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Notes from sabbatical: Slippers

October 23, 2010

Loaded up with art supplies and cheese and tea and a new Penguin Companion, I made my way to Mahoney State Park and checked in at the main lodge.

“Here’s the keys to your cabin.”

“Oh, it’s just me, so I just need one key.”

The ::clang:: sound you just heard was a heavy armored gauntlet falling to the ground at the feet of the Fates.

I drove to my cabin, a little less than a mile away, and unloaded all my goodies. And the cabin was not the rustic sort of thing that I think of when I hear the word “cabin”. This was a lovely little cottage. It was fabulous. I unpacked, settled in, and fell asleep.

When I woke up, I made myself a mug of Earl Grey tea and soaked up the I’m-on-sabbatical-ness of it all. I bumbled through making a second cup of tea and tried blearily to decide if I should start my day by doing Chi Kung, or Shiva Nata, or some stretches, or if I should go for a walk in the park. I decided to grab a blanket and sit on the lovely little sun porch and stare at the woods while the tea was steeping, and see if a decision about Morning Movement might happen while I basked in the glorious green of oak trees and undergrowth.

I’m not sure if I zoned out, or zen’d out, or if it matters, but at some point I realized my hands were chilly, and that if I just went inside to get my tea, the mug would keep them warm. Brilliant!

This is when I discovered that the cabin door had locked behind me.

Now, being a woman alone, I’d locked the front door of the cabin before going to bed. I was completely locked out.

I was wearing a sweatshirt, yoga pants, fuzzy chenille snuggle socks, and satin slippers to keep the porch cruft off the fuzzy socks.

I walked to the parking lot to check the park map in my car to make sure I knew how to get back to the lodge (was it three left turns, or two?) … but I had locked my car out of habit.

Well, the park has lots of signs. And I probably knew the way. So I walked to the lodge.

And really the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. What had been a little chilly for sitting was ideal for walking. It was lovely, and a mile walk is easy. And I found the lodge without any problems.

A friendly park ranger type was chatting with the two desk clerks as I walked up. I explained that I’d locked myself out of my cabin, and gave the cabin number.

“Oh dear. And you probably already have both keys to the cabin?”

“Well, no, actually, I only took one because I thought I wouldn’t need the second key.” We all laughed.

“Oh! Well, since the second key is still here, that does make it easy… here you go. I’m sorry you had to walk all the way up here.”

“Oh really, it’s no trouble, I’d been thinking about taking a walk this morning anyways… I just hadn’t planned on doing it in my slippers.” I held up one foot and wiggled my toes at the park ranger. She grinned and said, “Don’t worry dear, I’m sure nobody will notice.”


I walked out of the lodge just as a middle-age, well-dressed blonde woman was walking in. She looked me over once, and her gaze went all the way down to the slippers. Her head snapped up, she immediately put this tight fake smile on her face, and walked past me without making eye contact or saying a word.

Damn. Now I wish I’d packed the fuzzy blue monster slippers!


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