Lemme tell you something. You don’t need no stinkin’ rodent to tell you that it’s going to be bloody cold until the end of March! Saskatchewan needs to get its own groundhog and call him Cynical Cyril. Cyril will not even bother coming out of his hole. He’ll just roll over and flip the bird to all the media and onlookers. Read the sign: “Welcome to Saskatchewan; where you’ll never get your early spring.”
Don’t be fooled by this current mild spell, last week it was -34 in Saskatoon with a windchill making it feel like you were on the shores of the Beaufort Sea. And to add insult to injury there was an 85% possibility of precipitation. Longest.Winter.Ever.
The teenagers don’t want to stay in the basement. It’s freezing down there. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my friends and I would never want to hang out in the freezing cold rumpus room. People don't have rumpus rooms any more, do they? Isn’t that a great word, Rumpus Room? Several blogs ago, I wrote about some way back words used by the parentage of our generation, words like 'beauty parlour' and 'piss & vinegar'. My friend-relative, Nicole, said I should have included Rumpus Room, and right then and there I decided it deserved a blog of its own. (Just as an aside, I want to tell you the great joyous thing about having friend-relatives. If they decide one day to ditch you as a friend, they are still obligated to hang out with you because they are family! Isn’t that awesome?)
Anyway, at one time, no one dared build a house without designating one room in the basement as the Rumpus Room. “You kids are creating a noisy, disturbed or disruptive commotion in my living room! I will build you a separate room to create your rumpus in!”
If I had a nickel for every time I heard my mom yelling at my brothers to, "Get downstairs to the Rumpus Room”, I would not be living in Saskatchewan right now. In the 1970s, my parents decided to take on the project of decorating the rumpus room. The result was downright groovy. The new carpet was a (non) luxurious deep red industrial number I liked to call “Hotel Hallway”. They installed a black and red vinyl bar with matching black and red vinyl storage benches along the walls. I’m not sure why they decided on storage benches because there was never anything in them except my brothers’ stinky boxing gloves. (I never actually saw my brothers using them but when you opened those benches; it was Hello Old Sweaty Boxing Gloves!). The only other thing in the benches was an old game of monopoly with everything missing except Baltic Avenue, the race car and three hotels.
My parents decided to order the "Sunset Dream" wallpaper from the Sears Catalogue which was very popular at the time. It was less wallpaper really, and more like one huge picture panel that went on a Feature Wall--the big thing in the 70s. It was supposed to feel like you could just walk right out of your basement and onto a beach in Fiji at sunset.
Regardless, it was at this time that I learned the rule called Never Buy Wallpaper. Problem was you needed a team of 40 giant people to actually adhere it to the wall all at once or it would bubble up all over, causing swear words to tumble out of the homeowner's mouth in an avalanche of frustration. The bubble trouble happened on our feature wall; however my parents had a solution. They purchased stick-on mirror tiles to go behind the groovy vinyl bar and they thought it would be helpful if they stuck the leftover mirrors in panels along the bubbled areas of the Sunset Dream. This created a very unique style of decor, never copied to this day, as far as I am aware.
They also had enough Sunset Dream leftover to wrap around the telepost in our rumpus room. Ah, there it was, basement reno complete. No one ever went down there again.