The Parking Lot

Yes, I do most of my reading in the parking lot of somewhere.  I love it.

Years ago I would spend hours reading in the tub—warming it twice over before coming out. But then, I moved away from the tub and have seldom found another worth it. For you see, the best tub for reading sets in an oasis of calm and order—and is contoured for lounging as well as deep enough for perfect submersion. I yearn for space to have one.
Later I spent hours lounging on the corner of a couch. No Roman empress could lounge better. With a cup of heated or iced beverage close at hand, a bookmark, and quiet, I spent hours in faraway places doing impossible feats.
Propped over a pillow, stomach down on my bed isn’t bad, but there’s no beverages in my bedrooms so it ranks secondary.
Then I got the perfect job!! I was a outside messenger for a large hospital in Denver. When my route, delivering medical reports to doctor’s offices was finished for the day, and no other work needing done, my time was my own. The previous person in my job had spent the extra time in bars drinking. He also managed to make the route take five hours. I reworked the route and could get done in three.  In wonderful weather I could be found at beautiful park, in my vehicle, under a tree, windows open, and reading.  In foul weather I could be found in a restaurant booth near large windows watching it rain or snow, having coffee brought to me, maybe a cinnamon roll—hot from the oven, reading.
Then I got an almost perfect job. I was in a high rise building downtown Denver. On the fifth floor was an outdoor balcony—very good for reading in good weather, but they also had a small library for the employees—that was nice too.
Then I came home to southwest Kansas and into my current location. For the last thirty-five years lounging furniture has come and gone. I have huge windows to look out of at inclement weather—if I don’t have to be out in it, but the downside is no one brings me coffee or cinnamon rolls.  Since I took up writing, I occasionally will go to a café and write there—with the accompanying coffee and roll or meal—I like those days best, but they are irregular.
But you can’t beat a vehicle in a parking lot. It has all of the best in window views, no one can find you, and you can bring your own beverage made just as you like it.  The seats are comfortable and you can have open windows or heating or cooling—just as you like.
I read or edit in my husband’s pickup truck wherever he has gone to look at something wonderful—which includes the sacred tool section of our local Sears store. Local being ninety miles from home. I’ve been parked in parking lots for malls, other stores, factories or other points of non-interest on every trip to many states  of this ol USA. This even includes in Hawaii where my darling wanted to go tour a sea shipping company. Matson, when I called to get him the ‘school’ tour was quite kind and had us show up the next day. It turns out, no one had ever asked for a tour before and he had the yard engineer, who was quite excited to show someone around, for a tour guide. They were at it for three hours. Happily, the daughters and I were parked under a tree with our books, enjoying the area.  Luckily, he was back in time for the required comfort break.
When I need to escape for a while, I work some time into my ‘town day’. The day per week I do all town errands. I have places in different towns where I can park and read, plan with a notebook, or nap for an hour or two—no worries, no trouble, no one knows where I am. I love it.  I have a friend who needed some respite from her family at home and shared a couple of the spots with her.  Everyone should have an escape. I use mine and read.
I must also mention that as a young woman I went on a ski vacation with three friends. I don’t ski, but ski lodges are great places to read. On another vacation, I had to do laundry for the family. I took a book and headed for the local laundry room where I got to read and overhear a couple of other women talk about being on a world golfing tour with their husbands.  Really. There’s nothing like a couple of women dragged around the world to obscure places like Easter Island to wait for their guy to golf. There was one place that they got no sleep because the crabs kept trying to get in to eat them at night.  The clicking of the claws was quite disturbing.  Yay-uh, I’ll take my guy any day. I don’t think I could read comfortably listening to hungry crabs.
I’m thinking I’d like to go to one of those hunting lodge places and read. They look so inviting with those fireplaces in the ads.