I'm down in Florida visiting my family for the holidays as I have done for the fifth time since I started full-timing in August of 2010, but instead of driveway camping like I usually do, there's a difference this time — nobody's home inside.
My sister is in Japan for a month having her first grandbaby — my niece's husband is stationed there, so that's where the grandbaby action is happening. She asked us and we agreed to housesit, mainly because she's worried about her dog Milly, who is getting on in years and wouldn't do well in a kennel for that length of time, or so my sister thinks. So here we are at an empty house, parked outside as usual, but we have the run of the place.
And it's strange.
The strangest thing is that Sharon and I can be in different places. What a concept! After over four years of full-timing in a Class B RV — very seldom out of each other's sight — she can sit out in the Roadtrek while I noodle around in the house, or vice versa. I end up running out there or into the house every couple of hours just to see her – I guess I kinda miss her.
Both venues have TV, internet, etc., so there's not any big differences in amenities, except for a few things. One of these is the shower. These sticks and bricks showers are amazing – they are HUGE, and you can stand there all day without running out of hot water. I wash my hair every day and indulge in other extravagances of hygiene. Even though our new Roadtrek has a fancy enclosed wet bath that I was just getting used to, I don't want to get too spoiled by this thing.
Another thing is the kitchen. My sister has this huge five-burner, two-oven gas stove, which is great for pies, baked main dishes, and just about anything else you could dream up. And there are all these dishes and kitchen implements and utensils — I am used to two forks, two plates, two pots, one frying pan, etc., and inside the house there are giant cabinets full of these things. You can just cook all this stuff, create a huge wasteful pile of dirty dishes, and throw it all in the dishwasher when you're through. I was still celebrating my huge new 7 cubic foot refrigerator- my sister has TWO refrigerators. She LOSES food in here – you have to send out a search party for last Thursday's leftovers sometimes. This modern technology is amazing!
The final main thing I'm enjoying is the washer and dryer. Yep, folks, right here on the premises you can wash everything you want. No quarters, no change machines, no strange attendant ladies bugging you, just throw them in and get them whenever. After several years of doing laundry on the road, it is darn convenient to have. I can even change clothes in the middle of the day without worrying about running out of clothes. What luxury!
I have been piddling around working on things in the house and yard for my sister while she's gone, which is a set of jobs I haven't done in a long, long time. I guess a little yard work won't kill me, not having mowed a blade of grass since 2010. There's something appealing about weeding, knowing I'll not have to do it again for a long, long time. I figured out how to replace the bearings in her washing machine, saving her one of those expensive appliance repairman house calls, scrubbed the decks, and fixed a few mechanical, plumbing, and electrical things that had been piling up, but the sense of drudgery I used to feel maintaining my old sticks and bricks house is thankfully absent. I'm going to drive away from this place soon, and it won't be mine to worry about. Big kitchens and showers and all that are nice, but who wants to spend all their time maintaining them? Not me. It's a nice diversion for a month, but it gets old fast.