Tag Archives: trailer

Do I wake up grumpy? No, I let him sleep.

One thing to consider in the small space we called home is that endearing personality quirks turn into monsters. Yes, mine too. Some days I couldn’t even stand myself. As well as turning from amiable to irritable at the drop of a pile of tee shirts, the inconsistency of our day-to-day lives made me lazy.

What’s the point of starting something – like making that necklace I’d bought a clasp for weeks previously – that not only had to be put down when we travelled but put away and stuffed in the dark recesses of a locker where it’s very existence quickly faded from my tiny mind. When I cleaned out the overflowing locker weeks later I came across the unfinished string of beads as well as other treasures.

“Ooo. Look what I found.”

“What’s that?” himself asked with an edge of disgust in his voice.

Damn. I didn’t mean for him to see that. I’d hidden it from him in there. “It’s my Key West Coke bottle,” I replied a little deflated.

“You’re kidding aren’t you?”

“No. Look. It’s got Key West in raised letters on the bottom. I’m sure it’s collectible.”

“In your world. It’s just junk. Throw it away.”

With my back to him, I rewrapped it in a plastic bag and hid it again with my coveted collection of unremarkable stones from all over the States.

Our haphazard and disrupted schedule depended on the weather, how well we slept (trains, rain, cold, diesel engines, motorcycles, jets, flies, drunks – all making an impact) therefore what time we managed to fall out of bed, who was ready to go first, who was more desperate to get going, how far the next campsite was, whether we loved it or hated it when we get there and how much or little we were speaking to each other when we got there, but it mostly depended on doing everything together and agreeing on everything we did. The only absolute constant in our day was a glass of wine at 6:00 and even that was dragged forward to 5:30. We managed to agree on that.

Our little trailer that seemed so perfect when we bought it is cramped and wherever we stand or sit we’re in each other’s way.

Our styles of accomplishment are different. Jimmy completes one task in one place, focuses, moves on to the next. Methodical. Male. I flit from one thing to the next, juggling several activities – cooking, while running back and forth to the laundromat, while keeping an eye on the TV, while checking emails and ignoring the acrid smell coming from the oven and putting the laundry away. Multi-tasking. Female.

All the while, wherever Jimmy settles to complete whatever task he is concentrating on is just where I need to be – the locker under his bum, the drawer behind his knee, the fridge he’s leaning on in a vain effort to stay out of reach of my flailing arms as I kick a cupboard shut, stir a saucepan with my left hand and reach for the fridge with my right.

Then there is the bathroom. As teeny as it is and as much as I complain about it, I would like to lay claim to it exclusively.

“Are you ever coming out of there?” himself pleads.

“I’ve only just got in here.”

“Rubbish. You’ve been in there for half an hour.”

“No I haven’t. I’ve just come back from the washing machine. You could have got in there then.”

“I wasn’t ready to go in there then.”

“Well, tough. You’ve missed your slot.”

“I need to get in there! NOW!”

“OK. OK. OK.  I’ll just get my make-up box together and come out. You could have just asked me nicely in the first place instead of picking a fight.”

“I didn’t pick a fight. You did.”

“No I didn’t. You did.”

“No I didn’t.”

Petty. Petty. Petty. A nonsensical argument that wouldn’t have happened in a bigger living space.

The only time we are in complete harmony is when we are asleep and insomnia wrecks that a lot of the time.

You can't tell me that nice little green vintage Coke bottle doesn't just MAKE my flower-herb garden/beach/Christmas/bird bath display.
You can’t tell me that nice little green vintage Coke bottle doesn’t just MAKE my flower-herb garden/beach/Christmas/bird bath display.

BTW: I’m the morning grump.

More Flies and Willy-Willies

During the long, hot drive the day before (Poor Judgment), we saw something neither of us had ever seen before – whirlwinds.

Dust Devil
Dust Devil (Photo credit: dagnyg)

A whirlwind is a weather phenomenon that can manifest in a major way – a tornado, or a minor way – little vortexes of wind, known as snow devils, steam devils and dust devils or in Australia as willy-willies or whirly-whirlies. We had seen several dust devils which caused my driver to veer violently on the interstate as he was so taken with this caprice of nature.

