“You have to shift it on an upright angle,” he counseled his wife, as they both struggled with the queen-size box springs up the narrow stairway.
“I AM,” she insisted, “It won’t bend like the mattress did!”
“It HAS to make the turn,” he exclaimed. “How else would anyone ever get a bed up here?”
Six-month pregnant Laura paused for a moment to catch her breath before trying to give the unwieldy object another heave, resulting in the springs now being wedged tightly between the ceiling and first stairway landing.
“Oh, great,” Laura and Kevin both chanted in unison.
“I think now would be a good time to give up for the night,” grunted Kevin as he wormed his way around the obstruction and joined Laura at the bottom of the stairs.
And thus began their memorable first night in the new house. Their two toddlers previously asleep in their own upstairs bedrooms, Laura now slowly managed to maneuver herself down onto the floor mattress beside an already snoring Kevin.
Two hours later, she was abruptly awakened by her husband’s whispered groan as he grabbed his leg and tried to get up to relieve a leg cramp. Forgetting he was closer to the floor than usual, Kevin promptly landed on his head! Struggling into a stand, he made quite a spectacle, holding one hand on his head and the other trying to massage the affected leg, all the while limping around the bedroom in his birthday suit!
“Shh-h,” you’ll wake the kids,” was Laura’s sympathetic response. Groggily and ungracefully rising from her side of the mattress, she expertly grabbed Kevin’s foot in mid-air to contort and stretch his muscles, a previously successful remedy for the problem. Unfortunately, she misjudged the distance between Kevin’s body and a pile of unpacked boxes in the crowded room and he was obliged to plunge toward her as he completely lost his balance, plummeting them both back onto the mattress in a tangled heap.
“Are you okay?” they both asked simultaneously, albeit, breathlessly.
By now, both cramp and headache had vanished from shock. Whispering a repeated “good-night-I-love-you” before drifting back into oblivion, all was quiet and peaceful in the household—for all of twenty minutes. Laura, now completely exhausted, hazily heard Kevin repeatedly sneezing, trying to muffle the explosions into his pillow.
“Honey, I think it was that old carpet we ripped out this afternoon. Do you know where my allergy pills are?” Kevin gasped.
“I think they’re down in the kitchen,” replied longsuffering Laura, as she again struggled from a floor-to-stand position. “Don’t try to go yourself; you might trigger another leg cramp; I’ll go find them.”
Laura stealthily crept down the stairs, around the stuck box springs, and into the kitchen. Yawning and still sleep-dazed, she took two pills from Kevin’s bottle, found a paper cup and filled it from the sink tap, and quickly tossed the pills down her throat, followed by the cold water. On her way back upstairs, it suddenly dawned on Laura what she had done!
“Oh, no!” she panicked, as she urgently called to Kevin in a loud whispered scream.
Kevin, hearing the critical tone of her wail, jumped up off the mattress to rush down to her, stumbling over the threshold in-between the violent sneezes, and plopping down the final steps on his behind.
“Kevin, I took your allergy pills! What should we do? What if they harm the baby?”
“You WHAT!” exclaimed her bewildered spouse.
“I guess I thought I was taking my vitamin or something! Should we call the doctor? Kevin, what do we do,” sobbed the wife of his youth, pathetically trembling in his arms.
“Honey, it’ll be okay. Calm down—come on, we’ll call the all-night pharmacy,” he stated as his bout of sneezing abruptly stopped. “Laura, where’s the phone . . .”
Half an hour later, the pharmacist assured them there was no danger from the accidental dosing of allergy pills, and a grateful twosome finally fell asleep downstairs on a pile of padded tarps.
After retrieving the box springs with the aid of a neighbor the next morning, and a subsequent failed attempt to get them through the bedroom windows from outdoors, Kevin constructed a wood box platform from inside their bedroom for the mattress.
It has now been thirty years, the children are grown and gone, and, not surprisingly, Kevin and Laura and their homemade bed are still in residence at that same family home.
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