The project took about three years to complete. My wife, our children, my Mother-In-Law and myself completed the work. By this time, I was put on medical disability from Cat for heart and lung condition. I had previously undergone 4-vessel heart bypass surgery and before that I was involved in a chemical mishap at Cat. This was not that much of a concern at that time as the company we owned, Manito Machinery was doing very well. We needed to finish the basement into offices for our company now that the pool and water line problem seemed to be fixed. See the pictures of the finished product below. We finished the poolroom with solar panels in the roof to automatically heat the pool. We added a hot tub that held six people and redwood cabana, which housed the televisions, stereo, and refrigerator for cold drinks. We installed two baths for men and women with showers, sinks and stools. We added a nice pool table my wife had gotten me for Christmas gift. We also had an exercise and weight area to keep in shape. We included a play area for the grandkids that had their toys, small tables and chairs and bean bag seating. At the other end was the grownup area, full bar, tables full of dishes and server trays, food warmers and stereo speakers to drive the neighbors bonkers. Outside the east sliding door was a concrete patio that held our wooden outdoor furniture, our gas and charcoal grills. We were ready to party with the best of them.
The reason I think this increased the life span of my Mother-In-Law
Sharon had come to live with us in 1993 when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. At this time, the doctors gave her an 8 to 16 month expectancy of life. As we built this area of our home which she was a distinct part of in labor and decoration, we kept her busy on the days she felt good enough to be involved. We had her nail lumber, hold drywall, and paint the floors and screw in the decking on the floor. This was definitely the room that Sharon helped to build. A short story comes to mind. I was installing the rafters for the ceiling from the top of a ladder. I was using an air nail gun to put this together. Sharon was in the house while I was working. I missed the rafter bracket and nailed my hand to the rafter. I t hurt bad enough and startled me enough that I kicked the ladder out from under me. I was hanging on to the rafter for dear life and yelling for Sharon to help me. All the yelling finally got her attention and she came out of the house to see what the problem was. I asked her to first set up the ladder again and then to hand me a hammer. Once I was back on the ladder, I took the hammer and pulled the nail from my hand. I was free to move once more and very thankful for Sharon being there. We finished the project in April of 1996 and in the month of May 1996, my Mother-In-Law requested my wife take her to the funeral home so she could make her own arrangements. She did not want to leave that for others to do. My Mother-In-Law passed from this earth in June of 1996 in her bedroom in this home with my wife and myself holding her hands as she said her last goodbye. As the days and years went on, we did get rid of some of her clothes. They went to the people that needed them the most. The rest of her belongings we had left in her room as if she was coming back home. I don’t believe she ever left the house. I think I could still hear her. All of the kids blamed Grandma when something funny happened. I know they all miss her.
Next the children and their children invade us.