Since I woke up at 10AM, after only five hours sleep, I felt like crap during my morning run. I really was exhausted when I got back to the room. I found that the maid had left a half dozen towels and wash cloths on the bed for me. I assumed they were for the new apartment.
I had done my research on line. I found that a Twin mattress was 38“ wide. That was entirely too wide for a sofa seat in my opinion. So I decided I would make my own mattress. I had slept in a lot worse things than anything I could build. I had slept on small pads on the ground and narrow bunks in the government housing units in the military. It made me sleep in one spot without a lot of twist and turns.
I knew there had to be a place that would cut me a piece of foam, so I went to a small fabric shop first. They had two foot wide pieces of foam in rolls. Getting a 4“ thick piece cut 6ft long was no problem. I could even get it rolled and into the trunk of the Toyota. Since I had the whole back seat as well as the passenger seat to fill, I went from the fabric shop in Dobson to the Walmart in Dobson.
In the parking lot I looked at my list and tried to decide which things I could find in a yard sale. I removed all the furniture items from the list as well as the dishes. I did leave the flatware on the list. Pots and pan remained, as did sheets and blankets.
Once I started shopping I saw pillows cheap. I bought them on the spot along with two flat sheets and pillow cases. I figured I could alway lay the pad on the floor for now. I had slept on a damn site worse things. Then I headed to kitchen supplies, but on the way I passed the rubber maid storage boxes. They had one they guaranteed you could stand on. It was 24“ long and 12“ wide across the top. The bottom was only 8“ wide. The whole thing was 16“ deep.six of them would be perfect, almost. I could get them in the Toyota trunk but they would cost me almost a hundred bucks. I decided to come back another day, if there was nothing like them at the yard sale.
In the kitchen area I bought my flatware and my pots and pans. The most expensive thing I bought, was the cheapest microwave and TV they had for a little over a hundred bucks each.
After I checked out my ‘screw for appliances’ money was over half gone, that included the Lamar movie money. The next days yard sale needed to be cheap.
I had less than two grand in the bank from my salary. I hadn’t spent much of my salary, over the eight months so I still had that. I wanted to keep it for car expenses, since the Toyota had been used when I bought it. Unlike the Motel the distance from the Victorian house to the station was a little farther than a comfortable walk, so I needed a car.
I got back home after a skipped lunch, so I had a cup of old coffee and a pack of crackers to make up for the missed meal. It was only a few hours till dinner anyway.
I spent the time working on my computer researching the price things. I was freaking over the price of the small things I would need. I hadn’t even thought to buy a shower curtain, it was things like that, which were going to eat up the money. Then I remembered, I hadn’t seen a shower in the tub. The tub was free standing in the middle of the bathroom. The pipes were exposed and I just couldn’t remember seeing a shower. That didn’t mean there wasn’t a shower, just that I didn’t remember seeing one.. Why hadn’t i thought to check it out. Since it wasn’t too late, I decided to drive over to the apartment and drop off the items I had bought and check the shower.
The stairs where tricky as hell to maneuver in the dark. Especially carrying a load that made seeing hard. When I finally got inside, I dropped the foam pad and went to the bathroom. I had a great pedestal sink a classic toilet and a free standing claw foot tub with no shower.
“Son of a bitch,” I said aloud. I walked out of the bathroom shaking my head. I went into the kitchen to drop off the microwave. Then I realized I didn’t even know it the microwave would work in the hundred plus year old wiring, The fuse box had been upgraded to circuit breakers, so maybe it would work.
I wanted to check the floor furnace outside the bathroom before I left. It came on a couple of minutes after I demanded heat, so that was a good sign, I left the thermostat set at sixty to keep the pipes from freezing. Which reminded me to check the pipes. Everything worked including the hot water, so it was time to get out before I got any more disappoints.
On the way back to the motel I racked my brain trying to figure how I would manage to wash my hair that had grown out about a half inch since the head shaving incident. I came up empty on my own, so I decided to check it out on the Internet. A search revealed there was a rubber hose that fit on the faucet. It had a spray head on it, similar to a shower head. The whole thing just slipped on and off the faucet. It was cheap, it was Ideal. To make the hose reach, I would need to be seating in the tub. I could get the best of a soak and a shower, so it seemed ideal to me. A man might not like it, but I loved the idea. I ordered one on line immediately. I gave my new address for delivery. That was my first change of address notification.
I went to bed shortly after I ordered the hand held shower attachment. I fell asleep thinking about how to make a short shower curtain to fit inside the claw foot tub. I fell asleep without coming up with an answer.
