Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bed Hopping

If you've read this blog for any length of time, my frustration with all things mechanical is well known. Back in the days when I lived at Reata South, I would regularly be reduced to tears and tantrums by the lawnmower, the weedeater, Big Red, anything with moving parts and/or instructions. This past week has been no different.

As I may have mentioned, my oldest boy cousin from WA is in hell Texas right now visiting his oldest daughter. He has his youngest daughter, 15, in tow. The plan was for them to swing by my part of the state to visit - mostly with my Mom, as they have more of relationship than he and I do. Anyhoo, I'd invited them to stay with me, here at Collinwood-Smythe, in the vastness of her two bedrooms, one of which has yet to be furnished. So how to make this work?

1. Boy Cousin gets the lavender bedroom

2. Teenaged Cousin once removed gets The Barge, which made up, is twin-bed sized and quite comfy.

3. Roxie gets an alternative-bedding-solution in the empty bedroom.

And thus began the Trial-By-Air-Mattress. As it turned out, Pebbles and Slater still had the camping air mattress that Bick bought for our camping trip last year. "Great!", I thought. I can use that and then return it in the Great-Stuff-Swap of September, 2011. So, I swing over to Dallas and pick it up last week. I decided to get a head start on all of this, so a few days ago, I unfurled the thing. No pump. I called Pebbles to ask about it. She said they never got it and didn't I remember her telling me that they had to blow up the queen-sized air mattress by mouth on their last outing? No, I hadn't remembered.

I remembered that Bick used some sort of pump he had that plugged into the lighter in Colorado last year. So I thought, well, I'll just go buy a pump. So I do just that. And try to make the pump work. Turns out, not universal. So I return the $15.00 air mattress pump and decide to buy a whole new kit, even though I hate to own more stuff. I get around this by deciding to donate it to Pebbles' and Slater's camping gear, since the original mattress is going north in a couple of weeks.

So I get home the new kit. I buy batteries. I read and re-read the instructions. I figure and futz and fume and use many F words in trying to get this damned thing to hook up and inflate. There are tears and recriminations. Finally, finally, finally, the magic happens and the mattress inflates within a mere seconds. It is a thing of beauty. And so for the next several days, my new mattress sits in the bedroom, awaiting use.

I go about planning the rest of the cousins' stay. Meals, outings, how to minimize those poor, pale PNWers time in the blistering heat of Texas in the midst of a 30-year drought and heatwave. I've got lists. My lists have lists. And then I get the call last night.

"We've already pre-paid for the hotel in Dallas. We'll just swing by for dinner and a visit and then head over. We want to be closer to the airport". Well, okay then. It's not really closer to the airport, but I'm taking life on life's terms these days, so it will all be just fine.

Except now it's time to get the genie back in the bottle. I need to get the air mattress deflated and back in it's handy carrying case. I get out the instructions. The instructions for deflating are about as instructive as the instructions for inflating. Again, after several misfires, mistrials and misery, I get the pump hooked up in reverse to get the thing De-flated. And in a feat of map-like folding, I get that rubber monstrosity re-origamied and back into it's purse. Whew!


  1. I feel your pain Roxie. Through suffering as you did I have become the master of the inflatable mattress over the years and can inflate 7 of the darn things in just minutes lol the kids watch me in amazement now lol. Wish I could give lessons to help others not have to suffer through what you did though I must admit I don't know about the new "instant" inflatable ones like you got but sure does sound magical when it works right lol. Glad you got the genie back in the bottle and I'm guessing if you ever have to do it again it will go easier each time :)

  2. I'm probably not supposed to be chuckling while I read but I am as I can just picture all the huffing and puffing involved. At least now you know so if anyone else ever comes to visit, you're like a boy scout - prepared!

  3. I'm with Helen - got a good guffaw at the word that said cousins were hotelling it!

    Very entertaining story, and I'm many F words did you come up with?

  4. Oh my gosh, that truly sounds exhausting and totally like something that would happen to me. Made me laugh out loud!

  5. The amazing part is that you got it all put back... that's the part that sends me into tears!

  6. Ahhh those things are a crazy maker for this misfit.

    I can count on one hand the real ARGUMENTFIGHTS Ive gotten in with the husband and two center around moving and air mattresses.


  7. I was getting frustrated just reading about your frustration! I despise those blow up mattresses. If you were able to squeeze even half the darned thing back in it's case then I consider you a wizard of some sort. I bought a Coleman blow up doggie bed for our Mandy when we went camping a couple of years ago. It's STILL in the basement, half full of air, partly hanging out of the box that ripped in half while trying to force it back inside (and Mandy's been gone since last October). It will probably be down there forever. lol

  8. Sounds like a page from my life, all of it ! Usually I make my kids come and do that stuff for me. The frustration is more then I can handle.

    Make plans and the Universe laughs, right?

    Have a great weekend. Stay cool! Thanks so much for your sweet comment...xoxoxox

  9. I want to laugh - but I recall my own hysteria from using one of those blow-up things. When my mom lived north of Houston, every frickin' weekend when I visited I had to inflate my bed. I got pretty good at it, but that is not a skill I'm proud of ;)

  10. Hate those things and also CANNOT follow instructions written in English but translated by someone who doesn't really speak English making it all a big puzzle!


We'll try this for a while.