My grandkids are afraid to go down to our basement. It’s not dark, dank, and scary. It’s just messy. It scares me almost as much as it does the grands. Every five years or so, Bill and I straighten up the basement. It doesn’t take long, however, before it’s once again a mess. Basements are such convenient places to throw all of that stuff you don’t want anyone to see. And throw stuff, we do.
There are two storage areas in our basement — one with mostly Bill’s things and one with mostly my things. Bill’s things include old television sets, boxes and boxes of old legal files, many vacuum cleaners, most that either don’t work or are missing so many pieces that they are useless, and coolers.
I can’t complain about his area, however, because my storage area contains the most ridiculous things you could imagine. There are many things that I used 25 years ago when we first moved into this house. We did something then that we rarely do these days. We entertained. So I have old centerpieces and tea sets and punch bowls.
I have two — count ’em — two ice cream makers. One makes a quart of ice cream and the other makes two pints of ice cream. To be perfectly honest, I have two of the aforementioned two-pinter. I lost a critical piece, so I bought another ice cream maker that was exactly the same. As I put it away, I found the missing piece. Sigh.
I have two dumpling steamers that I have used exactly once. I have a popover pan that I have used exactly once. I have a Fry Daddy that I used on a couple of occasions, but decided it was too much of a mess to clean up, and thus, it gathers dust. I have Christmas dinnerware and Easter dinnerware. I have picnic baskets and plastic dinnerware to take on our picnic. If we actually ever went on a picnic.
But none of that is what scares the grandkids and keeps them from going downstairs by themselves. What we also have in our basement are spiders. Don’t get me wrong. Our basement doesn’t look like a movie set for a horror film about spiders. There are almost certainly no more spiders in our basement than in anyone else’s basement.
What ours does have, however, is a sticky spider pad. Unfortunately, Bill hasn’t changed the pad for a number of years. There are very many spiders on that pad. None of them looks dangerous. There are no black widows or tarantulas, just regular basement spiders. But let’s get realistic. Spiders are scary. They just are. The spider catcher is back in a corner where it isn’t easily seen, but the kids know it’s there. Thus, Cole refuses to go downstairs, even if it’s just to get a toy, without being accompanied by Nana.
To be perfectly honest, that’s why I don’t go downstairs and clean out my storage area. There, I’ve said it. Even if it isn’t true, it’s a helluva good excuse, don’t you think?