When You Go Out in the WoodsbyDotrice1©
I like to get away to the woods when work gets the better of me. I am one of those geeks a company calls in when their own IT guys are stuck up an electronic tree. I charge a little less than the proprietary software 'wunderkind' and know lots more. Also, I am available on short notice unless I put up the message on my voice mail.
"Sam Allen is currently unavailable for a six day period starting XX XXXX to XX XXXX."
My client list knows then to just leave an e-mail with a short description of the problem. Most of the time I have about 7 days at a time I can take off. I notify in advance when I take more time. There is always someone else, and I make enough for me, so I am pretty much able to be independent.
(As always thank you for your comments. And especially thanks to those who have encouraged me to break the long writer's block. And particularily thank you to my friend and mentor patricia51 and our editor the sometimes apoplectic Marian)
I always have my travel camper ready for a quick getaway. Except for a trip to the grocery for fresh veggies and other perishables I can pull out of the driveway and be on my merry way.
I especially like to travel to US Park Service sites. The daily rentals are cheap, and after Labor Day normally deserted. My camper is ample, the normal amenities, and the improved sites have electricity.
I found a little Park in Kentucky I had never been to and headed for there arriving just before closing to log on for a site near the back. There were only two other sites occupied, and those near the front, perfect for my mood. I paid my fees for the maximum four days and hooked up.
I wear professional clothing when I work. I know, you saw someone in baggy jeans, a pocket protector and hair that needs a good trim with a weed whacker. Actually, part of my time away I like to hike and take photographs with a decent 35mm camera I have. I then wear sweats, running gear, trainers and little else. I do keep a dress and lingerie with makeup if I happen to want to try a nice supper club I find.
Oh yeah, you also thought I was a male. Nope. Female here, though I prefer the company of other females for down time.
I took advantage of the last lingering rays of the sun and a lowering dusk to take a brisk hike of about 45 minutes returning to my camper to be sorely disappointed to see this hulk of a camper in the site next to mine. The stabilizers were set and the roof popped up. On the top of the roof was a satellite dish. This bozo comes to the middle of nowhere to watch television!
I slammed the door closed on my camper and cursed that it was too dark to just up and move to another site. Fifteen empty sites and the land battleship grounded just next door.
I settled down and started gathering some things for dinner. I always cook over an open fire when camping so had to make several trips to make preparations and start the wood fire.
A grilled chicken breast with pesto sauce, fresh greens for salad, and dutch oven baked biscuits. The biscuits took the most preparation, enough time for the coals to heat.
I noticed the satellite dish was wiggling around on its mast and silently prayed somehow the trees make signal penetration impossible, whatever was on NASCAR channel impossible to raise, and my neighbor would run off to some bar on one of the small motor scooters hooked to the deck on the rear.
Did I mention the deck? Now you know I did not just confine myself to glaring at the side of the hulking menace to my west, but did, well, walk around a bit. The back deck was bad enough, but it was painted Red and Black, with an obscenely large picture of a bulldog. The Georgia license plate explained the arched logo screaming "GO DAWGS!!!!"
Not really looking, but I did notice shadows against the curtains on the large side window facing my camper. There was no way I wanted to come off as a peeping jane, so made myself busy with the biscuits and coals. I did have a vision of some huge "Boss Hogg" creature, but decided at least for tonight, until I could manage to move, to be civil.
Just as I had the coals settled on the rim of the dutch oven I heard a soft voice with the cultivated accent of the South. I guess it was my sweats, and the cap from a widely known outdoors chain that caused the words, "Excuse me, sir. But can you possibly help me?"
I stood up and thrust out my chest, not exactly your Plastic Princess, but respectable 36C's. I looked at the speaker and was surprised once more to see a trim 30ish brunette dressed as though it was at least 10 degrees below zero.
I could not suppress a laugh, and simply suggested she move closer to the fire before the polar bears got her. That brought a smile to her wide mouth.
Her hair fell in tight curls and framed what I could see were deep blue eyes and thin lips. She stood only about 5 foot nothin', and what I could see, mainly from her jeans enclosed slender legs, trim and possibly attractive.
"Hello, neighbor. I can see if I can be of any assistance," I said as I pulled a second folding chair open and offered her a seat.
