Spending the Night Under the Stars

I spent the night outside last night. The house reeked of carpet and tile cleaning chemicals and both the house and the garaged smelled of the supposedly odor-free pesticide. Although I had an offer of a place to spend the night, I didn’t want to leave and close the place up. I might never have gotten rid of the hodgepodge of odors.

(Had to take a quick detour to look up the etymology of hodgepodge — it comes from a fourteenth century term hotchpot, referring to a stew. Now it means any sort of confused mixture of unrelated items.)

bedAlthough it seemed audacious when I first thought of sleeping outside, the experience turned out to be tame. More of a kid’s adventure than a quest for the wild women within.

First of all, I used the same makeshift bed I slept on the night before in the garage, so I was quite comfortable. Second, I slept on the patio, which sort of defeated the purpose of sleeping under the stars. Third, without my glasses, I couldn’t see the stars anyway, just the twilight haze of the ever-lit city sky.

I suppose it was the matter-of-factness of the experience that made it an adventure of sorts. I don’t remember ever sleeping outside before. I slept in a tent a couple of nights when I was in sixth grade, but that was so long ago I don’t even remember doing so. (Though I do remember a particular winding turn when all I could see out the window was the floor of the canyon far below. I felt sure my father was about to drive us off the cliff).

It wasn’t particularly cold here, but even if it were, I’d have been okay. I used my parent’s duvet so I was warm, even hot.

Apparently, as long as I am comfortable, I can sleep anywhere. At least, I hope so since I haven’t any idea where I will be sleeping once this house is sold.

As for the duvet — Since none of my siblings wanted it, I’d planned to keep it in my car for emergencies. I took off the exceedingly heavy cover, but duvet itself is white, which isn’t exactly practical for outside use — it costs a fortune to clean such a thing. I suppose I could just keep it until it got dirty and then toss it out. Or if it’s still clean when I get a sleeping bag, I could donate the duvet to a thrift store.

I sure will be glad when these silly little decisions have all been made and I am conundrum-free!

At least tonight I don’t have to decide where to sleep. The house seems aired out now, and I can spend the night in my usual bed. The stars will have to fend for themselves.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

4 Responses to “Spending the Night Under the Stars”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    I wish I could sleep out under the stars! But if I tired that in my neighborhood, I’d get mugged or arrested. And that’s if I don’t freeze to death first!

  2. Malene Says:

    I LOVE sleeping outside. Always have. Every summer, when I was a kid, I would either pitch a tent in the backyard for the season or sleep on our- uncovered – terrace. It does get cold there (in Denmark) at night, but like you, I used my duvet and was as snug as a bug. I spent all summer, every summer that way. Even today, I will occasionally sneak a nigth snooze on my balcony … still love it.

  3. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    Okay, you’re now ready to start going camping.


I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: