I really am living in a barn.
Here’s what it looks like inside. Notice the horse stalls. The horses don’t live there. They are stabled on the other side of the property. Those boxes are some I had unpacked.
Inside that door is the laundry room. To the left, you can see the stairs
that go up to the loft apartment.
Thursday night, knowing that it would be cold by morning, I decided to bring in some clothes to wear from the closet, which is outside on the landing/balcony.
At 9:30 I went out, closing the door behind me to keep out bugs and immediately knew that I had locked myself out. I’ve been so careful about the lock, making sure it was either set to open or that I had the key; but in that instant, I forgot.
Through the window in the locked door, I could see my cell phone on the kitchen counter.
My first thought was to see whether I could walk to the nearest neighbor to call Geoff, who has a key. As soon as I got beyond the light coming from The Barn, however, I was in complete darkness; I couldn’t see my feet. Going anywhere was impossible. The nearest neighbor is about a 1/4 mile away. Not even a distant light was visible through the forest.
So I prepared to spend the night outside. Luckily, all my clothes—the few clothes I brought with me, including two windbreakers, were in the outside closet. I put on several more layers. I closed the balcony sliding doors. Then I went downstairs where I’d seen something hanging on bars outside the horse stalls—padding and a blanket. Using some clothes rolled up as a pillow and wearing one windbreaker and putting my feet inside the sleeves of the other one, I lay down on the landing. After quite a while, I went to sleep.
By midnight, however, it was too cold to stay there. I decided to move to the laundry room downstairs. Carrying my “bedding”, that’s where I went. Inside I found a pile of what I assume are saddle pads and a very large, thick and soft, woolen horse blanket. I made myself a much more comfortable bed. Here’s where I slept.
Here’s a closer look at my improvised bed.
I covered myself with the horse blanket doubled and was plenty warm enough.
Below you can see the layers of padding.
There I went back to sleep, and although I woke briefly at 3:30, I slept until 7:00.
Sure that Carol and Geoff would not hear or answer their telephone at that hour, I decided to walk to their house (5 miles) and to try to hitch a ride. It was 50 degrees. I was cold, but not as cold as when I capsized into 50 degree water. When I’d walked the mile out of the forest, a teenage boy picked me up on his way to school. After he dropped me off at Vashon Highway, a middle-aged man picked me up and dropped me uptown, a few blocks from Geoff’s house.
Banging on his door several times, I woke him up and he brought me home.
That day, Friday, the movers arrived with my stuff.
That’s only books, art supplies, and art. They carried the rest, including the piano, up those stairs.
I worked until 10:30 last night. It’s Saturday morning and I’m tired and sore; and…..I haven’t found my tools. Despite my careful inventory, they were not in the box where they were supposed to be.
Back to unpacking and the frantic search for the missing necessities.
The back story is still to come.