"And by the way, my name is Sam, short for Samantha." I offered my hand which she held with cupped fingers, the sign of someone experienced shaking hands for a living.
"I am pleased to meet you, Samantha, Sam. I am Pru, and don't ask what it is short for."
Again I laughed and immediately liked her just enough not to hate her for traveling in the land version of the Hindenberg.
"What seems to be the problem?" I asked.
"It's my antenna. I can't seem to get it adjusted." Not exactly a statement to get the hate-o-meter nudging to the left.
Sighing, I looked from the angle of the antenna and any surrounding tree clutter, deduced it must be in the adjustment of her receiver. She had it pointed South, and obviously had used it before.
My biscuits had at least another half hour to bake, and I hadn't started the chicken, so told her I would take a look at it if she asked nicely.
She just looked at me, and said, "But I thought I was being nice. Have I done something wrong?"
"No, I am just a bit cranky today. Sorry if I was off-putting," I apologized.
Now you see why I am single, do I know how to flirt, or what?
"Isn't Mr. Pru home?" Instantly mentally smacking my forehead and uttering a "dohhhhhh."
"As a matter of fact there isn't any Mr. Pru, though not for lack of trying," she said with a bit of anger mixed with regret.
It was really starting to get interesting now. I offered my hand to help Pru stand and followed her to the other side of the Behemoth. The interior made my house look like center spread for "Shack and Clutter", my camper was just a refrigerator and bed in comparison.
Pru tossed off her outerclothing, and though obviously dressed for travel, she cut a fine figure. Petite and very curvy, I hoped I was not making an ass of myself by letting my eyes linger in any one spot too long.
I followed her to the rear of the vehicle, her hips swaying, and the hint of a trail of her perfume guiding me.
I turned on the television from the dish remote and went to the setup options. In minutes I had her satellites adjusted and she had her programming.
"Thank you so much, Sam. I really don't care to watch anything tonight, but have to be certain I can get the game tomorrow."
I could tell she wanted to talk, and as much as I enjoy my solitude, I was curious about her.
"Tell you what. Have you eaten? It won't take a minute to prepare another breast to toss on the grill, and salad, I have a ton of greens." I said
"Greens? I don't think you have any idea how to prepare greens properly," replied Pru.
I muttered, "She barely knows me half an hour and already she is critical of my cooking skills."
I said, "We eat them raw with tasty sauces."
Pru smiled and said she would enjoy eating with me, provided she could share a drink.
"Alright, then. Give me ten minutes to rub your breast then come to the fire."
While I made the preparations and tinkered at the fire Pru was making her own preparations.
When she rounded the bow of her camper she was more appropriately dressed for the lovely fall night. Cable knit sweater, those tight jeans and what looked like warm boots. She was also carrying a small cooler which she quickly opened to reveal a half bottle of champagne and two flutes, plastic.
"Champagne, chicken, and new friends," she announced as I plopped the breasts on the grill and pulled the dutch oven from the coals.
I still had my doubts about friendship with someone piloting a land yacht, but I did feel we could have a comfortable camping experience. Often one makes those fleeting contacts for a week, a weekend, or even just one night on a layover. Camping, even in today's vehicles is an American experience, one which helps draw our country closer.
I tended the breasts and Pru just started in making a delicious salad from Bibb, head and aruguala lettuces. She also opened containers to find cucumber, capers, carrots and made a wonderfully displayed dish.
When I removed the biscuits Pru almost moaned, she said scratch biscuits are an absolute favorite.
We ate heartily and told each other a little about ourselves. I felt she was holding something back, but did not press.
I ranted a bit about the size of her camper, especially compared to her compact body. She only became more and more amused with my slackening ire. She did not give in about the television though.
When I mentioned why in the wide world she would need TV in the beauty of nature, she became quiet and only after a long reflective pause turned to me and looked directly into my eyes.
"Tomorrow's football game will determine my future, Sam."
I remained silent, aware that I really knew nothing about Pru.
She stared for a minute, into the vastness of the starry night, then looked at me and asked just why I was there.
I told her I needed to get away from gadgets and most things electronic, thus my aversion to that particular intrusion on nature, but actually I love to take long walks and loads of photographs with my Leica 35mm.
