After I mere twelve days back in Florida, I set off to Washington state. State, not DC. An important clarification, I’ve found; because everyone assumes the latter. Why Washington? I am hoping that my days of residing in Florida are forever over. I’ve always thought I’d like the Pacific northwest (kinda like I always thought I’d like France and Ireland…and look how that turned out. True. So, so true.), so I jumped when the opportunity to go arose. A housesitting proposition on couchsurfing. So the deal, after much communication, is that I would help the couple organize their house, as well as take care of their house and animals while they go to South America for several months. In exchange I get several months of free accommodation, and a few months of cheap rent. My goal for the months of September through March are primarily to save money for The Road Trip. So I said ‘yes, please’.
At 2am on the 17th of September, Kristin drove me to Orlando International airport. I wondered, aloud, if it was even open. Nobody was in sight. But, I walked timidly in and took a seat. There was one other girl sitting there with her luggage. But mostly I just hung out with the janitors and cockroaches. Because yes, there are tons of cockroaches scampering around having a good old time there.
My flight to Washington turned out to be one of those unpleasant sort of deals. As in, my Houston/Seattle flight was fully loaded and ready to take off, when the pilot announced there was an issue with the fuel valve. Sure enough, the friendly guy to my left said to the not-so-outgoing guy on my right, ‘Dave, look!’ Dave and I both looked, to find fuel just gushing out of the plane. The pilot gave periodic updates, until finally, apologetically, he asked us to debark. We had to wait until United found us another plane. We finally took off over two hours after we were meant to. But, overall it wasn’t too miserable.
Seth and Leslie are a great older couple. Really cool and interesting, and the type of people I am proud to label as Americans. Leslie runs an Etsy shop of steampunk jewelry, Seth has a whole history of interesting occupations, and they both are very knowledgeable and cultured. Their house, aka the reason I’m here, resembles what I would imagine a magpie’s nest would look like. It is filled with stuff. I’ve never seen the show Hoarders, but I suspect Leslie and Seth’s place is a prime candidate. They have things from their world travels, things from Leslie’s life as a crafter, things from Seth’s life as a music connoisseur, and a lot of other odds and ends. It just amounts to a lot. It’s a bit much for my minimalist-inclined self to comprehend, but most things have a story from China, or a decade ago, or whatever. A story from their life. What doesn’t have a story has a use, and what has neither a story nor a use is what goes to freecycle. Slowly but surely, we’ll work through it.
I’ve moved into the library. It was an instant decision. I’ve lived in a dining room before, so living in a library seemed appropriate. It took two full days to dispense of all of the clutter and transform it into a clean, spacious, and livable room. But now I am proud of and happy with it. Now if only I could get a bed and a door…
I have hopes of the rest of the house being transformed as smoothly, but sadly I suspect that won’t be the case.
There is another woman living here, Thorn. I imagined a willowy hippie-ish girl, but not so much. She in fact calls herself the antithesis of a hippie. With purple, pink, and platinum hair, tattoos, and a black saturated wardrobe, you’d be more prone to call her goth. My friend Olivia, whom I met Wwoofing in Ireland this Spring, joined the ranks a few days after I did. Rounded off by Lexi the dog and Tigerlily the cat – it’s an interesting troop.