January 20, 2015 – Originally Posted on a blog I used to own, called A Free Spirit
This past week I helped a friend who was having surgery in the big city. I spent two nights in a hotel room, then two nights in her guest bedroom, while we ensured she was okay on her own. After being away from Mitzi for four nights, I was truly looking forward to curling up in my own bed again, with my down sleeping bags, and the familiarity of home.
I mean I was really, truly, glad to be back in my own bed, and my own space, despite all the luxuries that were available to me in her lovely home.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when a guest bedroom would be a welcome offer, such as when the temperatures get down to –24 and –30 F (anything below –10), or when the wind blows so hard it’s like being in a boat on a stormy ocean, or if I were to get sick or some similar situation. However, most of the time I’m more comfortable in my own bed, even when the temperatures are cold enough to freeze a gallon of water over night and freeze all the food in my storage box.
People often ask me to cat or dog sit for them, and seem to think that my taking care of their animals is a fair trade for staying in their home. They seem to think they are helping me, but that is a huge misconception, because really it’s the other way around. I am helping them, not vice versa.
The truth is, it’s a huge inconvenience for me to gather all the bits I need together from their various appointed places in Mitzi, (every little thing has a place, or its too easy to lose stuff), and to get a big bag down from ‘the attic’ and haul everything into their home for several days. It’s a bit like packing for a vacation, and unless I do it very carefully I always forget something and have to run back down the driveway to get it, sometimes, several times. Also, because I keep my food in a cooler, or in my mouse proof storage box, I have to keep running out to get things I need to eat. Gathering all this stuff together, going into the attic etc. when its freezing cold or windy, or dark, is not always easy. And I’m so used to having everything with me throughout the day, that when I go places, such as the gym, I have to remember to bring stuff with me from the house, which I’m not used to doing. Like everyone I misplace things, but when I’m house sitting, I misplace things twice as often, because I have two place to lose things in, and two places to look. I also sleep very poorly in a strange bed, even if I haul in my own pillows and body bolster and earplugs, and I just cant stand sheets these days, they are so uncomfortable.
Living in a house complicates things.
Then there is the commitment to taking care of their pets. Cats are pretty easy, but dogs require you to be around most of the time. They require walking two or three times a day, which means I have to commit to being in town, and can’t take a impromptu trip out of town, or park/visit another friends house over night. Additionally, if I want to take a dog with me anywhere, or to the dog park, I have to clear my front seat, which is where I keep my office, and the floor is where I keep my water. Either that, or let the dog get on my bed, which will end up muddy, and covered in dog hairs (as will the front seat).
Of course, there are times all of this is okay, and that is when I’m being paid to house, dog, or cat sit. I will tolerate the inconvenience when I’m getting paid for it.
During this winter (2014/2015) I’ve been in the mountains, camping at around 8,000 feet, and it’s the first time I’ve done an entire winter solely in my car in such cold, windy, conditions (I’ve done it in Utah where it got bitterly cold at night (-10F), but was quite pleasant in the day, and it wasn’t nearly so windy). Normally I wouldn’t choose to be living in my car in such a wintry climate, but this year I had no choice. Despite this, I’d still rather be in Mitzi, except for the odd night when I would only have to take a few things into the house with me to pass away a few hours, and to avoid having my friends feel guilty if I was found in my vehicle in the morning like a frozen popsicle.
Anyhow, that’s how I feel at this time in my life. I probably won’t always feel this way, and I have to admit I’m getting rather tired of it right now, but it’s still my preference.
Until next time, enjoying my own space…
Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature
This post was originally posted on January 20, 2015, on my blog called A Free Spirit