Camping In Our Basement

We’ve been camping in our basement since yesterday. We’re having our upper level wood floors sanded and resealed. This has led to a new sense of togetherness for me and Sena. We had to get all the furniture off the floor. We were lucky enough to be able to find places to move them.

We briefly considered renting a motel room for the duration. However, the cost would outweigh the inconvenience. We opted for the total inconvenience plan. This meant we had to make the basement as comfortable as possible. We had to think of all the necessities and some of the conveniences we take for granted on the upper level and somehow make those happen downstairs.

Sena came up with the idea to use air mattresses. We’ve never used them before. I had visions of me turning blue trying to blow them up. I can’t even blow up a toy balloon. Fortunately, Sena found a model that inflates just by plugging it into a regular electrical outlet and turning a knob. It doesn’t stop filling automatically, though. The instructions warn you not to inflate more than 5 minutes because that could burn out the motor. But there is no warning about the danger of an exploding air mattress. Be careful with the levitation mode.

The last two days have been pretty noisy. If you’ve ever listened to heavy duty sanding machines, the din is tremendous and nearly constant all day long. It’s like living in a giant’s wood shop. When the screeching stops, the buzzing starts. When the buzzing stops, the whirring starts. In fact, the sound is similar to the noise of Frank’s stump grinder (see post 10/2/2020). We were a little surprised when one of the workers sanded all the way through the floor and landed on our new folding table while we were having lunch. Good workers like that are hard to find.

Sanding wood floors raises a regular haboob of dust, so we were sort of barricaded by heavy plastic on the stairway. We could sometimes hear the workers sneeze and cough, but most of the time they were muffled by masks. We never needed to wear masks against the dust because of the measures the workers took to protect us. We wore them when we talked face to face with them for the same reason—to protect them (and us) from coronavirus.

Heavy sanding also raises the temperature and it got pretty warm upstairs. On the other hand, it tends to be chillier downstairs and the furnace doesn’t come on. We’re lucky to have a little space heater.

I mentioned togetherness earlier and a smaller space like the basement has brought us together more. It’s more crowded in the kitchen (I guess I should say wet bar). The refrigerator is a blessing, even if it’s smaller. Doing the dishes can be a little bumpy, but we haven’t broken anything—yet.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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