This is Number 37 in the 100 Journal Topics from this old angelfire page.
Write about the best attic or basement you’ve ever been in.
I don’t know about other parts of the country. It seems like attics and basements are pretty common things, but it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of them around here.
I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a real-live attic. I have been in the basement of a couple of the buildings at my college, and that was admittedly pretty awesome. The best was Vinson Hall before they renovated it. Stuff from all over the college was stored in this old men’s dorm, and I loved looking at the televisions and couches from the 60s, and all the other things crammed in there. One room in that building was all chairs. They were piled on top of each other. You couldn’t even get into “the chair room.”
That room wasn’t really in the basement though. I don’t really remember the basement as its own thing. My memories are of the building as a whole. (And I just got a sniff of a memory of a recurring dream I sometimes have about that building…and it’s more than a little creepy. Off-topic though.)
I also got to go in the cool basement at the old junior high here in town before it was demolished. That was for an article for the newspaper. Best part was that nobody went in with me, so I really got to snoop around as much as I wanted. There was so much junk stored in there! It was like going through some kind of crazy, unwanted stuff museum. I really like doing that kind of thing.
I went in my parents’ attic crawlspace a couple of times. We had Christmas stuff stored up there, and some of my old toys were kept there too. You couldn’t stand up in the crawlspace, and there wasn’t a floor – just a big piece of wood laying on the wooden joists. It was exciting the first time I went up there. Not so much later.
When we moved into our house here, Ben went up in the attic (I’ve never been, as the access is through a small hole in the ceiling above the stairs, accessed by sticking a ladder on said stairs, no thank you) and came down with a big snake skin. Sometimes I wonder if the snake that shed it is still slithering around somewhere. I did see a tiny snake in the upstairs bathroom a few years ago and I about died. I don’t know if our attic is more than a crawlspace or not. Based on the roof, it seems like you could walk up there, but not very far.
We don’t have a basement here, but we have two cellars. They are pretty sweet.
Cellar one is the storm cellar. It is in front of our house, under the big elm tree. It has two entry doors. They are big heavy mofos, and lifting one during a storm isn’t fun at all. It’s kind of interesting to have a storm cellar and get to go down there with the weather radio when we’re in a tornado watch. Ben also uses this cellar as his personal automotive garage. He parks the car over one entrance and goes down the other and changes his oil and stuff. Pretty inventive. I assume there’s two doors in case a tree or something falls on one.
Cellar two is the root cellar. It is under the house. I really, really like it. The stairs kind of stink though. They used to be all broken, but Ben got all new wood and fixed them. But…the wood was a bit more narrow than it should have been, so you’re going in and thinking you’re going to miss and break your leg the whole way down. There’s a light bulb down there, and old shelves from when people were cool and used to store their summer’s bounty in the cellar to eat all winter. We tried to store some things but I couldn’t really get the hang of it. This cellar has a hallway that leads to the main room. The hallway has…get this…an arched ceiling. It’s made of brick. Every time I see it, I am amazed that this awesome arched ceiling is under my house. I don’t see it very often (remember the breaky-leg stairs).
Sometimes people ask me why we go to the storm cellar when bad weather hits, instead of the root cellar. After all, we don’t have to go out in the rain for the root cellar. The entry door is part of our covered wraparound porch. Never an issue. I am afraid our cool hundred year old farmhouse might collapse on us in a tornado if we were in the root cellar. That’s a no-brainer for me.
Not my favorite topic so far.
I was going to add a link to this cool website, abandoned oklahoma, that has pictures of all kinds of places like Vinson Hall and my old junior high, except they haven’t been renovated or town down. Unfortunately, when I went to it, my malware popup binged and it tried to redirect to something else. Maybe they got hacked. I’ll add the link if it clears up in the next few days.