Maybe my therapist was right

In which I whine about the cold and having to walk to a toilet.
coffee inside

I went to bed early. At about midnight, I awoke and needed to pee. It was cold. I climbed down from the upper bunk, found a Styrofoam cup and relieved myself. I left the cup in the sink, and climbed back up to bed.

At about 2:00 I awoke and needed to do something that I didn’t want to try to get into that cup. I dashed, in my boxers, to the bathroom inside the house (about 15 feet door-to-door).

At about 6:30 I awoke and again needed relief. It was cold. The cup was nearly full. It was cold. If only I were wearing Depends. Did I mention the cold? I checked the thermometer on the dash. It said 42.3. “Darn! That’s cold!” I said to myself.

“Dude, that’s the OUTSIDE temperature. You are a wimp,” I replied.

I looked and saw that the inside/outside switch was indeed on the outside setting. I hung my head down and read the thermometer by the fridge. I’d had a similar conversation with myself last night in which I thought it was 34 degrees, but was reminded that was the temp inside of the refrigerator. It was still on the inside temp. It read 50.7. That’s not that cold. And, really 42.3 isn’t that cold either. It’s probably 42.3 on a good night in San Francisco any time of the year.

For a while I lay there contemplating the $750 externally vented propane forced air heater. I’d been thinking that I’d consider it later in the summer when I’d decided more certainly that I’m going to do this thing for a whole year. Now I’m thinking that I want it installed. Now.

Before I get out of bed.

I found a shirt and went inside to the potty. I turned on the propane heater and settled in to make coffee when I thought “You know, there’s a house right there. It’s warm. There’s even a working radio.”

I succumbed. I got inside and remembered that I, in a fit of environmentalism, had turned the thermostat way down when the cousins left. It was still cold. I turned up the thermostat, found some leftover Chinese food in the refrigerator, and heated it up. In the microwave.

I’m reminded that when I first told my therapist that I was going to live in a van down by the river her first response was “What about plumbing? Indoor plumbing is really good.”

Maybe she was right.

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11 Responses to Maybe my therapist was right

  1. Black Betty says:

    Funny. All that and you haven’t even left the driveway!

  2. pfaffman says:

    Betty, I hope I don’t sound that pitiful! We are not in our own driveway at home, we are, however in another driveway. And yeah, it’s March AND WE’RE IN FLORIDA, so there shouldn’t be much reason to whine, but here I am. A whiner.

    Where are you? Is it warm there? Maybe I’m just planning badly.

  3. Alexicographer says:

    LOL. Yeah, I too thought about that plumbing comment, before you posted it (again at the bottom). I don’t know. I’ve tent-camped, solo, and now RV-camp with a tot in a travel trailer that has full plumbing. Certainly the full plumbing’s better if it’s the middle of the night and/or a preschooler’s involved. Otherwise, we usually walk to the bathhouse, reducing the need to empty tanks. If you want a mid-range solution, there are options: go to (e.g.) amazon.com and search on “portable toilet” and you’ll find things ranging from a bucket-with-a-seat-and-lid for $25 on up to more sealed, and expensive, portable systems.

  4. pfaffman says:

    I intend to use an empty laundry detergent as a urinal, though on my first attempt I messed up the seal trying to remove the pouring funnel from it. A leaky pee bottle is not something I want. For now I’ve been using a Styrofoam cup which I place carefully in the sink and then empty when I awaken. I still haven’t rigged an appropriate waste containment system for the sink (read: it dumps stuff straight out under the camper), so I’ve not taken to emptying it there.

    I also have a fairly fancy porta potty which you can see in a Picasa album of the camper when I got it.

  5. SJ says:

    You should head to DC – get here before the spring breakers crush the place, followed by the summer tourists! I’m happy to let you park on my street. If you don’t mind parking tickets, that is :)

  6. Jerry says:

    Here’s what I take camping:
    http://tinyurl.com/4z25bt7

  7. Jerry says:

    It comes in a lot handier than you might think at 2:00 AM when all your extremities haven’t fully awakened but you absolutely, positively don’t want to drop the damn thing. Of course when I use mine I’m on my knees, stooped over inside a tiny backpacker’s tent so your experience may vary.

  8. Amy Pfaffman says:

    I say why suffer any earlier than you need to? If you have a warm place to pee, why not use it?

    If you really do want to suffer, you could at least get a bigger cup, or perhaps a glass jar.

    Remember the deal you made with your wife when you lived in Vermont? You arranged it so you didn't have the leave the house in winter. That's a big clue you don't like the cold.

  9. Amy Pfaffman says:

    I say why suffer any earlier than you need to? If you have a warm place to pee, why not use it?

    If you really do want to suffer, you could at least get a bigger cup, or perhaps a glass jar.

    Remember the deal you made with your wife when you lived in Vermont? You arranged it so you didn't have the leave the house in winter. That's a big clue you don't like the cold.

  10. TheAtomicSoul says:

    The toilet and bath are two reasons I haven’t already started this myself. Despite all the van setups that have kitchenettes and similar, most of them don’t have any way to take even a birdbath and few have a toilet setup in them.

    I’ve got a plan that should work for me when I can get a van- but first, I must get a van. :)

  11. pfaffman says:

    I figure that I’ll either be able to find a shower to use or be somewhere that no one will care that I haven’t showered, but only time will tell.

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