I now have a new-found appreciation for my mattress. You see, this past weekend
during the “Remember the Ladies” event, I spent two, count ’em TWO, nights
sleeping on the reproduction soldier’s bunks at the Old Barracks, in Trenton,
New Jersey. Just what is a soldier’s bunk? Well, it’s where soldiers slept while
quartered at a barracks (as opposed to while encamped in the field). And,
in this case, where they slept while at Trenton’s barracks, beginning in 1758.
They’re basically wooden platforms with sides (much like a box), about three
or four feet wide by six feet long, one on top the other, built up off the floor,
with three bunks to a chamber (room). Soft, cushy, and comfortable,
like my Sealy, they’re most definitely NOT.
I guess, overall, it wasn’t too bad. It was bearable. The first night (Friday),
sleeping on that hard wood, in my sleeping bag…well, I slept, but I awoke
often and kept trying again and again to get comfortable. ‘Twasn’t easy,
that’s for sure. In fact, it was nigh impossible! I had sorta figured that I had
enough of my own padding (being of the not-thin persuasion), but, well…no.
I tell ya, I felt that hard surface in every area of my body, and I was sore
in places I never knew existed!
The second night was a bit better, as one of my bunk-mates kindly loaned
me her “back-pack pad.” Now, I’m still not exactly sure what that is, but it
made a HUGE difference. All was right with the world. At least, until the early
morning. Unfortunately, by then my body was screaming, “Enough of this
nonsense! Get me outta here!”
Of course, I was somewhat aware of all this before I agreed to subject myself
to it. However, there was the low cost involved (can you spell FREE?!). Plus,
I figured many, if not all, of the other “Ladies” would be doing the same,
and I certainly didn’t want to be the only one NOT fully participating in all
aspects of the weekend. (I asked if anyone was staying at the local Marriott
for the weekend…nope, not one). And I didn’t want to miss out on anything.
Besides, I’m passionate about doing all things the most historically-accurate
way, so why not this?
In short, bunking like an 18th Century soldier wasn’t so bad. I’ll do it again
at next year’s “Remember the Ladies” weekend. I will, however, do one thing
differently, if possible. I will definitely try to figure out a way to take along some
extra bed padding, despite the fact that I’ll have to truck it down on NJ Transit.
In the meantime, I will savor my lovely, comfy, cushy, thoroughly MODERN,
HUZZAH for Sealy!