Opinion: Investing in down under


Commentary by Dick Wolfsie

My home office is downstairs, which was just a cellar when we moved into the house in the ’90s.

We invested a little money to fix it up, so then it became a basement. I guess you could call it a finished basement. But apparently it wasn’t finished, because the builder we hired said that for a few extra bucks he could add some decorative touches and then we could call it our lower level. We didn’t have “that” kind of money.

Our original plan was to make it a beautiful room where we could entertain guests and sip white wine as we talked about good books and the current movie scene. Fifteen years later, no humans are allowed downstairs except me and the men from Orkin.

We have a pool table that I bought in l998 when I wanted to get my son interested in something other than video games. He started playing video games of people playing pool.

I use the cue sticks to wrangle cobwebs from the ceiling. I can store our suitcases underneath, and the tabletop is the perfect nesting area for a year’s supply of Bush’s baked beans. My wife said we’d never use the pool table. Geesh, what a pessimist!

Somewhere under boxes of paperback books and musty blankets is a futon. The cat sees the unit as a condo—two beds and a bath, if you know what I mean.

In 2000, I decided to learn to play the piano, so I set up an electronic gizmo called a Clavinova downstairs. It can be programmed to mimic 30 different instruments, create background rhythms and magically produce chords. I only had to sit there and make each next payment.

We built a bar in the corner so guests could grab a cold one without climbing the stairs. But we never put in a fridge, as we planned.  Behind the bar is our new sump pump. We’ll install it any year now.

I just told Mary Ellen it was time we invited some friends over to play pool.

But first, I have a whole lot of beans to eat.



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