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!