I awaken, my stomach kicking up a ruckus.
My husband turns over, assuming the little-boy look I deeply distrust. “What would you say if I bought a pop-up camper today?”
Unprintable thoughts. (Deep breath.) “Weren’t we waiting until next year?”
I. Should. Know. Better.
Lately, he has regaled me with facts about hitches, sizes, and secondhand prices. To cut costs further, “They make Airstreams designed only for sleep.”
I snorted. “Translation: we can’t stand, right?”
“We’d slide into bed like bread slices into a sideways toaster?”
He offered, “I could rig something—”
No, thanks. I have never used a catapult to go to bed, and I won’t now.
As usual, he has lined up Excellent Reasons to Buy Today. “Think ‘clearance prices.’”
“They don’t come with catapults, do they?”
He wants to enumerate all his Excellent Reasons, but I dive under my covers. “Buy it. Now.”
When he arrives with his new toy, Stomach and I have reached a cease-fire. I agree to a pop-up demonstration.
Unfortunately, the crank has disappeared. He’s off to the hardware store to buy a wrench that doesn’t work. Hubby ends up using a kayak paddle. But he sets the camper up.
Surveying its heater, he enthuses, “Now we can camp in March and November.”
He raids the cleaning closet, as the savings involved do-it-yourself elbow grease.
Given my uppity stomach, I cannot clean. Sigh.
Hubby scrubs and scours. Where have his cleaning talents been hiding all these years?
Instructional parking videos he watches online make Stomach and me uneasy. We do not trust safety tips that feature crash sounds.
He practices parking the camper in our church’s empty lot, then drafts me as safety spotter as he backs the pop-up into its new home by our garden. “Yell if you see traffic.”
As if on cue, car convoys appear. Clumps of bicycles clog the road. The Taylor University cross country team lopes by. I hope they prayed before practice — and that they take another route back.
Hubby shifts into reverse again. “I can’t hear you. Yell louder.”
Halfway through his next attempt, I spot a pedestrian and shriek, “Walker!”
The poor woman sprints away.
But Hubby completes his maneuver. The camper rolls into its spot. Sort of.
He jumps out, frowning. The pop-up will learn that “crooked” is not in his vocabulary.
Hubby learns that the camper is a slow learner.
I learn not to brainstorm fiction plots when my flowers’ lives are in jeopardy.
We set an October date for our first campout. I don’t really mind his new toy, as he shares it with me.
But I hope nothing else pops up soon.