Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Treasures From The Basement: Part 1

In April, my dad's basement flooded due to a monsoon-like storm (if you can have monsoons in the midwest; otherwise, I guess it was just a ridiculous amount of rain accompanied by lots of thunder and lightning, although the thunder and lightning part is irrelevant, except that's probably why it rained so much, so...relevant). 

This happened while we were worried about the lake house flooding from the same storm system and my husband and I had gone there to sandbag the house. The Corps of Engineers and Mother Nature somehow kept the water from rising as high as it did a year and a half ago (when the lake house DID flood), but unknown to us was the water making its way through the basement of the other house. 

My dad was in a rehab facility post-knee replacement surgery at the time, and we didn't discover that the basement had had water in it for another two weeks, so you can only imagine how much fun THAT was. All the cardboard boxes of stuff that were stored on the basement floor, some junk, some treasure, none of which were enhanced by the addition of rain water, were pretty much ruined. Mold growing. Smelly. Ugh.

Cleaning it out has been a chore. Or has it? Here are a few of the jewels I found down there:

Bona fide stereo with record still on it.

My 3rd grade math workbook ca. 1968

My brother's 6th grade ruler. I know this because
of the room number; he and I had the same teacher
and same classroom for 6th grade, which was
located in the basement - hence, the "B"

In 5th grade, we made maracas out of an old lightbulb
we brought from home. Instead of a normal household bulb,
my dad brought home a used bulb from Municipal Auditorium
in downtown Kansas City for me to use for the project. After applying
papier mache to the bulb and allowing it to thoroughly dry,
we cracked the bulb against our desk. The shattered glass inside
then made the shake shake shake sound of the maraca.
My guess is that craft wouldn't fly in schools today....

From 6th grade. See? Same classroom my brother had.

My Brownie bracelet. I lasted all of about four months
in Brownies.
My 6th grade notebook. The stick-on
hands and feet were furry.

I used to keep these on my dresser when I was
in elementary school. I discovered the little
dog is actually a salt shaker. Or pepper shaker.
How did I not know that? Where's the other shaker?
Is that why someone gave it to me? I'll
never know the answer!

One of my favorite finds: my brother must have
ordered this from Tiger Beat magazine.
Pretty groovy, huh?

You might be able to see why the cleaning out of the basement is taking me awhile.

There WILL be a sequel.... 


  1. This is so fun! I don't envy you the cleaning/sorting/dispensing with part of this project, but the memories you're reviving are priceless! That was a pretty classy record player in its time! Does it still work? I can't wait to see what else you find down there, hopefully no bodies to inspire future SSS endeavors!! :-)

    1. I threw the record player away, as it had been on the floor and had sat in flood water, and we don't know how deep or how long. Let's hope there aren't any bodies down there!

  2. I'm a memory keeper at heart so can appreciate all these great finds from the past. While cleaning out the remains after a basement flood is not fun (I've been there), I'm glad to see you're finding some treasures. I love the "Monkees Outasite Party Book". Any good party ideas?

    1. It's hard to throw away so much of this stuff, but it's been down there for almost 40 years and I have lived without it, so if it was damaged in the least, I threw it away. I might have taken a picture first, but I closed my eyes and stuffed it in a black trash bag where I wouldn't be tempted to pull it out again!

      You know what? I didn't read the Monkees Outasite Party Book, but I sure would have remembered if my brother had thrown an outasite party! This is one of the items that I saved, so I'll read it next time I'm there and let you know if there are any good hints :)

  3. I am dreading the day I have to go through mum's loft. As you say...it takes a LOT of time. You're finding lots of fun thi gs though. I hope nothing precious is ruined!