It’s been a rainy Fall here in the midwest, and when the St. Louis metro gets saturated, basements start flooding. Ours is no exception. Friday night, we returned from work to find the unfinished portion of our basement with standing water, and our bedroom (which is the finished portion of the downstairs) a humid, carpety-bog.
The last time this happened, some 18 months back during a particularly nasty Spring, the rising tide destroyed our carpet and stained some baseboards. But, through fortunate timing and an hours long struggle to contain the wellspring, we managed to keep our property damage to a minimum.
This time was a reversal – the carpet survives, but the walls are soaked. And we say goodbye to two nice drawer-nightstands and a chifferobe. (The chifferobe being notable only for the occasion, some 6 or 7 years ago at The Fortress, when Gene and I did a mediocre job of assembling this mediocre piece of furniture. The rather poor instructions led us to backasswardsly construct several portions of the unit, requiring us to rebuild it. Thus proving why Gene and I are designers and musicians – not construction workers. Wendy still laughs about it.)
Also different this time: our landlord, Jeff, called in The Flood Team, experts in minimizing damage to homes from groundwater attacks. They swiftly vacuumed up a good bit of the water, then installed a number of high powered fans and the mother of all dehumidifiers, rendering the bedroom into a hot wind tunnel. (It’s actually rather fun to stand in, whipping clothes about dramatically and all.) The methodology is effective – the carpet is dry, the humidity gone. The wet funk only welled up late Saturday evening, and was gone by morning. (If you’ve ever had a flooding, you’re probably aware of the intense odor having a big-wet-everything causes after a bit, like a load of wash gone manky after being left damp in the machine.)
The lousy part is that we currently have no bedroom. We’re sleeping on an air mattress in our living room which, of course, is far from ideal – though Domino loves it. All our clothes are in baskets and bags, choking space in our offices.
We’re choosing to place a positive spin on the whole ordeal, though. We’ve recently had some success rearranging our kitchen and living room to highly improved utility and feng shui. We’re trying to make some big changes in our lifestyle anyway, so why not shake things up good and relocate our entire bedroom? Wen is graciously sacrificing her office upstairs to be converted. It’s not as large as the downstairs bedroom, but should accommodate our now-forcibly-streamlined furniture. Plus, it allows us to finally get a real bed frame (foresight upon moving into this house kept us from ever having more than the metal stand for our box-springs and mattress, for justified fear of watery-desecration). We’re looking at platform beds, because they fit our aesthetic and don’t require box-springs – seeing as the one downstairs shall not rise above the earth again. It’s not physically possible to get it back up the stairs in one piece. (The story of how it got down in the first place involves Mr. Cory, my thumb as a shoehorn, and a mighty groove said digit left in the stairwell overhang.)
I suppose I’ll call over @MediumDoug for our time-honored ritual of dismissing undesired furniture by way of hammers and power tools. (We first bonded at the expense of the Union Street hide-a-bed couch, back in mid-2000.)
Unfortunately, this whole process will probably take a few weeks as we find new homes for a corner desk, @Visway’s old recliner and a couple of small bookshelves. That, and a trade from an air mattress on the floor to a real mattress on the floor, until a suitable upgrade is found and delivered. We’re no strangers to that arrangement, though, as anybody who visited The Fortress back in the day might remember my pseudo-Asian bedroom styling. (Which, er, means my fancy waterbed frame collapsed when the fluid mattress was swapped for a solid one, reducing my sleeping arrangement to ground-level. My friend Stacy Small-Molitor delightfully coined it “the sandbox”.)
As for the basement room – after carpet-shampooing, it becomes the new Exercise / DDR / Music room. With, of course, everything on risers…
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