Amber

We’ve established that I live like a fancy-ish homeless person, right? 

You all know that my beloved Sasquatch and I live amongst the trees and are intentionally as off-grid as any two people could be. We have all figured out that most of my life is lived outside, even some of my more private moments. 

Actually, all of my private moments are outside. 

My potty is outside, my kitchen is outside, my tub and shower situations are out there, and now my sleeping arrangements lack structure and support but make up for it with a cozy factor of 1,000. 

As the weather warmed slightly, our tin can Taj Mahal turned into a low end crock pot. 

The tiny bed and the close quarters paired with warmer outside temperatures and the furnace-like heat radiated from the red-dirt stained skin of my Sas made camper life unbearable. My attitude, which gets labeled “bad” on a good day, was about as unbearable as the conditions in our little dutch oven and my Pinterest-loving mind raced for ideas to get us outdoors where the breeze was constant and refreshing. 

My goal was a hanging trampoline with mosquito netting and a million pillows. A boho-chic dream...really, it would be a nightmare. 

The pine boughs aren’t strong enough to support the trampoline, much less the added weight of my smart mouth. 

Mosquito netting isn’t water-proof, and we all know a wet trampoline smells like a sweaty prepubescent child, and I can not tolerate children. Usually that comparison is in reverse, but the effect is the same. Kids smell like wet trampolines, wet trampolines smell like kids, and they’re both gross and as cozy as the notion of my swinging bohemian bed may be I don’t want to inhale the odor. 

And wash your brats while we’re talking about it. Why do they smell like pee and pickles? So gross. 

So here we are, another brilliant idea turns out to not be as great as I’d envisioned. That happens a lot in our forest but often some minor adjustment can salvage my fragile ego and reinvigorate my wavering pioneer spirit.

The trampoline never really left my mind. I wanted so desperately to sleep out in the open, well, relatively open. I wanted that breeze and I wanted to sleep in an adult sized bed. I wanted to wake up for a midnight pee and not have to climb over my sleeping Sasquatch. Oh, to have my own side of the bed again. So many wants!

I’ll be honest with every one of you, I’m pretty spoiled. I usually get what I want in some form or another and this has proven to NOT be an exception to that rule. 

My boho bedroom exists! Nearly two months have passed and I’ve not slept behind a closed door, maybe a couple of zippers, but no doors and no walls. No more twin-sized bed for two adults, neither of which is built to sleep alone in a twin-sized bed much less directly next to another full-sized body. No more hanging my bare foot out an opened camper window just to feel the movement of air. Joy!

The swinging bed was replaced by something a bit more stationary and a tad more weather proof. A tad...

These weeks have been glorious. I can’t wait to zip up my alfresco boudoir and sink into my cozy queen sized mattress. 

We’ve slept like babies through high winds, heavy downpours, thunderbolts and lightning. You think rain on a tin roof is a backwoods lullaby? Try it under a mosquito-netted canopy. So many zzzzzzzzs. 

Mind you, we have had moments where Mother Nature was like, “Here, hold my chalice.” I might’ve closed my eyes, once or twice, anticipating an impending storm and the sweet dreams that would accompany it, only to be startled awake as the bottom of the canopy dragged across my face. Maybe we didn’t remember to stake it back down after some minor adjustments. I bet we don’t forget again. 

Beyond a few minor inconveniences, I haven’t slept so well in decades. No anxiety, no fear, no stress, a soft bed, scrunchy pillows, cozy blankets and a bed full of kitties. 

The sounds of the ridiculously close coyotes and coons aren’t even a concern. We’re one with nature now, big yapping puppies, you are no longer frightening.

The owls hooting from the surrounding trees are only daunting if all of my kittens aren’t accounted for and the only issue I have with the opossum is that they won’t get close enough for me to love on them. I’ll admit that I was a little freaked out by that frog that sounded like a goat, but these are all my peeps now. I don’t fear them. 

There is joy in houselessness. There is peace in doing without. There is serenity in the escape from the norm. 

Amber Lollar is the managing editor for The Henderson News. Her e-mail address is <managingeditor@thehendersonnews.com>.© 2021, Henderson Newspapers Inc.

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