Cleaning the Basement – Part I

February 1 – When we first started this idea of writing a blog (actually it was David who got us going as neither of us had ever heard of a blog before), we must have had more extra time than we do now because we wrote just about every day way back in the beginning! So I wonder. Are we running out of things to write about? I hope not, because it‘s fun to read over some of the things I wrote about a year or two ago and say “Hmm! I had forgotten that!” I wish now that I had started a diary way back when. Even now, when I check out some of the things I wrote about beginning in 1980 and on till today, I am surprised at how much I had forgotten through the years. And that’s just a few words, not a whole blog’s worth!

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[ Box after box after box… ]

So back to this week… For much of the last week or so, after giving the basement carpets time to dry out after they were soaked when the frozen water pipe burst, I have been working a couple hours every day sorting and coming up with boxes that were soaked through. I salvaged what I could, and had Dale take the boxes and some of the contents out to the big burning pile in the nearby pasture.

There has never been more sorting go on in that area since we first moved here eighteen years ago. Since we had to wait for the rugs to dry before we could do the job, every room in that basement was a real mess! In fact, I couldn’t even let myself make the trip down the stairs except for the days I did the laundry or brought up some of my homemade tomato soup, apricots, and ground cherries. .

But I finally decided it was time to get back to as normal as we could. Down the stairs I went with my tape player in my hand, wondering how many days I would be working in that basement. Since just about everything was in just about every place, I decided I would start in the room where the pipe burst. What a horrid sight as I looked up at the beams, with no ceiling tiles to hide the sight. I couldn’t even remember what boxes of materials went where, and that wasn’t a very happy thought.

Since I am the kind of person who wants to have a job done right away without losing any time along the way, I kept right on for several hours, until the bending over and carting boxes suggested to me that I had better give up for that day! In a way I didn’t really mind because as I looked around I could see a real difference in that room after I had worked my way through it all the way over to the wall opposite the pipe.

I think that the sorting took the longest time because so many of the boxes had tins in them; tins that were not sorted in any manner. They just took up space. When we go to the Thrift Store on town day, I usually buy several decorative tins. And just because I like them, certainly not that I need any more!

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[ Tins in banana boxes ]

Once, around Christmas, there were so many lovely and interesting ones, that I bought at least a dozen. Since I have been collecting tins for a number of years now, you can be sure that the big banana boxes holding the tins are packed atop one another until they reach the ceiling. Must be about 40 or more of those boxes in that one room alone, with twice that many in other rooms! When Dale always asks me what I’m going to do with all of them, my answer is always the same. “Just keep them packed up neatly, and one day someone will inherit some pretty colorful tins!” They are all sorts and kinds, some very special from other countries or a copy of some ancient ones that once housed lovely cookies and biscuits, or candy.

On one side of the “wet” room there were boxes of art paper, colored paper, big plastic boxes of postage stamps from all over, typing paper, and lots of special wrapping paper, not just for Christmas, but for other holidays, as well. Lots of rolls of shelf paper, too. By the time I had sorted through all of those, I was a bit discouraged because I had found so much of the paper had to be tossed into the big waste basket because half of the sheets were wrinkled, and it would be too much bother to cut off the good halves.

Also sorted through big boxes of extra bedding and sewing material. Lots of interesting buttons, too! Through my life I have found many special buttons with beautiful designs on them. I even found a wreath at a garage sale, a wreath with all kinds of old buttons glued on to the circular shape. Also packed in the two big woven baskets we had brought back with us from Africa years ago, were all sorts of interesting items. These were things that the students had given to me and others that Dale and I had bought later on before we came home. (continued tomorrow…) – CHRIS

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