Since we bought our house four years ago, our basement has been mostly unfinished and what was "finished" hardly qualified as that. In August, my dad came over with a sledge hammer and said, "We're remodeling your basement." Yes, our basement remodeling is the sort that needed a sledge. So, it began.
We broke out the floor in many places to install plumbing for a bathroom. My dad is the master construction dude. Pure genius. He figured it all out... all the drains and vents and the fall and all that plumbing stuff that I don't really understand. When that part was all said and done, we had new drain plumbing in our entire house and our main sewer stack was moved from nearly the middle of the room to a more enclose-it-in-a-wall kind of location. Then we had a cement truck come and we poured new floor in the holes we made. My dad rules.
Then we ran into financial issues. Both sides of our duplex were vacated. It's a large mortgage and with no income for it, we put a halt on all construction. The best part was, Mac and Ella's rooms were all messed up and everything was yucky and dirty. So, as I've mentioned before, they've been sleeping on the floor in Rohan's room in sleeping bags since the end of August. We are awesome parents.
Things picked back up at the end of December and Dustin started working on things again. He got all the electrical done and finished framing almost everything. The apartments were still vacant so we decided to just do the two bedrooms. My dad's been back performing with impeccable skill the various tasks that Dustin isn't quite so confident about. Sheetrock hanging and finishing, closet shelf building and chopping off doors to accommodate our low ceilings. Then Dustin did the finish carpentry and we just need to paint and lay carpet and the two bedrooms will be done. My babies will have beds once again. *sigh*
My job during this whole process has been cheerleader and Home Depot runner. When it was time to get materials for the doors, closets, base and casing, my dad spent about a half hour on the phone with me going over what I needed to get. We talked about right and left hand doors, bifold doors, how many feet of casing, how many feet of base, closet shelving and cleats and all kinds of other things. My dad, bless his heart, was trying to explain to me what kind of shelving material we needed. He kept talking about how many sheets of 11 3/4" shelves and how many 15 3/4" shelves we would need. I didn't understand how it worked and he was explaining and reexplaining over and over. My brain was starting to fry and he kept saying the word shelf. Suddenly I asked him, "Dad, what's a shelf?"
His response, "What?"
I repeated. "What's a shelf? I can't remember."
I think he thought it was a joke, but I was dead serious. I had been trying for so long to make my mind come up with a picture of something I didn't really understand because I hadn't SEEN the materials he was talking about, and then I heard him say the word "shelf" so many times that it simply lost it's meaning to me. It became just a sound rather than a "word" that creates an image in my mind. It was so weird. I really felt like I had some sort of stroke and I could not begin to describe how disoriented I felt.
It only took me a few seconds in real time to remember what a shelf was, but it felt like forever. My mind had to pull out of the place it was where I couldn't remember and go to a place that held a different context. I needed to get out of that abstract place and go back into a closet. I opened a closet door, looked inside... "Put that box on the shelf" I told myself. Then it all came flooding back. A shelf is a ledge thing in a closet that holds shoes and boxes and toys and books. Ahhhh... it felt so good to remember. But I can still, even now, remember how it felt to not remember. I have more sympathy than ever for my sweet little grandma who suffered a stroke and had to re-learn so many things.
I am looking forward to a post in the VERY near future where I can have pictures of two brand new rooms! Complete with closet shelves!