Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Almost to the end of the Caboose

This is part three of the caboose story.
If you missed part two, just click here!




Where was I?

Oh yeah.
In the semi-twilight, we stumbled across the tracks and let ourselves into the bunkhouse.
The docent had showed us a bedroom we could use if 'we couldn't handle the caboose overnight.'
We glanced into the room.
It looked like a pretty normal room.
Regular bed.
Baseboard heater.
Adjacent bathroom.
Mr. Jenny and I looked at each other.
"We don't need no stinkin' bathroom!" I said...
...with much more bravado than I actually felt.
We did our bathroom stuff.
We went back outside.
It had gotten darker.
AND colder.
AND windier.
We scurried and stumbled across the gravel and tracks.
Mr. Jenny stopped at the car to get our teensy-weensy flashlight out of the glove box.
He shined the light on the metal steps into the caboose.

That was soooo much better.
But we gamely hopped aboard.
"It's cold in here," said Mr. Jenny.
"Yeah, it is cold, but luckily we have these thick comforters."  I patted the comforters hopefully.
They were not thick.
"So which bed do you want," said Mr. Jenny.
"Ummm...I don't care," I replied.
"So, I'm just sleeping in my clothes," said Mr. Jenny.
I agreed.
It was cold.
And kind of gritty everywhere from the wind blowing dust into every crevice.
I turned on the battery light over one of the beds.
It was about 12 watts.
Or perhaps less.
We climbed warily into our individual beds.
They were narrow.
And short.
My feet actually touched the wall.
The metal of the walls was quite cold to the touch.
Mr. Jenny is a good 6" taller than I am...he tried to get comfortable.
He gave up.
He sat up.
And boinked his head on some metal contraption hanging partly over his pillow.
(insert swear words here!)
"Do you want to switch?" I said helpfully.
"I don't think it's gonna make any difference," he grumbled.
He lay back down.
(Please don't get me started on transitive and intransitive verbs here.   I'm telling a story.   Geez!)
We wiggled.
We squirmed.
We sighed.
"So, whataya think?" I asked.
"I think it's going to be a long night," he replied.
We laid there in the semi-darkness for awhile.
The wind howled through the caboose.
It was kind of scary, but I was trying to be tough.
After a minute or so I said, "Wow, it's kind of scary, isn't it?   And...ummm...kind of cold.   And...ummm...is your pillow all gritty from the dirt blowing down the tracks?"
Mr. Jenny was quiet for a minute or so.   Finally he replied.  "Yeah.  It is kind of scary.  And I'm trying not to think of how it feels like there's dirt everywhere."
We sighed.
We wiggled.
We squirmed.
I finally said, "Gosh, those poor caboose guys really had it bad, dontcha think?  They'd have to be pretty short to sleep on these beds.  Short and impervious to the cold.   Short and have a great attraction to dirt and grit and the smell of diesel oil.   Dontcha think?"
Mr. Jenny didn't really answer me.
The battery on our pathetic little light gave out.
It was pretty black inside the caboose.

I tried again.
"So...ummm...I wonder what time it is?   Do you think we've slept at all  yet?"
Mr. Jenny made a snorting noise.   "I'm pretty sure we haven't slept at all yet."
We sighed.
We wiggled.
We squirmed.
"So...umm...do you wanna talk?"
Mr. Jenny made a snorting noise again.   "Sure.  It's not like we're going to sleep or anything."
We talked about boyscouts and Mr. Jenny traveling a lot of years ago on a train from Idaho to Washington DC.   Mr. Jenny didn't remember it being quite so cold and quite so uncomfortable.
We talked about girlscouts and camping in primitive cabins that seemed to be much more comfortable than our current surroundings.
We sighed.
We wiggled.
We squirmed.
And we talked.
And talked.
And finally Mr. Jenny quit talking.
Dang, if he hadn't fallen asleep after all.
He fell asleep and left me laying there with the howling wind, grit on my pillow, sleeping on a squishy rock WITH NOBODY TO TALK TO!
Now you might recall I told you there was no electricity.
And perhaps you might recall from posts long ago that Mr. Jenny uses a C-pap.
As I was laying there with the wind and the grit on the squishy rock I realized that Mr. Jenny was probably going to die.
Die as in dead.
Because he didn't have his C-pap.
Oh man.
Oh man.
I decided to be vigilant all night so that if he stopped breathing I could somehow dramatically rescue him.

I was attentive.
I was freezing.
I was waiting on every breath from him.
Until...darned...if I didn't fall asleep, too.
And, hey.
You probably fell asleep just reading this installment since it was so long and all.
And since it is so long and all, I'm going to wrap it up for this segment and finish the tale tomorrow.
...because this is going to be continued...
post signature


Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

Wow what an ending (or a continuation) of your story!! Caboose sleeping sounds tough!

Ms. A said...

And you had a comfortable room you COULD HAVE escaped to, but you just had to be tough!

Melinda said...

I think I would have gone to the room with the heat.
Can't wait for this ending. I know it will be good!


Stef said...

I was sure you were going to bale. But you didn't. You are hard core!!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

You lasted way longer then I would have...and you slept!

Naperville Now said...

the eyeballs are the best :) you crazy kids...

Pat Tillett said...

HA! It sounds like misery! So did the door into the caboose lock?

pasqueflower said...

Ha.Ha! Love your googly eyes!

H said...

I hate being cold in bed. I think I'd have headed for the bunkhouse!

Jo said...

goodness, i would have baled ... it sounds way to scary for me ... my imagination would have gone wild with the wind ...

Janie Junebug said...

I didn't fall asleep! I'm enjoying these posts. And don't worry, I inserted the swear words in the appropriate spot.


Rita said...

You guys must have been very tired. Those railway workers must have been a hardy, short lot. ;)

Sue said...

So, did you pay to do this or did they pay you???

Debra at HOMESPUN: http://www.thehomespun.com said...

Clearly you are regressing...this sounds like a teenage adventure, ha ha ...

Anonymous said...

Such a hardy couple. I waited figuring one of you would cave in...but no.

Next installment please. You have me on the edge of my seat.

Viki said...

I would have caved and went to the bunkhouse.

Moore Minutes said...

Ok, I've read all the parts so far and I LOVE that you did this! When I grow up I want to be just like you. <3 It's such an AWESOME example to see adventurous people, living out their passions, even at the expense of modern day comfort. This is seriously so cool! Thank you for motivating me to never stop going after new ideas and things I want to try.

You two are awesome for sleeping in a caboose and I mean it! :)

Susan Anderson said...

:Can't believe you guys stuck it out. You are determined little suckers, aren't you?


Granny-Guru said...

When all else fails, talk! What a darling story.

Anita said...

Oh Jenny, I was right there with you and Mr. Jenny... cold, uncomfortable... but determinded to have the experience!

Very funny!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say: This is not a luxurious accommodation. :) Gritty, dark and squished. YOU are a better woman than me.