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Hal's Lightbulb

Posted by Rachel R. Vanderveen on Thursday, September 27th, 2012 at 9:24am.

I know I’ve been complaining about the basement for many months now, but unfortunately I have to take to my blog once more to off load about the perils of our never-ending project.

The basement is mostly complete. We have a few touch-ups, but we’re saving those for later. We just need to move our stuff now and get our school room up and running so that we catch up on all the days of homeschool that we missed.

This move into the basement is one of epic proportions. So much moving has to happen that it feels like we are actually moving into a new house. Let me explain: Our oldest boys are moving out of their upstairs room and down to the basement. Our middle two are moving into a different room in the upstairs, and the baby is moving into the nursery. The school room is moving out of the master bedroom into the bonus room, and everything from the bonus room is moving to the basement. Today I told Clint that I wasn’t sure if I would prefer to completely unfinish the basement and just go back to the way we were.

I have 4 square feet of counter space to cook on. Everything else is covered with boxes. This is of great sadness to me who loves to cook. So we have a lot of Pizza Hut nights, and a lot of “Who wants apples, cheese strings and yogurt for dinner?” (What? Vegetarians do it all the time).

Clint and I both love the show Malcolm in the Middle. There is this one episode where Hal (the dad) tries to change a lightbulb. As he looks for a lighbulb in the drawer, he see the slides on the drawer are broken, so he looks for screwdriver to fix the drawer. Then he finds the screwdriver in a box of tools and realizes they’re so disorganized that he needs to make a wall for his tools. Then he starts to hang the wall for his tools and realizes the wall is breached so he starts fixing the wall. Then the scene cuts to him under the car changing the oil in the car. His wife, Lois, walks in and says, “The light’s burned out in the kitchen. Can you change it?” From under the car he screams: “CAN’T YOU SEE THAT’S WHAT I’M DOING?”

So Clint and I have referred to this move as Hal’s lightbulb. Every time we set out to do something, we realize something else badly needs to get done. We had an extra shelf that no longer fit in the basement, so we had to move it to the garage where it would be useful. The garage was so packed full, that we had to empty the garage before we could move the shelf in. So many things had to come out of the garage and back into the house, but we don’t have enough shelves in our closets, so Clint had to build extra wire shelving in 5 closets in our house. DVDs from our bonus room had to move somewhere else because we need the space for school supplies. We decided that we have way too many DVDs, so we couldn’t do anything until we had gotten rid of all the cases, and put the discs into a book. Well, we have about 750 DVDs, so we had to look for an app which could scan them all in by barcode and catalogue them in our iPhones. Now there’s hundreds of DVDs all over our main floor which are half-way through being scanned into the app. It’s never-ending. (The app is super-cool by the way)

Which brings me to a bit of introspection: For months now, we’ve both been saying, “Once the basement is done then we’ll have more peace. But this morning I went to the basement and realized that our youngest boy took all the toys from their sorting drawers (days worth of work to get all toys categorized and sorted) and spread them all over the floor like a many-pointed, plastic carpet. It will take hours to re-sort them all back into their appropriate drawers. There really never is an if/then situation in life, is there? Meaning: if we have this, then we’ll be peaceful. I’m starting to think, I’ve just got to be better at sitting in the mess, and enjoying our growing family amongst the disorganization surrounding us. That is all.

Rachel Vanderveen

The Vanderveen Team
Maxwell South Star Realty
Phone: 403.253.5678 Fax: 403.592.6736

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