First Lady Farms Alarms

The excitement of this adventure of mine comes into play as I travel from one house to the next with all of the items I need for living in the back of my car. I’ve winnowed my essentials down a lot, but it’s still a bit difficult to lug the few tubs of clothes and electronics and food up and down stairways. The physical transition is the worst part of this plan. But compared to mowing a lawn and raking leaves and cleaning up basement floods and weeding gardens and fixing broken appliances, carrying some tubs every week is nothing.

So, back to traveling to each new house–this is where the adventure of this ridiculous plan of mine comes into play. The last house I stayed in was with close friends as I didn’t have a pet-sitting gig. This couple’s adorable house is meticulously clean and clutter-free. Each item in the house has a place. I made sure I put dirty dishes immediately into the dishwasher. I hung my towel up straight. I loved spending time with them, but I made sure I left no trail.

Again, this journey really allows me to experience how other people live and what they prioritize and how they manage their households. This is true whether the owners are there or not. I’ve always loved learning about people and seeing the world through different sets of eyes. So when I got into my car last Wednesday night, I took note that I felt light…almost free. Maybe like a bird or a wild animal. I was completely on my own, without encumbrances, for those 20 minutes between two completely different existences.

My next arrival at my friends’ downtown house started with a huge bit of excitement. When I rang the doorbell on Wednesday evening at 9:15pm, the three Boxers starting barking and came through some invisible barrier (motion detector?) and set off the house alarm. OOoowah, oooohwah, oooohwah screaming through the neighborhood. I didn’t yet have a key, so I stood helplessly on the front porch. Fortunately, a few minutes later, the owners came home through the back door and were able to turn off the alarm and talk to the tiny person in the box, explaining that the location of the dog cages to the ‘barrier’ needed to be changed. I was saved and no police officers arrived (even though I had done nothing but ring the door bell this time).

chickens1While tending to chickens and dogs would seem kinda easy…it might be for people with memories. But for me there are just a lot of details to remember so I came two days early to learn all the rules and household and animal routines. I always write the instructions down. It’s 3pm on Saturday and every one of the animals is still as raucous as ever. Rooster Jack is still crowing, the First Lady chickens are still clucking and the sugar-sweet dogs are still humping. (There are also three bee hives, but there are no duties there except to eat the tasty honey in the kitchen!) So far, so good.

Zach's dogsI have not been as lucky with the alarm system, however. I set it off the very next time I came through the door coming home from work on Thursday. Sigh. OOowah, ooowah, ooowah. So embarrassing. This time I had to tell the woman in the box that I was a doofus so that she didn’t send the police. (This house is downtown and the system does provide some peace of mind.) When Zach came home later that evening, he shared that he had gotten to watch me on video (from his phone) frantically pushing buttons to make the alarm stop howling while he was at the Mayor’s Forum. Sigh. SO embarrassing.

This morning, (remember this is only Saturday) I’m the only adult here. Within 5 minutes of getting out of bed, I set the alarm off AGAIN. Zach and Christian forgot to tell me (!!!!) that the alarm at the FRONT door has to be disarmed before I can let the dogs out the BACK door. Ooowah, ooowah, ooowah. Yes, woman in the box, we have already confirmed that I am the doofus who keeps setting off the alarm. This time I turned around and waved at Zach while he is in San Francisco receiving a national award. I’m now afraid to leave the house–from the front door OR the back door.

So many people tell me that they could never do what I am doing. I ask you, does this not sound fun? Switching realities on a dime? Adjusting to new environments with a 20-minute driving break in between? Learning new household rules every few days? Ok, after writing those last few sentences, I see what you mean: It doesn’t sound like fun. But I assure you, I am having a blast! Jyoti’s Great Adventure continues!!

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