I hope I am a decent amateur photographer, and when Pru asked if I had any of my work with me I asked her inside. When she was making the salad she had to have noticed that half my tiny refrigerator held film. I opened a hatch and removed two full albums which she studied page by page.
"These are really quite good, Sam. But I notice you seem to limit yourself to nature scenes, no people. When there are city scapes, the people are ancillary to the view of a building, or sculpture. And you are a much more outgoing woman than these seem to illustrate."
I answered slowly, "Well, these are simply what I plan to capture when using the camper. I have done many photos with people, more 'artistic' I hope though," I said with a tinge of embarrassment.
"How do you mean?"
"I think the human form is best captured in black and white, reminiscent of earlier times, and subject matter," was my response.
I reached up to the hatch again and removed another album and handed it to Pru.
She also took her time with the pages, spending more time at some than others.
When she flipped the last leaf Pru looked up and said, "Well. I must admit, you do have an eye for composition. Your subjects, umm, do you or have you known all of them?"
"Well, of course. As in known enough to pose, converse, solicit. These are my photos," I said.
She stated, "These are nearly erotic, no sensual, I suppose. Intimate without being vulgar."
"I have had a fascination with the photography of the 1940's and 50's. Movie studio promotional shots, glamour photos. Even the stylized posing and candid pictures. I think the fashions, the restraint, the confidence of the women, especially in black and white just intrigue me.
"For the longest time I simply tried to replicate famous photos. As you may have noticed, I moved on to original pictures with authentic clothing and hair styling. It takes some time, but I enjoy the work.
"The actual limitations of technology, film, cameras, lighting not to mention limitations in material for clothing. They had mostly natural fabrics, wool, cotton, silk though rayon was widely available since the 1930's.
"Unfortunately, what survives today are mainly family photos, or much copied and digitized copies of actresses, film stills and the cockroach-like survivable 'cheese-cake'. Which though technically fairly good quality is not exactly how I prefer to portray women."
I noticed the drifting in Pru's eyes, though she was listening to every word, I laughed and said, "Not that a nice panty and bra picture can't be enjoyable."
"So, you are mainly interested in women?" Pru asked with some slight quiver to her lower lip. Her gaze was unwavering, however. And she actually seemed to sit more comfortably in my fold away bench. I think she had been comparing my almost Spartan camper with what I had seen to be very well appointed furniture in her's.
I sat back across from her in a very well broken in chair and was silent for about 30 seconds. I don't usually hit on just every woman, but I wanted to with her. I also did not wish to frighten her into thinking I was some "diesel dyke" out to score.
"Yes, Pru, I am interested in women."
There, starkly put, but unambiguous.
"Oh! Stop looking like you just confessed to putting a laxative into the Christmas brownies. No, wait, that was me in the 11th grade," Pru's smile widened again.
"I like you, Sam. Yes I do. Now as far as sleeping with you, well let's just say I am not that type."
That's the good part of having no expectations, you can't be injured when a fleeting fantasy is exploded.
"It's really late for me. I have been on the road since 9AM. And your eyes look like they have lead in the lids, Sam. What say we get a good night's sleep and I will cook breakfast in the morning?" offered Pru.
I wasn't disappointed, really, I wasn't. And when she said that I did feel my eyes sting and the lids droop.
"Sounds like a plan, but I am an early riser, I said.
"Do you want me to lay the fire out for you before I take my morning hike?"
Pru looked horror stricken.
"Oh my goodness, no. I couldn't possibly make decent grits over a campfire. In my camper let's say 8AM?" was her reply.
I laughed and said, "You're such a girl!"
She was gathering up her things and putting them into her cooler, but paused and wiggled her hips with an exaggerated grind and said, "And here I thought you had noticed that on your own."
I walked her to the door of her camper and impulsively leaned to kiss her on the cheek as I said good night. She didn't back away, but simply opened the door and with a lowered voice wished me pleasant dreams.
I made my way back to my dhingy-like travel home and quickly washed up and got into my woolen socks and heavy cotton nightgown, just right for sleeping in the out of doors. Bet you thought it would be boxers and a 'muscle shirt', get real! I am a woman, and don't you forget it.