Now, as Jimmy bent over a locker on the outside of the trailer, rearranging blocks of wood, crank handles, ladders, gloves, hoses and all manner of guy things, a fly devil (The Flies) appeared above his head – a four-foot whirling column of friends

When he walked along the length of the trailer to wind things up and down, his fly devil went with him. It was just the most comical thing – like a cartoon of a dirt boy with his very own gang of flies in formation. I pointed above his head and opened my mouth to speak but thought better of it as I didn’t want to spoil my fun. They didn’t seem to be bothering him.

When we were ready to go, we leapt into the car with a similar gusto as when exiting the trailer. A few flies followed us in so we opened the windows after five minutes on the road and helped them out.

We stopped to admire another train. Yes, we are certifiable.
We stopped to admire another train. Yes, we are certifiable.

Making our first pit stop in Idaho, we opened the doors to discover thousands of the little monsters taking refuge in all the door sills, including the rear tailgate. Some flew in and some flew out but mostly they stayed put so with all five doors open we spent the next half an hour encouraging them out of all the crevices in the car to take flight in their new state.

Looking west toward the Bitterroot Mountains o...
Looking west toward the Bitterroot Mountains over Missoula from Mount Sentinel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We continued to pick, smash and flick for the remainder of the journey. One successful method of departure for them was to assist them along the inside of the windshield, open the window two inches and then watch them be sucked out by the vacuum effect. Some of them have been relocated to the spectacular Bitterroot Range of mountains, (perhaps to pick up the Lewis and Clark Trail) which forms the border between Idaho and Montana. They might find the weather a bit harsh come winter.

When we arrived at our campsite in Missoula, Montana (this sorry tale goes on a bit, be pleased you weren’t with us) we found that, no, the flies hadn’t all been blown away to new pastures along the interstate, but had taken up residence in our trailer – on the windows, on the lights, on the ceiling, walls, curtains, blinds and occasionally on any exposed skin – and we’ve no idea how they got there as all the doors and windows had stayed firmly shut since the morning. If you’re interested, they weren’t bitey things – just small, friendly, and rather slow but hugely numerous flies.

We then started to swat in earnest . . . . for hours and hours. All God’s little creatures, I kept thinking as I squashed fly after fly, but what possible use could they have? Admittedly, all the swallows were quite plump back at the campsite from hell (Poor Judgment), but couldn’t God have just let the swallows eat seeds, skipped these particular flies and saved us the trouble?

As the evening dragged on we tired so took it in turns, one holding a damp sponge acting as the killing machine, and the other pointing and shouting annoyingly, “There’s one! Quick! There’s another one!”

The bed compartment 'upstairs.'
The bed compartment ‘upstairs.’

We attempted to have an early night, both being dog tired from our freight train excitement the night before. As is our habit, we put out all the lights except the reading light over our bed-in-a-drawer, our cozy train-compartment-type arrangement that pulls out from the back of the trailer.

The hide-a-bed from the outside.
The hide-a-bed from the outside.

THWACK! and I was jolted from reading my book as Jimmy squashed a fly on the ceiling over his pillow. I read the same sentence again and SMACK! Jimmy would slap the flies onto the ceiling and then pick them off with his fingernail leaving little fly silhouettes behind.

“It’s no good. I need the sponge,” he said nudging me out of bed whilst showing me his handful of flies.

“I’m getting in the other bed,” I said, having now read the same passage five times still without comprehension. When I put the light on over the other bed, half of the flies dutifully followed me, winging around my face to get a look at my book. “I’m putting my light out,” I blurted tetchily, and pulled the sheet over my head. “Put your light out and go to bed. They won’t bother you then.”

THWACK!

“Put your light out and go to bed.”

THWACK!

“PUT YOUR LIGHT OUT AND GO TO BED!”

He put his light out and went to bed.

Perhaps I should have shown more compassion for the hapless owner of the campsite from hell. I reckon the flies had sent him off his trolley.

Addendum: It has been suggested that the little critters had been migrating and swooped in to visit with us at the lakeside site for just the one night. How lucky was that?

We kept finding the odd dead fly for weeks. After the trauma had worn off, the sight of their little lifeless bodies would raise a fond smile of remembrance.