A few weeks ago, my husband and I planned a trip to go and visit our daughter and her family. It was going to be the last week of school and we wanted to see our grandson graduate from the fifth grade and an awards ceremony for our oldest granddaughter which would be held later on that same day.
A week or so before our planned trip our daughter called and asked if we could bring a mattress and box springs that we had in storage and change them out with some that were already being used on one of the granddaughters’ beds. They also wanted to borrow our pressure washer so we agreed to bring everything when we came up to visit the next week.
The following Wednesday afternoon, we put our overnight bags in our extended-cab truck and went to load up the mattress, box springs and pressure washer. We carried the mattress out first and stood it up on the bed of the truck. Then we carried out the box springs and stood it up also. Then I asked the question on my mind: “Why aren’t we laying the mattress and box springs down flat in the bed of the truck?” My husband said: “Because we still have to load that big box in here that has the pressure washer in it.”
Stupid me! I had completely forgotten we had never even used the pressure washer we were loaning to our daughter. That’s love, right? Loaning out something that is brand spanking new. Anyway, we loaded up that big box and then put a huge towel across the top of the mattress set so we could tie it down really well with lots of rope and not dirty up that nice, white fitted cover on it that I thought would help keep it clean. Then off we go on our planned two-hour trip. We really wanted to get there before it got completely dark, since us old folks don’t really like to drive at night.
We had only traveled about 100 feet up Highway 220 North before something blew off the back of the truck. We immediately pulled over and found out it was that big towel I had wanted to put over the top of the load. We checked the load and found it had shifted some, but we tightened up the rope and then set off again on our two-hour trip. This time I pulled down the sun visor on my side and fixed it so I could just glance into the mirror there and see the truck bed.
We went out Cartledge Creek Road and then turned onto Highway 73 and headed towards Mt. Gilead. Just as we started up the hill at Little River — just about where the bridge is — I heard these words: “Oh no, there it goes!”
I really couldn’t say a word. I was too busy watching that mattress as it seemed to go flying about 20 feet into the air along with that big white ruffled mattress covering. It went up, up into the air and then floated down, down like a big white butterfly as it landed in the middle of the road. My husband immediately stopped the truck and I jumped out of the truck and ran back to where the mattress had dropped. I was almost holding my breath while he backed up the truck because I just knew someone was gonna come barreling down the road and run over me and the mattress. Thankfully, that didn’t happen and we managed to get it loaded again before any traffic came along. My husband assured me we had it tied down really good this time as we started off again towards Mt. Gilead. I couldn’t help but say: “Well it blew off once and we thought it was tied down then, so what’s gonna keep it from doing it again?”
As we came into the city limits of Mt. Gilead, we decided to pull over at the restaurant there and take another look. It was a good thing we did since that mattress seemed to be about ready to go flying again. I said: “The same thing is gonna happen again unless we can lay this mattress set down a whole lot flatter than it is now. Why don’t we try to put the pressure washer in the back seat of the truck?” My husband didn’t think it would fit but we decided to give it a try anyway. We lifted that heavy box and finally managed to wedge it in the back seat. Hallelujah!
We decided to go ahead and get something to eat since we were already at a restaurant and we really needed a break. By this time, anyway, we were not going to be able to make it to our daughter’s by dark so we went ahead and ate and then started out again. Our daughter called about that time and wanted to know how much longer it was gonna be before we reached their house. Imagine her surprise when I told her we were not even half way. I told her a little bit about the flying mattress and said we’d tell ’em “the rest of the story” when we reached their house.
We finally reached the end of “our two-hour tour” after about three hours. Let me tell you, that flying mattress and box springs made a mighty fine bed that night instead of the usual couch or air mattress on the floor. However, that particular mattress could possibly be called an air mattress, don’t you think?
The next day as we loaded up the truck to head back home, we put the old mattress and box springs on the back of the truck. As we backed out of the driveway, my husband asked me if I had my sun visor mirror set up so I could see the truck bed. I said: “No, I don’t. If this one blows out I vote to just leave it where it lands!”
Azalea R. Bolton is a resident of Richmond County, member of the Story Spinners of Laurinburg, and a member of the Richmond and Anson County Historical Societies.