I don't run the propane heater while I sleep, so snuggled into my heavy down quilt covered bunk and quickly fell into my usual heavy slumber.
The rain started about 2:00 AM. Steady, heavy down pour then settling into a heavy misty cold rain. I slept pretty well, but a tin roof in a thunderstorm is not exactly the best protection, nor is it particularly lulling to the ear.
I guess my mental clock said, "Fugitabudit, lady. Get some extra shut eye."
I did not wake until 7:30. I opened one eye then the other and wondered idly if Pru would mind if I went over a little early and watched some cartoons. She was definitely a bad influence.
Taking my time to dress in my most splendid jeans and woolen sweater, I had bent to lace my Doc Marten's when I heard a knock at my door.
"I know y'all are in there! Get up you lazy thang." Pru's accent actually made it sound like that.
I shouted through the door, "Is that room service? Two sunny, toast and a side of hash browns. And orange marmalade."
"Y'all eat scrambled, ham, red-eye gravy, grits and biscuits with peach preserves and like it."
I really was liking her more and more.
"Now get over to my place. I am nearly soaked to the skin out in this fine Kentucky mist."
At the door I pulled two ponchos from a compartment and donning one I stuffed the other underneath before opening the door to see what Pru meant by "mist." At home it would be classified "rain."
I scurried across the gravel pads to her camper and without knocking just bounded inside. She was turned to the stove and had a variety of pans and skillets working just like a short order cook at a greasy spoon. Ham was frying in an iron skillet and another pot she almost continually stirred.
Her hair was wet but only the bottoms of her jeans seemed to be soaked. She must have had a rain coat, but no head gear.
Without turning she said, "Take off your shoes, Sam. And do you think you can manage to keep this ham from burning and stir the grits while I change into something dry? The biscuits will be done in about 5 minutes, I should be back by then, but if it dings take them out."
I pulled my boots off and put them to the side of the door then walked up to her and wrapped my arms around her taking the fork for the ham from her left hand and the whisk from her right.
"I may be a geek. But I can cook. You didn't exactly starve last night and I can work a gas stove as well as a campfire. Wymyn!"
Pru ducked out under my left arm and walked into her bedroom, sliding the door closed behind her with a definite thud.
Can't blame a girl for trying, can you?
I tended the hearth, and wished I had actually worn something more feminine to show my softer side. I was so lost in my own thoughts I did not notice Pru return and take over the cooking again. I only moved when she softly said a hot mug of coffee was on the table and I should go have a seat.
When the oven timer dinged I looked over and saw Pru had just thrown on a thick robe, her bare calves almost totally covered. She had wrapped her hair in a towel. At least she did not act like she had to treat me like a guest.
Pru pulled the fried ham from the skillet. She stirred it continually and then took her cup of coffee and mixed it into the drippings. As the skillet bubbled with the gravy she deftly cracked four eggs with one hand and mixed them into an already hot skillet.
She cooked the eggs until they were just soft set and filled two plates with the eggs, slices of ham and then turned holding the pot I had been stirring.
"Y'all are in for a treat, Sam. Gramma Pat's grits, a secret family recipe passed on in croning ceremonies from mother to daughter."
"Don't be too surprised if they don't come out. Remember you dragooned me into stirring them," was my response.
"Tut, tut, tut, lady. Gramma hated cooking grits. The secret is Instant."
Pru's wide grin was infectious and we both laughed out loud.
"I also notice Gramma was not much for making biscuits, but I like the ones from a can too."
That made Pru blush but she finished filling the plates and sat next to me in the small dining area.
When her knee touched mine I just passed it off.
When she touched my hand as I passed the preserves I felt it was more than just being a hostess.
Our plates half empty I pulled the towel from her hair and watched as she shook the ringlets free.
"Am I pretty? Am I someone you can find desirable, Sam?" was a plaintive request.
I only took her hands in mine and leaned forward and kissed her wide mouth.
Her eagerness was more a need than any desire. She opened her mouth and welcomed a deep passionate kiss. She mewled in her throat as my hand rested on the back of her neck as though I was afraid she would wake up and run.
Her nostrils flared taking deep draughts of air and drew her arms around me as we stood.