October 10, 2011 : Julie Hammerle

October 10, 2011 : Julie Hammerle

I was supposed to take the Metra down to visit my sister-in-law and her kids in the Loop today for a fun family Columbus Day outing with trains and lunch and, probably, a walk to that odorous park next to the chocolate factory.  But things didn’t pan out.  I ended up stuck at home doing something that has become (unfortunately) very “Chicagoan” over the past couple of years – I spent the day repainting our basement in the wake of this summer’s flooding.

Five and a half years ago, the very first thing my husband and I did when we moved into our house on the far Northwest side (well, the first thing we did after we ripped out all the heinous ‘70s wallpaper) was fix up the basement.  We’re big movie buffs and all we wanted was a fabulous room in which to force our guests to sit through Mission: Impossible 3.  My dad and my uncle came over every day for a month to hang drywall and nail in beams and do stuff with electricity that boggled my mind.  We wound up with the perfect media room, complete with massive TV, Blu-Ray player, surround sound, and sexy leather recliners.

Two years later our basement flooded.  But everyone said it was just a fluke – a 100 Year Flood, they said -- so we replaced the damaged chairs and carpet and electronics.  And then it 100 Year Rained again this summer.  So this time we’re getting an epoxy floor instead of carpet.  We (OK, my dad) cut out half the drywall and removed the insulation.  We’re making sure all of the electronics are at least a foot off the ground.  And we’re doing something superstitious to guarantee that our basement never floods again – we’re eschewing the sexy leather chairs for my mom and dad’s old La-Z-Boy sofa.

But the day wasn’t all paint-splattered and soundtracked to the music from Drive.  The kids and I also went out in the beautiful October weather to play in the park and scout the neighborhood for the best Halloween decorations.  And then we came home to play with our own Halloween decorations/new favorite toy best friends, Carol, Count, and Scoopy.

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About the author: @JulieHammerle is not a professional painter. She is, according to Klout, a Morgan Freeman expert who blogs at chicagonow.com/hammervision.

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