Memories From Moving In

It’s so hot out right now, we are hiding from the heat in the basement. I’m enjoying the cool of the cement surroundings and taking a chance to write while the kids are busy playing with toys. The basement playroom is our refuge during a long, cold winter, and comes in handy with the summertime heat. The kids draw with sidewalk chalk on the floor and walls and make me fake food at their restaurant. They never make what I ask for though, so I just tell them to surprise me. It’s usually soup made of a mixture of plastic food. Oliver gives me the strangest looks when I offer him a bite of pretend food.

Our bloodhound, Annabelle has been hiding out here as well. She is really only happy when the weather is around 40 degrees. Anything warmer than that and she is looking for a cool spot to lay. So, now Gwendolyn’s pretty little Frozen rug looks like it was woven with pink polyester and black dog hair.

When we first bought our house, the basement was completely full of the previous occupants unwanted belongings and dirt. Part of the basement is the old root cellar with rock walls, so I guess that could explain the dirt. We cleaned the basement out with scoop shovels. We burned the contents of a half-full deep freeze that had been sitting for months in our vacant house. Just strapped it up to a backhoe, drug it up and out the door, and lit that bad boy. That is a sight and smell you never forget.

I kept some of the neat things we found like an old typewriter and a little pool table for our future children. Our kids really only used the pool sticks for sword fighting, and one of the pool balls was the perfect tool to shatter an upstairs window when someone decided to throw it across the room. So I was pretty insightful to keep such a great toy for our kids who would be sweet, sweet angels.

I got rid of all the neat thing the time we were ripped off by a mold company and told to throw all of our basement belongings away. I am a bit of a recovering hoarder, so that was probably the best for me to just get rid of everything, no question. I rented a roll-off dumpster and smashed that typewriter with an old bowling ball I had also kept. Then it turned out the high spore count in the air was from the damp leather riding slickers Bryan and I used to wear when we rode horses in the rain. We had paid almost $1000 for an air test that was skewed and thrown away wedding items, only to find out that once the items were outside, they are no longer considered contaminated. I’m still a little bitter about that one. But it is a part of our story, and a lesson learned on trusting someone you hire to help you.

Now we have a once empty basement that is almost completely full of toys; a real life-saver on these extreme weather days. It is a place for the kids to play and make messes they don’t have to clean up right away. It is the favorite place for a panting, always-shedding dog. And it is where we will continue to make new memories with our kids while they load their pretend dishwasher and serve us plastic cookies for dessert.