What is an air bed without air? A sack

Our story so far: We begin moving into a rental house two blocks from the church so we have a warm place to clean up and crash while we renovate.

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On Days Two and Three of our move, we transferred our meager belongings from the camper and the urgent items from the cargo trailer into our tiny rental house. Our most critical need: A bed. We would need restful slumber if we ever hoped to survive renovating the church.

We’d packed our big, beautiful king-sized Sleep Number bed into the cargo trailer the day before we moved out of our cardboard box in the suburbs. The camper had room for only a queen-sized bed, so we bid farewell to the best bed upon which either of us had ever slept when we moved out.

Unlike a standard mattress and box spring, a Sleep Number bed is a unique combination of foam, air pillows, zippered compartments and an inflation device. We’d carefully packed it all away in the cargo trailer. The last thing to go in was the first thing to come out.

Amid sleeting flurries in southern Wisconsin, we cajoled the pieces of the bed out of storage and hauled them into the little house. We slammed shut the cargo trailer doors and parked it on the now-muddy gravel driveway inside the garage foundation. A garage had once stood on this lot, but now, only the cement-block foundation remained. After much cold-handed grunting and groaning, we affixed a boot on the tire and paddle-locks on the trailer doors.

Tyler had built a platform for the bed in our new bedroom out of two-by-fours and plywood (the original platform remained in the trailer). We set to work assembling our bed.

After sorting out all the pieces, we realized we were missing one: The inflation device.

An air bed isn’t much of a bed without air.


Back to the cargo trailer to pinpoint the apparatus.

“What does it look like?” I implored, while climbing over boxes and craning to see the labels on bins.

Clearly, I wasn’t paying attention eleven months before when we disassembled the bed.

“It’s the size of a bread box,” Tyler instructed.

Believe me, a bread box is a needle when the 30-foot cargo trailer is the haystack.

Especially when the air is filled with ice-cold wet sleet.

Eventually, we found the contraption, repacked and re-secured the trailer, and retreated to the warmth of our little rental house. Once we had all the pieces, the parts went together pretty easily. As we lay on our beloved king-sized bed looking at the spiderweb-free ceiling of our warm little house, we were content. I was amazed at how quickly I felt comfortable in our little rental. It felt like a mansion compared to the RV, and I swiftly reacclimated to house living.

In three days, we would close on the church, and we could start our project at long last.

Or so we thought.

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Tomorrow: Chapter 6 concludes with a twist any fan of “The Money Pit” could have predicted. Read it here.

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