Sunday, July 8, 2007

Cold Steel upon Steel

The adventure started off on the wrong foot with my father never showing up to give me my medications last night. I waited and waited and couldn't call his cell phone due to my phone phobias. It was finally going on 10 PM. Soon, there was a knock on my door and it was Charlie with my crazy meds and a new stainless steel toaster oven for my kitchen.

"Your father is indisposed," he said as he handed me a beige envelope with my pills inside along with a diet coke. "I am the bringer of your medications."

I told Charlie of my grand camping adventure and he proceeded to lecture me on the dangers.

"Now, dammit, Andrew," he said. "It's a goddamn dangerous world and you are playing with fire. You are going to get murdered down there."

"The world is no more dangerous than it was forty years ago," I argued vehemently. "It's people's perception of it that has changed. And a murder hasn't happened in this small town in decades."

Charlie left and I threw my big Kelty backpack in my car undaunted and drove down to the Post Office and parked. It was a short 5 minute walk across the highway to behind that grand old abandoned cotton mill. My tent was still safely where I had left it, undisturbed. Soon, it began to rain and I curled up in my unfurled sleeping bag and went sound asleep. One nice thing about rain is that you know no one will be prowling around back there in inclement weather. What dumbass would be behind that old mill with it pouring down rain? Me…that's who.

I awoke at my usual 5 AM to the sound of cold steel flange upon steel rail making their characteristic singing sounds as tons of train rolled by forty yards from my tent. I roused myself and immediately lit my camp stove and got some water boiling. Breakfast was a Southern tradition, cheese 'n grits – one of my favorite breakfast foods as a child. Food just tastes better and feels more nourishing in a camping setting to me. I sat eating from a plastic bowl as I listened to the weather band on my radio. The computerized voice was warning of a large swath of rain moving into east central Alabama. I quickly packed up my gear, donned my Kelty backpack and drove the mile home. As I arrived home, the heavens literally opened up and it poured rain. Maggie jubilantly greeted me at the front door wondering where in the hell I had been.

Well, let me get a pot of coffee going and go sit out on the porch and smoke a cigarillo. This rain is so wonderful and a much needed gift from ye weather gods. I then need to get a shower as Charlie and me are driving down to Office Depot when they open to pick up my new computer desk and computer room chair. I am so excited!


justLacey said...

Sound like a nice time was had by all.

KYRIE said...

Well I am sorry it did not start the way u had planned.
But at least all was not lost.
U had a great camp breakfast!
It was raining down here too and I though wht would u be doing if it rained?
I guess I got my answer.
Well hope u get a great computer table n all.
May ur next experiment will garner a better result!

Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

to blog is very good congratulations

shy_smiley said...

It does sound nice, the rain and the train and all. Our monsoon season is starting a bit early this year; I understand the excitement over badly needed rain. You must have a pretty good tent if you didn't get wet last night!

abbagirl74 said...

One thing I did forget about you sleeping outdoors - You actually do get some sleep!!! Yeah!

Please take a picture of the computer desk and chair when you have a moment.

Also, any word on the gang? Dumpster Dan?

wheatgerm said...

Cold steel feels weired on the legs

peace said...

Enjoy your writing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your experiences. Keep on writing your book and I look forward to reading it.


Andrew said...


My tent did leak a little bit last night in a corner. I called myself seam sealing it pretty well, but it is a cheap tent after all. I save my nice tent for homeless emergencies only. I could never afford another.


I am currently without a digital camera, but will put some pictures up when I get another. I just got back from buying two desks and a rolling chair. They will be delivered on Tuesday. I can’t wait for them to get here and to get rid of this junky old desk I am used. Love you and I am going to try your potato salad soon. I printed out that post.


Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it very much. Take care of yourself and comment again soon.

Cheryl said...

Night one=success. Will tonight be night 2?

Andrew said...


Nah, I am just going to hang out here tonight. It is really rainy and stormy here today. I bet I have a puddle in the middle of the floor of my tent now with the leak in the corner. Got your email today and I am going to write back soon.


jAMiE said...

It sounds as if you had a good time and enjoyed your breakfast too, i'm glad and i'm glad you stayed safe.

Portia said...

i had been waiting to hear about the urban camping. i'm glad everything worked out. i didn't feel you were in danger, but wondered if police might disturb the experiement.

you really do have a lot of people telling you what to do, but the good thing about that is that they truly care. (from what i gather from your posts:)

EE said...

Be careful out there, Andrew.
Glad you got a good night's sleep!

abbagirl74 said...

You are such a doll. Love you too! I am so happy that you are able to get rid of the old and bring in the new! Bet the furniture is nice. Hope you have a great evening.

icecold1967 said...


Eric Valentine said...

Hope your desk wasn't one of those assemble yourself jobs. :)

Way to go with the house!

Eric said...

Cheese 'n grits...ooh yeah! I agree food tastes better when you are outdoors and cooking it yourself. Your camping talk takes me back to my teen years when I camped with my friends in the woods on the mountain behind his house. We had a blast and did all kinds of dumb,fun things.
Thanks for turning my mind to those memories.