Shopping In My Basement

Some of the metal stuff hanging from the floor joists in the basement.

I’m shopping in my basement, shopping in my basement…“, I sang as I craned my neck looking at the pieces of metal, in so many different forms, hanging from the floor joists in the basement.

Yesterday we woke up to see that our flags had fallen.  At first, I thought the rope broke, but then I saw that it was the loop of metal holding the pulley to the ring at the top of the old wooden flagpole that broke.

So I did what I always do when something simple needs fixing around the farm.  I went into the basement looking for whatever it is I might need to do the job.

There was a big auction when we bought the farm  (a Stickley desk with old paint cans on it was found in the basement and sold for over $20,000)and the house and barns were emptied out before we moved in.

But there were a few things left in the basement including lots of small pieces of wood, a set of plastic draws filled with nails and screws, and a nice selection of metal stuff including chains, hinges, brackets, hooks, springs, electrical wire, pullies, and a bunch of things that I have no idea how to use.

A few weeks ago my friend Emily told me how she stores a lot of her art supplies in her basement because she doesn’t have room for them in her desk where she works.  “It’s like shopping in my basement,” she told me.  She doesn’t even remember everything that’s down there, but they’re always seems to be something she needs when she’s looking.

That’s how it is with our basement too.

As I shone my flashlight at the ceiling of the basement and hummed “I’m shopping in my basement” I did find just what I needed.  A heavy-duty metal ring, with overlapping ends so I could slip it onto both the pulley and the flagpole.

A part of me wonders if when I take something from the basement that was there before us, that something else magically appears in its place.  Because I always seem to see something in the basement I hadn’t before.

Or maybe it’s just about need.  If I’m not looking for it, my eyes just skip right over it.

Outside, I lowered the flagpole by removing one of the bolts that hold it upright, and let it swing on the other bolt till it was on the ground.  As I attached the ring and pulley, the wind kicked up and the flag, like the surface of a lake, started undulating with the wind.

I watched it for a while. Then I figure if it held my attention for as long as it did, it would make a good Thirty Second Video.

So here it is.  You can see the “new” ring I  used to attach the pulley to the flagpole.


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