugar and just a drizzle of maple syrup if you are wondering) and we sat around enjoying each other’s company and the fabulous breakfast for a nice long time. Ah Saturdays!

Then we went to the basement. I was surprised that there wasn’t more argument, but I HAVE said every day for the last four months that we are going to start cleaning the basement on Saturday morning. I guess it sort of brain washed us all into realizing that there is no getting away from it.

We were armed with brooms, storage bins and trash bags and oh how we needed them! There were boxes of boxes (saved in case there was a need for a specific sized box?) and several bags of trash from the last time we tried to clean out the basement. Those went first and made a nice big hole for us to start working in. Then I started transferring things from broken, torn boxes into the nice new toughstuff bins and stacking them up. I needed to move them to the other side of the basement, but it was a disaster, too.

After a few hours of this, we were tired and frankly, had not made that much progress before we called it quits.

Sunday dawned bright and early and I headed down alone to get started on some serious organizing. First I cleared up the OTHER side of the basement – the laundry room area – and neatly stacked all the stuff there, put it on shelves (that were empty – just WAITING for stuff. Why?)  and then I had a huge amount of space to move over the other stuff.

Stuff: books, clothes, computer junk, papers and … stuff. Stuff that we  probably don’t need, but for some reason, can’t toss. I give away a lot of stuff to goodwill and I love to just throw things away, but for some reason, I’m the ONLY one in the family. Fred and Jacob react with deep outrage if I suggest, for example, that we donate this really old, very expensive topcoat that dates from Grandpa Dan’s time on Wall Street. If Fred were to have a lobotomy and end up as a Wall Street analyst, dressed in expensive suits and IF there was a freak ice age that made even Furnace Boy shiver, then MAYBE it would get worn. Who are they kidding? NO ONE is ever going to wear that coat. Why not donate it? I’m sure someone, somewhere needs a nice beige top coat to toss over their  suit come December. But NO. It’s now packed up with the  other old clothes that Dan gave us. Along with a nice selection of the three piece Wall Street suits. Just in case of the lobotomy.

Anyway – where was I? Okay, so push, shove, lift, tote, move, carry, stack and several hours later – we’re almost there. I took a break for Jacob’s first baseball game of the season and went upstairs to find Fred in a panic because he’d lost track of time and we need to get to the ball field and wait for it – we’re late!

So frantic rush and race around, get into the car and Fred – FRED who is the best driver I know – backs into my car at high speed. I think it can be banged out, but oh boy was he stressed and mad at himself. Oddly, I was very calm, probably because I did the EXACT same thing when they first came home from Steamboat. I was so used to backing out at high speed in the morning, that even though I looked at Fred’s car as I got into mine, it just didn’t penetrate and I backed up into it. Didn’t do any damage to his SUV of course, but my little Civic lost its bumper. I really need to get that fixed, especially since it now has a dented hood. Oh the joy.

Anyway – Jacob did really well at baseball and got a base hit, which he was able to parley into stealing 2 bases and finally got knocked home. Hurrah! Our team, the Mud Cats (it’s a Southern thing) lost 6-7 but  I think that was pretty great for a first game, especially since we got rained out of practice on Saturday and the boys had never actually played together before.

Then we came home and Fred collapsed, exhausted from the game, the stress of wrecking the car and the heat of a baseball game in 96 degree August weather, but I was a woman on a mission! I headed BACK to the basement.

This bad boy was going DOWN and I kept going until everything was clear, and clean and ready for the next step. Fred now just has to distmantle Moby Desk. Moby is the great white whale of a desk that provides almost 16 square foot of horizontal space and more than that in vertical space. He and his buddy Irvin built it the 80’s out of white pine and when his friend Shelton saw them obsessing over it and spending weeks at it, he christened it, quite appropriately.

I think next weekend we’ll be able to put up the framing around the walls, and I’ll get to use some power tools. I have a deep and abiding love for table saws, pneumatic nail guns and miter saws. I love planers and routers and drill presses. When we finally get the garage cleared of all the building materials and other stuff that goes back in the basement, I’m going to set up my workshop and all the tools and actually build something. I don’t know what yet, but SOMETHING.

Gotta go make some oatmeal, pack up some vitamins and pack my gym bag. It’s Monday and week three of boot camp. I’m sure it will be hard, but I’m also sure I can handle it. Have a great week!

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