Monday, July 18, 2016

In which our basement turned into a swamp

Let's clear one thing out of the way: It's a heck of a lot easier to Life-Changing-Magic-of-Tidying-Up your possessions when you're faced with sorting through a soggy box that has been sprayed by your leaking water main.

On Tuesday the water main broke in our basement. I'll spare you the details, but it was... not sanitary. It took 5ish sweaty hours and $1400 for our plumber to finally find the blockage: a root ball in the pipe in our front yard. (This means that it's likely to happen again in the future, with the charmingly nebulous date of "5 or 20 years from now".) The whole experience really pushed into focus how precious a commodity on-demand potable water is. It's a pretty terrible feeling when you aren't allowed to turn on any faucets or taps, or flush any toilets, and you're feeling dirty and just want to wash your hands. Not an experience I will soon forget. (Incidentally, if anyone needs a plumber recommendation, our guy was fantastic. I'm pretty sure that was NOT how he imagined he'd be spending his Tuesday evening.)

What this meant for us this week is that we've been abruptly forced into sorting the boxes in our basement left over from moving (cough cough, last August, cough cough). Lots of items are being aggressively donated, and there are lots of rediscoveries along the vein of "oh THAT'S where this was, I've been looking for this!". It has also shown us that there is a lot of work that we put off doing in the house, such as setting up our extra bookshelves, or setting up the furniture properly in the den/parlor/small-livingroom/whatever you want to call it, or fixing the fallen hanger rod in the walk-in closet. So this week we've set to fixing that. With the nerve damage in Liam's shoulder, most of this has fallen to me. To be honest, most of this would have fallen to me anyway because Liam lives a largely minimalistic lifestyle and so the things that are boxed up and need sorting are pretty much all MY things that he can't make decisions on. I'm fairly certain that were we to need to pack up and move tomorrow, Liam would be able to fit all of the worldly possessions that he actually wanted to bring with us into a single car, with most of the space being taken up by his computer and by our three cats. (Whereas I'm pretty sure I could fill a single car with my beloved yarn stash alone.)

Last evening we shoved and cajoled furniture into place into in the den/parlor/small-livingroom/whatever you want to call it in a large-scale sliding-puzzle game. We're really happy with the initial placement, but Calvin almost immediately began climbing on things and we realized that we needed furniture safety straps to secure them to the walls before our daredevil toddler pulls a 100lb bookshelf down on top of him. (Calvin quietly turned 2 last month, by the way, and apparently DOES NOT LIKE FROSTING which makes me question whether he is actually my child.) We have to get the furniture placement right the first time, though, because furniture anchor straps leave holes in the walls and we'd like to minimize the number of repairs we have to make.
Forgive the mess, we're still not done moving things. To our shock, Butterscotch "Shycat" Jewell spent most of the evening on top of our giant foam pouf. She was very upset that we had moved furniture and disrupted her Secret Lair of Hiding, but seems to be taking it much better than we expected.

In the meanwhile, I've come across stacks and stacks of "Oh I meant to read that" books, which I'm sorting into stacks of "I might still read this" and also "I need to gracefully let this book go". The new Little Free Libraries at our city parks have been the recipient of many of my books already, and I feel a little thrill of victory every time I come back to find that the books I left behind have been taken, and that the ones OTHER PEOPLE brought look untouched. Is there such a thing as competitive literacy spreading?