Thursday, January 14, 2010

dark & dirty secrets

Tuesday I mentioned that Melinda and I spent a good amount of time in our basement over the past weekend unclogging pipes and watching the heat pump guys take all of our money. The basement is a place that scares Melinda mainly because of her fears of spiders and all things creepy crawly. Actually there are not many spiders just a few of those blind crickets in the summer months, you know the ones that instead of hopping away from you they hop towards you, or as Melinda says, "they chase me!" Being that our basement scares her she refuses to go down there and because of this, this area for the past 6 years has been the most unorganized space in our house. If you wander around upstairs you will noticed everything has a place, basket or label, all courtesy of Melinda and her very organized ways. Every once in a while she will quiz me about the status of the basement and the condition of her belongings that are stored down there. I knew one day the time would come when she would face her fears and venture down into the depths of hell and realize the mess I have let get out of hand for some time.
About once a year I go down and clean, throw away and semi organize but over the course of the year it eventually returns to a disaster. Our basement is not a place that really appeals to me as a place where I would do much work. The two entrances are difficult to maneuver down with anything remotely large. It's dark, cramped and there is only one electrical outlet and it's on the ceiling. Alot of my non bike riding family and friends question why I don't turn this space into a bike shop. I have a good answer for that, again it's dark, cramped and hard to take bikes in and out of. My bikes are my prized possessions and to store them down in the basement out of sight would be like a bad parent locking their kids in the basement and I don't want the bike police to come and arrest me for bicycle abuse.
That day that I have been dreading finally came this weekend and as soon as all the necessary repairs were done Melinda cracked the whip and the process of cleaning/organizing our basement began.

I didn't take any before pics but imagine so much clutter you could not walk a straight line for more that 1 ft. Turning on the light was only possible with the aid of a flashlight, good coordination and high stepping feet. Actually the work is not complete, I still have one very large bag of trash to remove and a pile of cinder blocks to relocate. That bag of trash is a very small part of the load that filled the back of my truck and made it's way to the landfill yesterday.
Before Melinda's intervention there were no shelving units or pegboards. The liquor bottles, well that's another story. Martini anyone? I do store some bike parts down there but mostly parts that are no longer in use but still in good working order ready & willing in case they are ever called back into service. As I dug through the used bike parts bin I realized I have almost everything needed to build another bike except for a frame and wheelset. The wheels are turning.

This area really didn't see much action as most everything here is stored in a plastic bin. Camping gear and Christmas decor from the floor to the very short ceiling. I did install the shelving unit to the left of the staircase so Melinda can store all of her gardening supplies and access them without actually going all the way downstairs and stepping onto the floor.

This is the most interesting and most questioned place of our house, more stories and tours take place here than any other place in the house. What is it? I'm sure I've discussed it in length here before and many of you have actually ventured here during a party of some sort. This is the entrance to the bomb shelter. The entrance is actually a hallway that requires ducking your head walking in a slightly turned position and a 90 degree turn to enter. I'm not sure how effective it would actually be in the event of an attack but I did confirm with the original owner that it is indeed a bomb shelter built during the Cold War. As of now it's only used to store small items that will fit through the hallway but I suppose we could live down there for a while if needed.
I hope today we see warmer temps and sunny skies as I plan to dust of my road bike and venture out onto the pavement in search of some two wheeled freedom.

1 comment:

Andy said...

I've got a set of wheels I can hook you up with... Mavic Crossrides.