It’s been seven months since the Bow River flooded our basement and eroded the road in front of our home. But — yay! — our basement renovation is finally complete. We chose new carpets for the rooms, new tiles for the tub surround and walled in the TV room, but for the most part it’s just how it was — down to the paint colours. We’ve even hung our travel photos in all the same spots. We have, however, acquired a permanent artistic reminder of the YYCFLOOD: the Meanwhile in Calgary poster by KeliGirl that circulated on social media during the crisis.
For all those long months of summer and fall we were without a TV and made due less a guest bedroom, guest bath, entryway and storage room. We parked one car down the block (half of the garage was filled with refugee furniture and toys) and the kids got by with half of their toys boxed up.
But the thing is, we adapted. We watched Netflix on the laptop, turned Avery’s room into a welcoming suite when guests were in town (she bunked with us), and got accustomed to entering the house through the side door into the kitchen. Those refugee toys? The kids forgot all about them. The basement became a mysterious, plastic-sheeted-off reno zone that we rarely entered. We realized that we don’t need as much living space as we thought we did.
Having said all that though, it’s sure nice to have our basement back. I’ll take the space and learn to spread out again. Plus, there’s more than enough room for our new generator, which will power the sump pump and keep the water at bay should there be a “next time.” Take that, Bow River!