A history of beds

As a youngster, I often spent summer weeks at the farm home of my grandmother in southwest Georgia. It would only be the two of us, separated by long decades of life. We slept in the same bedroom on two spindle beds head to head just by an open window that faced the yard, the passing dirt road and, beyond that, a pasture that sloped down to a tree-lined creek a quarter of a mile away, more or less.

There was no air-conditioning, so we depended on the incoming breeze. We would talk a while before dozing away somewhere or another.

Often there were fireflies in the yard.

Decades later, long after my grandmother’s death, I slept on that same spindle bed in Houston. I do not remember how it got from Georgia to Texas, but it did and, after the divorce from my second wife, she sold the bed for some reason known only to her.

The first place I lived after being tossed unceremoniously out into the cold, unloving world, was a small apartment in a downtown Houston high-rise. I left the spindle bed behind and chose instead to use this bed that I had painted.

A happy bed for a sad time.

Painted by me.

The bed of many colors was a double, what we call a matrimonial in Mexico. While they are fairly common below the Rio Bravo, they are far less so up north. That was true even back then in the 1990s.

I left the small apartment after a few months, moving to a much larger place where I still slept in the bed of many colors. And after a year I moved into yet another apartment, and that was when I moved up to a queen bed, leaving the bed of many colors somewhere I do not now remember, but I do know that my daughter has it today in North Georgia unless she got rid of it too. Women do odd stuff.

Queen beds are more spacious than doubles, of course, and I enjoyed the extra room even though I rarely slept with company in that last Texas bed.

On arriving in Mexico, I spent seven months in the capital city in two very different beds. First was a lumpy twin in a room above a garage. The slats collapsed regularly, dumping me onto the floor. Then I moved into a sparsely furnished house that had a brand-new king, my first king ever. I slept like royalty.

Later, on moving to the mountaintop, I bought a double for the rental in which I lived alone for one and a half years. After marrying and moving into the Hacienda, I was back in a queen with my bride. Then, a few years later, we moved up in life and bought a king. That’s the situation today, but overnight guests sleep in the queen that now sits upstairs.

I suspect I’ll die in this king unless I’ve been hauled off to a hospital. I hope not.

Kings are the best, but they’re a bitch to make up in the morning.

Beds of our lives

king
King of the Hacienda.

THEY SAY THAT, as you age, you require less sleep. Oddly, over the past decade, I have morphed from a seven-hour man to an eight-hour man, defying that rule.

I do not know why.

Lights out between 10:30 and 11 p.m., and I usually wake up at 7. This morning I woke up at 7:30, becoming — at least for a day — an eight-and-a-half-hour man. I was refreshed!

Being worry-free helps one sleep, and I have little to worry about. Sleeping with a young, beautiful, Mexican babe puts one at ease. I got it made.

That’s our king bed up top, had it about a decade. It’s the first king bed I’ve ever owned. Grew up on twins, then doubles — called matrimonials in Mexico — and then upgraded to queen on landing down here. Finally, after being married quite a spell, we got the king.

You enjoy lots of space on a king, which you likely know because I suspect most people have kings these days. At least people of the age that hang around my edge of the internet.

In a recent post, Confessions of a Cracker, I briefly mentioned sleeping as a kid at my grandmother’s house near a window where I felt breezes and listened to crickets. The bed on which I slept was an antique, wood, spindle bed, I think they are called.

That was the very bed on which I was sleeping in my Houston home before my second wife tossed me out onto the street unceremoniously. I had inherited that bed.

In my new bachelor digs in a downtown Houston high-rise, I slept on this bed.

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A happy bed for a miserable man.

I may have been miserable during that time but, by God, I slept on a happy bed! I had painted that bed myself due to being a Renaissance Man.

My daughter owns that bed now. Unless she doesn’t.

I renewed bachelor life, involuntarily, in 1995. For a year or two, I was not an eight-hour man. I was lucky to get four or five. I was a Valium man.

A few days ago, the wood, spindle bed came to mind, and I emailed my second ex-wife as to its whereabouts because I had left it there where it stood when I segued from married man to miserable bachelor man. I asked if she still had it.

Her brief reply: Long gone.

Damn! But so was I. Long, long gone.

Any ole thing

john

BEACH DENIZEN and blogger buddy Steve Cotton recently wrote about the tendency of some Mexico expatriate bloggers to run out of material, letting their blogs lie dormant.

When this happens I think it reflects a lamentable lack of imagination and/or lack of a camera.

Just this morning, while resting on the throne in the upstairs bathroom, I noticed this scene, one I spot daily about that hour. But today it hit me that it’s a bathroom scene rarely seen above the Rio Bravo, so I photographed it.

The upstairs bathroom is colonial tile, floor to ceiling. We have two other spaces that are colonial tile, floor to ceiling.

That would be the downstairs bathroom, which is far larger than this one, and the spacious kitchen.

Making this photo black and white instead of color caused nothing to be lost because the colonial tile is black and white, which was my idea. It was a favorite accent I used when I painted art furniture in a previous life.

The mirror over the sink reflects what’s behind me as I shoot the photo. The light in the mirror is on the ceiling.

So if one runs out of good material to write about, just grab the camera and shoot any ole thing. It’s fun, and then you can blab about it down below … or wherever.

* * * *

To  Mexico City!

Switching gears now, tomorrow my child bride heads off to Mexico City for three nights with a nephew, age 13.

I had planned to go too, but at the last moment I changed my mind, plus they will have more fun without the old codger in tow. It will be the boy’s first visit to the capital.

They will ride the Turibus. They will visit Chapultepec Castle. And they will spend nights at the Casa González just off the spectacular Paseo de la Reforma.

I’ve been in Mexico City a million times. It’s a hassle to get there, and it’s a hassle getting around while you’re there.

It will be the first time in almost 15 years that my wife and I have been separated more than one night.

I’ll be like a bachelor again.