Thursday, May 30, 2024

Housesitting and Home and Dogs

Winter California hiking


The first half of 2024 has been a mix of housesitting and staying home at our casita. At home, Dave loves to garden, I like to hill hike, we enjoy being close to the beach, and we like our community. So why not stay put? Because we like exploring. And we like living many different lives.

California coyote

In January we housesat in California, in a home I first stepped my size-10 foot in more than 30 years ago. It belonged to Gabriele Rico, my other-mother and mentor, whom I've written about in Call It Wonder. She died a decade ago, and the last time I stood in her house was for her celebration of life. 

Bath with a view in Cupertino.

Her former husband asked Dave and me if we'd come care for the home for five weeks--a book-and-art studded place in the Cupertino hills. All we had to do was feed the koi and haul the garbage cans to the bottom of the driveway once a week. He sweetened the deal by letting us use his car. It's always good to see friends and to nestle into the familiarity of the area (until the reality of traffic and prices hit).

Happy to get some Stacey time.

And some Sally & Kelly time...on the deck of the house.

Much of the home is the way it had been when Gabriele lived there, including her office. She taught me so much about writing, and she helped my creative soul come alive. I pulled off the shelf several books I'd given her over the years, including the first literary magazine that published my poetry. As I sat at her desk, I could feel her energy as I worked on planning for my forthcoming writing retreat. 

Fast-forward a few months to that, back in Mexico:

Revolutionary Writers!

Seventeen revolutionary women gathered in Baja Sur for Angela Yarber's and my Reimagining Writing retreat, where we wrote, beach walked, swam, got massages, rode horses, did yoga, ate incredible food, played music, experienced the eclipse and a sound bath--and most importantly, created a community of writers we will never forget. This retreat had been in the making for a year--and it surpassed my dreams in quality, heart, and intensity. Afterward, I slept three 10-hour nights!

Dave, Miles & Jude 

At home, we got some magical hang-out time with our friends Jude, Melissa, and their son Miles who visited Todos Santos. We enjoyed our regular lives of cooking, reading, and yoga--and I borrowed my friends' dogs for walks. 

walking with Sierra

walking with Deva

Whenever we're gone I especially miss Zumba. The Todos Santos class makes me feel like a teenager dancing in the chorus of the spring musical. The whole thing is so positive and uplifting.

I'm in the back in pink, flashing a peace sign.

Even though I love to  move my body, I discovered my cholesterol had soared. So I cut off the half-and-half that had slipped back into my mornings and finally and happily quit alcohol for good (that one's been coming on for 9 years). I also began eating oatmeal with flax and fruit every morning, dates for dessert, and cut back on portions. In just over two months, my cholesterol dropped 100 points! Eating this way makes me feel great, so that's my motivation now.

Another housesit opportunity came along: two weeks at a big house with a pool and jacuzzi and darling dog named Ollie, an hour south of us in Cabo. 

It was nice to have our own pool and jacuzzi for a couple of weeks.

The owner said we could have a friend come stay. So we got to celebrate Dave's birthday with one of his best friends, Craig.

Dave and Craig in Cabo.

with Craig in San Jose del Cabo for a taco feast

Also, lucky us, one of my BFFs Nancy, with her husband Andy, happened to be in Cabo for the weekend--and they took us to a local soccer (futbol) game. The stands were packed and when Los Cabos United won, the celebration began with people drumming and singing and dancing. I loved seeing this side of Mexico.

Futbol in our new jerseys!

The Cabo homeowner asked us if we could come back in June for a few days. I was tempted since I'd fallen head-over-paws in love with Ollie, who followed me around like he loved me just as much.

Ollie  with me, the jacuzzi, and the mermaid.

But I wanted to suck up every moment at home until we leave in early July (more on that in a moment). So here's a first: she's bringing him to me for a few days in June. I can't wait to take him on my hikes and beach walks.

I'm realizing there are lots of DOGS in this entry. I casually said to Dave the other day that I might be ready soon to get our own dog. He looked at me cross-eyed, trying to register that I said this on the eve of our leaving to travel for 8 months. Would I really want to leave my own dog for that long, even if it was with loving sitters like us?

Hm...okay, maybe I was jumping the pistola. Who knows how I'll feel when we return after traveling to:






Cape Verde





and ?

Our itinerary isn't completely set, but we know this will involve housesits, rentals, visiting friends, flights, trains, a rental car, and at least one boat.

A nice couple with, yes, a dog, will be in our home during that time. Why won't that be us? Because over a decade ago we decided we wanted to see the world. And we're not done yet.


PS: I've been talking about nomadding and housesitting on podcasts lately. Check these out:


Sarah Butland said...

What a life of adventure! Your courage and ability to explore are an inspiration! The way you're connecting with people you meet along the way, and readers of your blog and books brings the world together while showing its beauty!

Thank you for embracing your desire to roam!

Sarah Butland

Alisa Moore said...

I love following along on your and Dave's adventures. Always inspiring. And I LOVE San Jose del Cabo!! What a sweet little town, right?

Kate Evans said...

Sarah, Your comments are the insights of my dreams. :) THANK YOU. xoxo

Alisa, Yes, San Jose del Cabo is charming! And we had the most amazing tacos there. xoxo