Author: David Wester

Last month I never got around to writing my little monthly article, I try to present something of value to give an understanding or useful information, tips or tricks for the construction trades we work in. This time I’m going to wander a little and explain why I failed to get my “From Dave’s Desk” article written last month.

I have been busy but I’m not going to use that as an excuse; instead I’m going with memory loss. As most of you know, we are empty nesters and have more house to live in then we need, so Sue and I have moved to the basement, and we love it, we now have the basement and the rear garage while one of our sons and family have the main floor and front garage. All this really has nothing to do with anything except for my memory loss. I am convinced that living in the basement causes memory loss; it’s not permanent but more of a loss due to location.

My kids just think I am getting old, my business associates think I simply have too many things on the go, my doctor thinks it’s from the pain associated with recovering from my broken back; however, I have noticed my wife Sue has also experienced much of the same memory loss. Now I may not be the fully charged battery in the bag, or the sharpest knife in the drawer for you non-contractor readers, but I do see a pattern that I believe is associated with my memory loss. It’s caused by living in the basement, and I think I can prove it.

I am convinced it’s the location and has nothing to do with age, workload or health; it’s from physically being in the basement. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing environmentally wrong with our basement; we have a walkout and good windows so we get natural light; it’s quiet so I get as much sleep as my body wants; it’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer; the air quality is very good; we have everything we need to be comfortable; we live in an ICF and Fortruss home, nothing to rot or burn, no mould or mildew; good air quality so nothing that contributes to the memory loss.

This is purely a geographical phenomenon and as I have observed and talked with others it is much more widespread than I ever imagined. I look back and I can see evidence of it before we ever moved to the basement; I see it in my parents, my siblings, my children and even in my grandchildren. If you stop and think about it I am almost 100% sure all of you reading this have experienced this memory loss phenomenon as well.

You’re in the kitchen, or the garage, or anywhere other than the basement, working away on something, doesn’t matter what, and all of a sudden you need something and it’s in the basement, no problem, you head down to the basement, as soon as your last foot hits the basement floor you can’t remember what it was you needed. You stop and think hard but nothing, you think about what you were just doing hoping it will come back but still nothing. You even reason it must have been something from the storage room or the freezer so you go there and still nothing, you stare at the shelves or stand over the open freezer surveying everything there and still nothing. You know somewhere in your mind you know exactly what it was you came to get but just can’t get a hold of it.

You go back to the stairs hoping to jog your memory, you know fully well as soon as you get back up to the top of the stairs you will remember. So you put one foot on the bottom step just hoping to tease your memory into letting that little bit of information slip from its hidden recesses so you don’t have to make the trip up the stairs just to come back down. Still nothing, you know you could wait it out as it will come to mind in the middle of the night when you’re trying to sleep, but you haven’t got all day for this. Finally you cave in and climb back up the stairs; as soon as your last foot hits the top of the stairs, ‘Bingo’ you remember. You turn and head back down, but this time you are determined not to forget, repeating the item over and over until you are holding it in your hand and heading back to the kitchen, garage or wherever you came from, for the second time.

For me, I believe the problem has been living in the basement; some days I don’t even get outside, don’t go upstairs just continually working at my desk trying to remember what I am here for.

(Written 10 January 2017)