I housesit a lot. I’ve done it forever, and it’s fun. I love my own house and my own cats, but I also love staying at other people’s houses. I will amend that to say staying at a select few other people’s houses. I stay at Sally and Joe’s, the Hot Tub House, and once and ONLY once, I stayed at the Stink House. That was the worst experience ever.
Anyway, I love Sally and Joe’s, because their backyard is so awesome, their bed is so comfortable, there’s always wine in the fridge, and there are books, books, books. I’ve housesat for them for a long time, and they still love me, even though I’ve had to put one of their cats to sleep, I’ve backed into Joe’s business partner’s $80,000 Mercedes (I didn’t see it, and at first I thought I hit a trash can. Ha. I should BE so lucky), and then there was the debacle last year involving one of their birds, their two cats, and the fact I didn’t quite pull the door to the library closed tight enough. Suffice it to say that when they got home, the bird was dead (not because of the cats though – he was sick before and I prefer to believe that that’s why he died) but as a lovely parting gift, they received a stick drawing detailing the experience. I know, right? Why do they keep asking me to housesit? Well, mostly because they’re awesome, but probably also because 9 times out of 10, I’m totally responsible and not as accident prone as I sound. Plus, they know I love their pets.
Two houses over from them are Nancy and Mel. They are the parents of one of my friends who I have known since we started first grade together back in the day. All of Mel and Nance’s kids live far away now, so they travel a lot and consequently, I stay at their house a lot. It’s the Hot Tub House. I love their house because I can lay in bed and watch t.v., or like last night, I can lay in bed and watch the lightning – it was so cool. They have a really sweet black lab who usually sleeps right next to my side of the bed, unless she hears a fox or a coyote or raccoon or one of the myriad of other animals that roam that neighborhood. Then she scares me half to death waking me up with the barking. I always have friends over to that house, because who can pass up the hot tub and the Tivo and the endless supply of Corona in the basement fridge?
The coolest part about these houses is the neighborhood. I am determined to live in that neighborhood one day. I want to get married in Sally and Joe’s backyard (they told me I could and I’m so excited. Yes, I know I don’t have a boyfriend, but could you not rain on my parade?) and it’s just the coolest place. Somewhere in the neighborhood covenant, there’s a rule that no one can have fences. So behind the houses there’s just one big yard and a pond. There are no streetlights, so it’s always super dark at night. It’s really quiet – except for when the foxes scream and that’s creepy as hell. But that doesn't happen all that often, so it's mostly soooo quiet. And I love it.
Anyway, tonight I will be going to the Hot Tub House. I’ll be sitting in the hot tub, looking out over the backyard (it’s in a glassed in sunroom) until it gets too hot. And then I will put on my favorite boxers and my Homestar Runner sweatshirt and I will go to bed with the windows open so that it gets cold in the room. Tomorrow when I take the dog out before it’s light and while it’s still silent, I will wander through the yards, wrapped in a fleece blanket, listening to the ducks on the pond quack and hearing the prettiest sound of the rustle of the breeze through the huge cottonwoods in Sally and Joe’s yard. And I will be happy because I have a pretty cool life.