Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just Call Me Grandma

The story goes like this....

Yesterday I had an event immediately after work in Concord, NH about 30 minutes North of my office outside of Manchester.  The event got over at 9:30pm.  Instead of driving 90 minutes back to my home or 50 minutes to my sister's house, I just drove 30 minutes back to my office where I would spend the night.  Who can say they actually spent the whole night at the office?  Office Night Adventure!  I had it figured out perfectly - get into the office after the cleaners, use the restroom to clean up and change into pjs I brought from home, set up the yoga mats into a comfortable mattress in the back storage room, use my sleeping bag and pillow I keep in my car, and plug in the small Christmas tree in the room to use as a nightlight while I read a good book until I fall asleep.  For not being in a bed at a house that sounds pretty good, right?

Well that is not how it happened.  During working hours I brought in my bag of clothes and toiletries into the office to change into my event attire and stashed the bag under my desk for my return later that evening.  Once I got back to the office after the event, I grabbed my sleeping bag and pillow from the car only to find the office building was locked.  Crap.  What am I supposed to do?  All of my attire for bed, attire for work the next day, reading materials, flashlight, toiletries, warm socks are all under my desk inside the building.

So what did I do?  After making certain that every door into the building was really locked I walked back to my car with my sleeping bag and pillow and began setting up shop for the night.  I was going to be sleeping in my car, outside of my office building, all night long.  "Homeless Wacko" as my brother-in-law calls me may actually be an appropriate title for this moment.

My lil Toyota Matrix, named the Dappled, is not a stranger to sleepovers since I had done it earlier this summer with friends.  However this time was different; it was cold outside and I was alone.  With those two factors I still was not going to drive the extra 20 minutes to my nearest shelter.  I was determined to make it an Office Night Adventure, even though it was turning into an Office-Parking-Lot Night Adventure. 

I had a bag of random items I had laundered for my sister the week before that included two shower curtains, a table cloth, and other items.  This bag came in handy when I started engineering a tent inside my car to cover up exposed windows.  I attached each shower curtain to the hand holders above the driver/passenger seats with knots and paper clips.  The curtains came together at the rear of the car with the lanyard from my key chain tied to the back window light.  I used keys as buttons to close the two curtains together along the rear of the car.  In the same hand holders above the driver/passenger seats I tied up a tablecloth to enclose the area behind the front seats.  Because the tablecloth was bright-yellow I thought it would be too obvious that someone must be sleeping in that car so I tried to disguise the tablecloth by opening up my umbrella to hide the cloth so if a stranger were to take a quick glance in my direction they would only see a dark window (nevermind that I was parked under a lamp and anyone could probably see the actual umbrella or the white shower curtains).  I did have, fortunately, three blankets in my car that I folded up into a 1.5'x5' make-shift pad to lay under my sleeping bag.  Home Sweet Home.

Before going to sleep, I drove my portable hut to the grocery store up the street for a bathroom run.  Even though I was at a grocery store I did not get facewash or even a toothbrush; I was living like a nomad from 8000BC (even though there shelters were not found in cars).  I walked through the store in my dainty shoes, fancy coat, tights, and short skirt I thought to myself, "What in the world, Amy?  Golly, the things I do sometimes." 

The night actually turned out alright.  My shelter worked perfectly, I put my pink mittens on my feet to keep my toes warm, wrapped a scarf around my neck, and besides adjusting positions a couple times in the night I slept just fine.  In the morning I got into the office building just fine, changed into clean clothes, brushed my teeth, added more makeup, ate some breakfast and sat down for work by 8:30am.  Wha-la!  And that is how the story goes.

Title Explanation:  My Grandma Stuart, whom I have inherited my the Adventure Bug from, loves to engineer vans to turn into full functioning campers complete with beds (plural), window shades, portable toilet, washing machine, cooking table, cutlery, and even a shower.  Construction materials mostly consist of black plastic, bungee cords, and a whole lot of velcro.  She is the Master Camper-Engineer.  I'm thinking a bit of that gene got passed down to me.  I think it would be kind of fun to fix up my car to prepare for any spontaneous sleepover adventure - only without the velcro.

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