It was time to clean out the filthy basement

Published 9:19 am Monday, November 12, 2012

Column: Something About Nothing

There were cobwebs in my basement. There were spiders in my basement. There were bugs in my basement. I dislike cobwebs. I am afraid of spiders and I wince at bugs. These creatures were all in my basement because of a year of neglect.

I don’t have a fancy basement. I have stone walls and a cement floor. There is wiring and plumbing and beams decorating the ceiling of my basement, but I love my basement. My basement was where I painted dreams, created glass ornaments and got away from the hustle and the bustle of real life.

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That is until last year when I was under the weather and a massive rain decided to make my river of dreams into a reality. That is until last year when our sewer water decided it wanted to visit the basement floor to see what it looked liked above ground.

Things got dumped into one room and the mess got cleaned up but because I wasn’t feeling well it never got organized so that we could walk easily, let alone do anything of value in the basement.

A few weeks ago I visited the cobwebs, I shrieked at the spiders and I crunched a bug or two. It was time to get my dreamland back into shape. We hauled out the garbage, which had no use for us or anyone else, and some things visited my curb with a free sign on it. It is amazing what will disappear off the curb. The wise man in my house always tells me it is a waste of time doing that because no one on earth would want the wacky item. In the dark of night it usually disappears.

Room by room, I decided what to keep and what to organize. It was then time to tackle the cleanliness. I prepared with old clothes and gloves. I entered the basement and pulled out the Shop-Vac and sucked up everything in my path that looked like dirt, spiders and bugs. I then turned to my heavy duty steamer and steamed my walls, my floor, my rafters.

The critters ran, I attacked. They ran some more and I accomplished my mission. You could see the color of the floor. The color and brightness of the walls returned. I had my dream land back.

Anyone who would walk into my basement would not see what I see. They would see old walls painted with weird colors. They would see a floor ready to paint. They would see organized junk. I see my painting room, my stained glass room, my room with my saws and a room to spark my creativity.

The past year I have had the feeling that if I cleaned up the foundation of my home my life would be better in sync. I don’t if that is true but it was a great feeling to have a cleaned and steamed basement where my grandchildren can play and where I don’t have to be ashamed when I have to have a plumber or electrician visit it to fix a glitch.

At the end of the day I was exhausted. It was a good exhaustion and a feeling of accomplishment and the crazy thing is: I had fun doing it.

I had dreaded the task. Isn’t that the way it is in life? The tasks we put off and dread are occasionally very rewarding and very fulfilling. It doesn’t make me want to tackle everything I dread doing but perhaps a task here and a task there that I dread will not overwhelm me but bring added blessings to my life.

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost. There is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” — Henry David Thoreau

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at