Monday, April 14, 2014

Make 'Em Laugh

Hey look!!!  We finished the other half of the house!! 

Ha!!  Just kidding.  Although at times I feel this may be the closest I'll ever get!  Naw, I was actually just going through my "word posts" list and saw that someone gave me the word "humor".  I suppose over this last year I have not put up very many humorous posts.  Heck, maybe even since I got married, I don't know.  Although, Lord knows there's been plenty to laugh at since then.  Heehee!  No, I know.  Since I had this bad health spell I've not regaled ya'll with the humorous stories like I used to.  I've been glum and morose.  I've also usually felt like someone beat the living hell out of me (and that would take a lot!) but hey!, what's a little pain and agony between friends??  No reason why I can't still tell funny stories and show ya'll the infinitely humorous side of gardening, chicken herding and watching your youth vanish before you can finish your $#^*&#@!#$%#$% house.  And hey, with some of the pain meds they hand out these days you can really begin to see the funny side of things.  

Okay, okay.  I'll get on with it.  Jack and I are planning a new adventure so he's been getting out all of the camping gear to see what we have and what we need etc. and I thought it might be a good idea to actually set the tent up and sleep in it one night.  You know, to see if I would still be able to walk the next day after sleeping (hopefully) on the ground all night.  Now, my plan was to set the tent up on a smooth, level part of the yard.  You know, somewhere where you might actually be comfortable for more than 5 minutes.  But Jack was going for the excitement of our normal camping trips and decided instead to set the tent up in the rockiest, most lumpy part of the yard as he could find.  Did I mention my land has a LOT of rocks in it?  Of course, he claimed he wanted it close to the house because somebody...ahem...has to go to the bathroom a few times a night and he didn't want me to have to walk very far.  Mmmhmmm.  So anyway, he packed the tent with lots of sleeping pads and cushions and down blankies.  We lasted about an hour and a half I think.  Jack actually fell asleep at some point but I had more trouble.  I couldn't sleep on my left side because I would slide off the big rock lump I was on and after an hour on my right side my sciatica started acting up so my leg was jerking and I figured it might get so bad I'd end up spontaneously kicking Jack and that's be awful.  When the hooty owls gathered 'round and started their Spring Mating Screech Fest that always scares the bejeezees out of Chigger and into a barking frenzy, we figured maybe it'd be best just to retire into the house and try again another night.  Like after Jack buys the air mattresses we're gonna need to actually sleep.  Nothing like trying to relive your youthful camping days to make you feel decrepit and miserable.

Jack and I both used to camp a great deal in our separate, younger days but we've never experienced a great deal of success in this endeavor since we've been together.  In fact, I'm not sure why we're trying this other than I've got one more item on my bucket list I want to check off while I'm still physically able, albeit limpingly so.  That and Jack will always indulge me when I say I want to do something.  Especially when it involves travel or the idea of an adventure.  
As I lay, unsleeping, in the tent the other night, the moon was extremely bright, being almost full, and it reminded me immediately of our first camping trip together when we went out West.  One of our first big stops was Big Bend National Park, as some of you may remember.  Jack had been numerous times there but it was all new to me and I was mesmerized.  We stayed in the caldera of the park and that night the moon was so full and so bright it was almost like daytime, just with dark sunglasses on.  We had the bright idea that we would just rig a small tent up over the bed of his truck and sleep there.  No need to actually set up a tent.  We had an air mattress and everything.  I believe this was when the true mettle of our relationship began to be tested.  
After a wonderful meal at the park's restaurant we came back to camp and readied our little spot.  We stowed our coolers in the bear box and crawled into our little nest for the night.  Or, for a little while anyway, until the probably too much tea I had at supper made me creep out of the bed and hike the twisty, deeply rutted and probably crawling with giant, hairy, dessert spiders trail to the women's room.  Back in the truck we slowly discovered that maybe we had not pumped the air mattress up quite enough as it seemed to not be actually very...airy.  It was more like fairly squishy.  We hauled ourselves back out again and pumped it up some more.  There.  That seemed much better.  I think we may have slept on and off a little but eventually woke up facing each other, curiously enough, right smack in the middle of a soft, mushy valley of rubber.  We struggled to free ourselves but kept rolling back together.  "I feel like a wienie in a hotdog", Jack said exasperated.  Delirious fatigue got the best of us and we giggled maniacally for an unknown amount of time.  We figured at this point some of the other campers might begin to throw rocks at us so we tried to shut up..but you know how that usually works and I think it was at this point that I decided Jack was probably the man for me.  We finally fell back to merciful sleep.  At some point in the wee, early morning hours, before sunrise, I slowly became half conscious.  Still in the fog of sleep, I was though, barely aware of a low, growling noise somewhere nearby.  A small seed of fear grew in the back of my mind, forcing me towards awareness.  I awoke to hear it clearly.  A snuffling, ominous rumble, a sound like something a bear would make.  I cursed the time I had spent before we came, reading the reports of bear attacks in Big Bend and in my mind I smacked the goofy smile off that park employee's face that gleefully told us how active the bears had been lately.  My blood ran cold as the sound increased and I realized the beast must be...right. next. to. us.  In my fear I huddled closer to Jack.  I figured if the hideous beast grabbed one of us by the feet it would have to drag both of us out!!  I searched for a stick or anything!!  
It was Jack snoring!!  What??  Hey, it really sounded like a bear!!  Or a javelina....a big, hairy, murderous javelina!!  Relief flooded over me and I fell back into a fitful sleep.  After a campfire breakfast and a sponge bath the next morning we decided maybe one night in Big Bend was enough and headed for the closest Hampton Inn at the end of the day.  To be fair, a rain storm was starting as we were leaving so we kinda had a good excuse. 

