Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sisterhood of the Traveling Sleeping Bag

My son-in-law, knowing how cold-natured I am, insisted I take along his lightweight, Rocky Mountain-tested, sleeping bag to the Great Smoky Mountains. Considering the temps were still in the low 70s at bunk time, I surely didn't need it. But then there was the evacuation notice. Oh hell no, I thought, I'm taking it to the motel with me. I might have to sleep on the floor.

Unofficial Girl Scouts Sisters on the Fly Rule #5:  Be prepared.

After Kaytu made her rounds throughout the campground notifying of the need to evacuate, Sister Sister-in-law Cindy made the tough and emotional choice of leaving Bella behind. A handful of Sisters along with me and my sleeping bag piled into Cindy's Suburban in search of the motel. Kaytu had negotiated an "emergency" rate with a motel manager, securing rooms for $31 per night - we could have an entire room by ourselves or as many of us as possible could pile into one and split the cost. For 31 bucks a night? Shetttt. My ass won't sleeping on no motel floor.

Me and Thelma along with Sister Tammy and Sister Laura could easily afford two rooms at that price. As we sorted out the details while searching for the motel, it dawned on me that there was someone else in the truck other than the four of us.

"Cindy! Who are you talking to?"

Cindy, to another Sister seated right behind me to whom I was completely oblivious said, "Don't pay Donna no nevermind, she's deaf in one ear and can't hear shit outta the other. Bahahahaaaa!!! She and her sleeping bag are in a whole 'nother world."

I'm not sure what kind of impression we left on our new Sister, but she was still with us the next morning.

Unable to find the motel where everyone was headed, we set our sights on the closest motel we could find. The storm was a'comin' and time was a'wastin.

Tammy volunteered to go inside and question the motel clerk about vacancies. Tammy being a registered (school) nurse and aware of Sister Cindy's bedbug paranoia, asked about the cleanliness of the rooms.

I didn't say anything, but I wondered if we made the right decision in allowing Tammy to go inside.  Tammy could be the poster child for draw'd out Tennessee twang. Lawd that woman's words were as slow coming outta her mouth as a slug climbin' a greased log. The storm was fast approaching, and I was as jumpy as a bit-up bull in fly time. It was time to go!

Tammy returned to the truck with a full sanitation report. She reserved two rooms, one for the smokers snorers and one for the nonsmokers nonsnorers. Not only did I not have to sleep on the floor, but I got to sleeping single in a double bed (ooh-oo-ooh). You guessed it: Me and Thelma were the snorers of the group. More room for us, betches!

We settled in for the night; it must've been about 1 a.m.  By then I had become somewhat attached to the sleeping bag, perhaps as a source of comfort. I never unrolled it, but I did snuggle with it during the night. I reminded Cindy to wake me should she hear anything alarming from the storm.

Me and the sleeping bag were snoozing just fine. I had stopped worrying about our safety once we were inside the brick-built motel. Then all at once, in the dead of night, I was no longer sleeping single. Thelma threw her body across mine and yelled, "Donna!!! Something's happening!!!" I looked, and Cindy had body-slammed me in my sleep. We both jumped up and ran to the window.

"Cindy! What is it?!"
"I don't know, Donna, but it was loud!"

From all appearances, everything as far as we could see from the second-floor window seemed fine.

"Cindy!!! You tackled me!!!"
"You told me to wake you up!"

We settled back in and were awakened, this time, by Sister Laura knocking on the door, anxious to get back to camp and check for any damages.

So far so good, though we did see a front-end loader carrying away debris as we entered the campground. Bella rode out the storm very well considering she was already leaning sideways.

You can't keep a good cowgirl down. Bella's been known to eat nails and spit out tacks.
While we knew to expect possible wind damage, we surely didn't expect to see this:

The Lord shore musta' pulled the cork on that crik. I'll be packing a sleeping bag and flotation device when we head out on our next trip in April.

Go home Tennessee Winter. You're drunk.