I think in some strange way, a couple’s first house together is a scup of tea leaves in the telling of their future together. Somehow, that first apartment, house, or tent, is a testament to who they are and how their relationship will be. As per usual, the extent of my knowledge is purely based on my own personal experiences, thoughts, assumptions, and expectations.
Having said that, Cheshire and I arrived at Camp Sandy Cove in May, a freshly married couple, prepped and ready for a summer experience like never before. We arrived late and tired, just wanting to get to our trailer for the summer, and collapse into bed. What we beheld was bleak, even for the two of us who would have had no trouble camping in a tent all summer. A single room trailer that consisted of a lot more hallway than anything else. The full size mattress was tolerable, but the airplane sized bathroom was an absolute disaster.
“Well,” said Chesh, testing the water in the sink, “At least any place after this will be a step up!”
Even though a friend had told us that the trailer had been cleaned before our arrival, the shower was covered in black mold. We had also forgotten bedding, and staring at a bare mattress at 11:30 pm with pouring rain outside, was NOT an encouraging start. Chesh’s hair grazed the roof of our trailer and there was next to no closet space. After ten hours in the car, I was done. I sat on the couch and sniffed. My head was aching and I was already exhausted. This was going to be a long summer.
As the days passed, we found ourselves stuffing various clothing articles in various drawers. Some bleach powder, a scrubbie, elbow grease, and an hour and a half later, I had worked through the shower.
We had hot water…at first. But a week later it all went cold, and we learned our first lesson of trailer-living. Tad, the camp’s handyman, offered to fill up our gas tank, and we were back to hot showers again. Not that Chesh could actually FIT in the shower. He usually drove down to the guy staff cabin to shower in there.
We found a mini fridge in the basement of the office that we were given permission to use, and so it took up residence on our “dining room table”. I hesitate to even call it that. I think it might have been the fridge that finally made it feel like home. Drinking cold soda with our evening movies was fun. It felt normal.
It was on our day off that we decided to check out the trailer next door.
“I just want to see what it looks like inside,” I told Chesh, skipping down the steps and around the side.
One look told me we had gotten the short straw in regards to trailers. This one was bigger with steps that went up to the living room with a built in fridge and an actual bathroom with a functional bathtub. The bedroom had an actual sliding door to close it off from the rest of the trailer, but contained a single bed frame and mattress that was placed at an odd angle. The bed had obviously been added later and there was a large enough space for a queen or even king sized bed in its place. Cheshire and I only shared a short look before driving up to the office to ask for a switch.
With a quick warning about a minor leak in the living room, and permission to remove the single bed and replace it with a queen, we were off. That night we were sleeping in our new trailer. Like all trailers, we had to figure out the little nuances of “home #2”. The fridge had it’s own layer of black mold, and I found myself once again scrubbing away until it was gleaming white again. It was a good feeling, settling into our new place less than ten feet from our old one.
But no place is perfect, right?
A couple of days later it rained. No, it POURED. And that “little leak” we had been told about was a little more than a “little” leak. The living room got rearranged with a pot, an Ariel mug, and a plate to collect the drips. An orchestra played while we slept, a hilarity that I thought only happened in movies. At least we were dry.
I awoke in the middle of the night by two things. One, my feet were soaked. Two, so was my head. I woke up Chesh, and we realize the water was pouring in from the wall above our heads as well. Actually, it was more like MY head, soaking my side of the bed while Cheshire’s side remained dry. We slept the rest of the night on the couch.
We have since learned how to avoid certain mishaps like this, putting a tarp on the roof, pushing the bed into the middle of the floor, and carefully arranging our pots and pans. Looking at it now, I laugh. A test, I suppose, of just how functional we can be. I’d like to think we’ll survive through rain and low ceilings, mini fridges and no closet space.