So, with that wondrous experience far enough behind in our memory we are going to try it again!  This time we get separate air mattresses.  Oh, and there are no bears where we are going.


ErinFromIowa said...

I loved the Big Bend story. Haha! You kids have earned the comfort of an air mattress. Be safe in your travel adventures.

Sal said...

OMW! I've given up diet coke so it was iced coffee that just decorated my (waterproof- I've learned) keyboard and screen! I love all of your posts - unreservedly- and the funny ones always catch me off guard- you have an awesome way of writing so the humor sneaks up and catches me by surprse! (or clunks me with a 2 by!) Love it- thank you!

JO said...

I had a truck tent for awhile and it was great. You night try that to keep you off the damp ground.
Loved your story about Big Bend. hope you enjoy your trip.

edifice rex said...

Hey Erin! thanks! glad you enjoyed the tale!

Hey Sal! Ooops! thanks!

Hey Jo! thanks! We are going to each have a cot too, so that should help a lot. lol!

Ed said...

I know the weenie in a hotdog feeling. The only way I will use an air mattress is if I am sleeping on it solo. There are special air mattresses for camping that when blown up are only about an inch thick and a couple feet wide by six feet long. They are much more comfortable than those that blow up to six or more inches deep.

I used to be able to sleep easily in a tent but have found that as I got older, the only way I can is with drugs. Now when I go camping, I take along plenty of over the counter sleepaids with pain reliever included. It works well!

MyamuhNative said...

I've had that weenie experience too.And it always seems that the leak is in the flocked part of the air mattress-and I have no idea how you patch that side.
My vote is to go for an extra high mattress because they are so much easier to get up from even with a creaky back.Its the only way that works for me...

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

Good story Annie. I heard that one of those memory foams or what ever it is called may be good with an air mattress. Don't know for sure though. I can remember camping in the back of my pickup like that too once. Quite some time ago. The place was well known for grizzly bear sightings. I can't remember how well I slept, but I was a drinking man at the time, so probably didn't have a problem. Hope you have a good campout.

texasann said...

Great story, Annie, and hope to read more after your next adventure. Hubby and I are up for more adventures all the time - when we get "mis-directed" especially - no more are we lost, just on an adventure! Makes trips ever so much more fun, don't you think?
Enjoy - great weather down here in Texas - come on down!

Ed said...

I finally googled what I was talking about and they are therm-a-rest self inflating air mattresses. They are super tough and I've yet to spring a leak in one after decades of use camping.

edifice rex said...

Hey Ed! Yeah, drugs are usually included in our camping kits too!! Sleep aids, pain meds or muscle relaxers! thanks for the specific name of that air mattress; we will look those up!

Hey Mya! Yeah, we are going to use a cot too so I think that will help. lol!

Hey Mark! good to hear from you dude! I would probably have to be drunk out of my mind to sleep anywhere around grizzlies! lol!

Hey Ann! yeah, we are kinda the same way; makes it more fun! We keep talking about going back out west but not sure when.

Hey Ed! thanks for the info!