For the second night in a row, I slept only a few hours. I was looking out my front window when Learner pulled into the parking lot in his long bed pick up truck with a crew cab. That son of a bitch was every bit as long as a stretch limo. I could not believe it, but I went out to his truck with my list.
“Hello I’m Sylvia,” I said to Rachel Learner. She was a petite redhead with that ivory complexion. It convince me the red hair was real.
“Hi, I’m Jake’s wife Rachel. He tells me we get to shop the giant yard sale for furniture for you. That is so cool,”she said. She was obviously the big talker of the pair.
“Yes, if Jake will stop at the ATM of the downtown branch bank?” I said.
“Sure I will, we have all day.,” he said.
The giant yard sale was really a flea market. It covered probably a couple of acres so there was a little of everything. I passed by a lot of things like lawn mowers before I came to a lady selling household items. She had lots of mismatched dishes. I found four plates that would look good together in any combination, so I bought those. She also had some restaurant cereal bowls with the blue strip. I bought four of those as well. Then there were four plain white saucers I added those to the pile. I added two restaurant ware cups as well. I had a couple of coffee cups already.
“So how much?” I asked when I had the pile assembled.
“$14 dollars,” she said.
“I was thinking more like $10.” I said
She came back with, “$12,”
“Sorry I wasted your time,” I said and turned to go.
“Alright $10, but only because I got so much restaurant ware.” she said.
I gave her a ten dollar bill and we moved on. I found a little table whose top was made from a piece of wood from an old barn. It was just clear coated, not stained at all. The legs were store bought which was a problem for it. I bought it for $15. Jake carried it as we moved on down the line of vendors.
We came to a man selling used storage boxes. They were larger than the rubber maid ones but not quite so sturdy. I asked him, “Could I sit on one of them please.”
“Sure why, not they seem to be pretty sturdy,” he said.
They did indeed seem to be pretty sturdy. I don’t think I would stand on one of them, but my full weight would be spread over five of them at least.
“So how much,” I asked.
“These things sell for $19 each at Walmart so how about $10,” he said.
“At Walmart they are name brand and new, These are not name brands and they are used, how about five for $35?”
“Make if forty and you got a deal,” he said. I was the one who blinked, so I gave him the forty bucks.
We carried them back to the car. Learner and his wife thought I was crazy but I didn’t care. We went back out to the sales area again to shop some more. I found two nice old wooden chairs that I could use at the bar in the kitchen. Finally I found an office chair on wheels for the living room and six plastic blocks, which were made to look like glass blocks. They were a foot in each direction. I even bought a couple of lamps one of which was very light and made to hang from it’s cord light a chandelier. It had a pull switch, a green poker shade, and plugged into the wall outlet.
We were walking back to the car when I saw the four light stands from a photo studio that had gone under. They were old and heavy as hell. I bought them immediately with very little haggling.
“You have the worst mish, mash of thing I have ever seen.” Rachel said with a laugh once we were back at the truck.
“I know I have just spent a lot of money on things that make absolutely no sense at all.” I said.
‘Well if you are finished for today, lets get you home and see how this all looks. I have always wanted to see what that place looks like up close. You did know that you are going to be living in what used to be the town doctor’s home and office.” Rachel said.
“No, I’m going to be living above the doctor’s carriage house. Yes let’s go see where I stand.” I agreed.
Rachel loved to put things together as much as I did. She sent Jake off to the hardware store to get a couple of shelves cut. She and I stayed to arrange the furniture.
We put the five boxes together, then she wrapped the foam rubber pad in one of the solid navy blue sheets. The weight and texture of the foam would hold the sheet in place. The blanket and top sheet went in one of the boxes. I just lifted the pad opened the box to get my sleep bedding out.
“If you can sleep on something this narrow, you should be quite comfortable,” Rachel said after trying it out. We put one of the small table at the end of the bed with a lamp on it. It was a few inches higher but it seemed to work fine. The office chair filled one of the other spaces. There was still a lot of empty space in the common room, as I thought of it.
I carried the light stands into the bathroom. I planned to run a cable around the tub suspending on the light stands. I could use towels from the motel as a shower curtain.
“The place is cute as all get out,” Rachel said. “I can’t believe how well it came together. There is even a hook over the little counter in the kitchen to hang your poker lamp.”
When Jake came back I used the plastic blocks and the raw wood to build a bookcase for the TV. He had managed to have a 12‘ board cut into three 4‘ lengths so that the was no waste.