Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Contstruction Stroke

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!

14 comments:

Rachel Chick said...

Clancy, I can't stop laughing! That is SO FUNNY!!! You are the coolest of all girls, ever!!!!!!! LOL x a million!!!!! Ha!

bv said...

I'm excited for your new rooms and can't wait to see the pics! My worst fear in thie world is losing my mind and not being able to pull info or memories :(

Polly said...

I'm excited for pictures too!

Sorry about the mental block!

Kaci said...

Oooo how exciting and I worry about that too...ugh.

Emilee said...

Rachel Chick said what I WANTED TO SAY! You rule the bloggin world! I am lol rotf...

Elena said...

YAY for beds and carpet!!! (And shelves.) :)

Genene said...

You ARE awesome parents! Quit that! I asked you if the kids had complained & you said "No" so.... don't forget that to children it's all an adventure. If you start hearing complaining you might want to consider talking to them about the blessing of having a warm house & soft carpet to put their sleeping bags on, & a pillow for their heads. We want the "best" for our children & sometimes we tend to "make up" what that is, in my opinion. I guess this sounds kind of like a lecture! Sorry. I just want to help keep things in a perspective that allows gratitude to be the front & center at all times. It's one of the things I'm working on in my life!

I love you & your precious children! & I know they will have fun stories to tell when they're older. They like each other's company most of the time right now too! BONUS!!!

<3 Mom

Ginny said...

can't wait to see the pictures!!!

Kristin said...

That's hilarious! Sorry it had to happen to you... I can relate though. It's crazy when you can't think of something you absolutely know. Am I making sense? Anyway, I'm excited to see the pictures. You must have learned a lot along the way!

Connie said...

That is too funny! I've heard or repeated words to the point of them sounding like jibberish. But I've never gotten to the point where they actually lose all meaning like that. That must have felt so strange. It sure makes for a good blog post though. Thanks for the laugh.

lynsey said...

you cracked me up! i'm sad to say that the same thing (almost) happens to me on a daily basis...i struggled with the word "pillow" just yesterday. but i blamed it on the baby in my belly sucking my brain cells down to my uterus. i guess the question is, will i ever get those back?

best of luck with all of your repairs and of course, the SHELVES!

Brecca said...

Hey, your dad is super awesome. He's been over a few times helping us remodel. You are so adorable and I love you in every way. (Your kids love you too- don't worry about anything.)

Shanana said...

I had a similar experience one time with the word "blue." I was talking to someone and trying to describe the color of something. When the word came out of my mouth, it was like a foreign sensation. It just sounded weird to me... Almost like I was speaking a different language or suddenly senile.

So for that brief moment, I understood how my Grandma feels when she says things like, "That balloon potato has strange spaghetti eyes."

Travis said...

Your dad sounds a lot like my stepdad. The only thing that keeps him from being a master carpenter is...well, he's retired! He does carpentry stuff for fun now.