Tim was gone most of last week, visiting his buddy Jim at some God-forsaken cabin Jim's sister and her husband are building in Westcliff, Colorado. It's not even actually in Westcliff. That would probably be too civilized for them.
Linda and Joe are truly off-the-grind kinda people. They work when they have to (as engineers at a major tech firm), just so they don't have to work - like, terribly much. That's why they're building this thing (and I do mean they are building it) as a summer home in that God-forsaken place.
When Jim first invited Tim down for a visit, I called his wife, Lisa, who happens to be a close friend of mine, as well.
"Lisa! Let's also meet there. It'll be great to see you!" I exclaimed.
"Uh... Doreen," she stammered. "I-I don't think you realize what this place is like." She went on to explain that it's beyond rustic. So much so, that she's never even been there. Like, they just got indoor plumbing. They use solar power, so essentially freeze at night - well, there is the wood-burning stove for the entire thing. They're so far from anywhere, in fact, they only go to the supermarket once a month.
"OK, Lisa. I really want to see you - but not that much," I conceded.
Jim takes his RV to the cabin when he drives from their home in Prescott, Arizona to visit Linda and Joe. He calls his rig his "unit."
He and Tim slept in it.
This is why they didn't sleep in the cabin:
The morning Tim left me at home, he said good-bye with a concerned look on his face.
"OK, Sweetie. I did the laundry, so you should have clean underwear. The dishes in the dishwasher are also clean - I just ran it last night. I gassed up your car, so you've got a full tank. There's - "
"You know, it's not like you're leaving your demented aunt alone for the week." He shot me a dubious look.
"Fine." I continued. "So how come you didn't hire a sitter?" His face lit up.
"You think there's still time?"
When Tim got home, the first thing he noticed was that the electric blanket was on the bed.
"You used the electric blanket?" You would think he knows me well enough after nearly 20 years not be incredulous about my inability to maintain any modicum of body heat - even while it was still officially summer.
"The bed just wouldn't warm up without you in it." He shook his head and gave me a look of despair.
"That's because you have no soul."
The second thing he noticed is that I was in my PJs. It was 4 pm. (Those of you who know me know it was most definitely not because I had gotten ready for bed early.)
But, something was amiss.
“Sweetie, is your nightgown inside out?” I looked down.
“Yeah. I guess it is,” I shrugged.
“Sweetie, PLEASE take it off and turn it right. It’s bad enough if people see you in it all day, but if it’s inside out, they’ll start offering to help me toilet and feed you.”
Very, very nice.
Finally, that night, we saw on TV it was something called "National Stay at Home Week." They pay someone to think up this stuff? I proudly proclaimed, "See? I'm ahead of my time." Tim, recalling that the gas gauge on my car still indicated, "full" upon his return, rolled his eyes.
''Only a week? Amateurs."