The same day that Kitty passed on, Jeff and I simultaneously and separately thought, ‘Oh. We don’t need the trailer anymore’. In large part we bought it for her. We had the notion to jump around place to place for caretaking, housesitting, and petsitting gigs. But to find a place that accepted cats? Highly unlikely in my mind. I look at it now and see that we likely weren’t ready for that kind of leap, or that kind of freedom. So it all fit perfectly.
We talked about it soon after having our own revelations. We knew that we would sell it fully stocked and as a custom trailer. Ideal for the person that wanted to live like we did. Off the grid. There was a caretaking gig in Kauai that came up the week of Kitty’s passing. As soon as I researched in to bringing animals into Hawaii I was pretty sure we’d hit a dead end as long as she was alive. They require an extensive list because they are a “rabies-free” state. And they want to keep it that way. I had to turn down that opportunity for the present moment. But now! We could go to Hawaii! And there was a Kauai opportunity available immediately from the Caretaker Gazette!! Dream come true!
I emailed the address provided hoping that it was even still available. I heard from her, Aimee, pretty quickly. She asked if we could have a phone call the next day! OMG! It felt like my life was starting and stopping at this phone call. NBD, right? It was scheduled for 5:00pm our time. At 4:40pm I got an email asking if we could reschedule for the following day, she had had a conflict come up. Oh my god, I was devastated. My life had stopped existing until I was going to have this call. And, funny thing, I had written this note for myself on my notebook: “Bless it or Block it” and “This or something better”. I was trying so hard not to latch on but this was something I wanted to badly. I also knew that if I wouldn’t force, went with the flow, I would get everything I wanted as I wanted it. That same day I got an email from Steve. He was responding to our ad in the Caretaker email blast. That was from Aug 11th! This was Aug 21st. He went on to describe mine and Jeff’s ideal caretaking set-up:
- gentlemen’s farm (hobby farm)
- very part-time duties
- permaculture farm
- Prefer a longer stay
It was in Oregon. This was a curveball. I didn’t expect us to go further north. In my mind we would soon be turning south again, running from the cold. And just driving further north meant driving more in the future back to wherever we were going (did I know where that was in the south? No. It was just a notion I had). With my little prayer above about bless it or block it, I was also asking for the door to open. Close the ones that aren’t for us, and open the others. Make it obvious. Hmmm, this Oregon thing was starting to seem obvious.
We set up a call to talk the next day. All very easy breezy. Again, easy. Door not slamming shut. In the mean time, we sat and patiently waited for our re-scheduled call with Aimee. 5:00, 5:15, 5:20, 5:30, fuuuuuckkkk. I emailed her and said we were ready and waiting for her call. Nothing. Now, it is very easy to get self-righteous at these times. But I knew that this was a closed door. It didn’t mean a closed door forever. She didn’t have to be a “wrong” decision. But it was clear: something was being blocked. Goddamnit!! But I was less devastated than the cancelled call the day before. (We have still heard nothing from Aimee and I have no problem with it.)
The next day we sit down for a four-way call with Susan and Steve. It was so easy. They are early retired. Rehabing an old conventional farm to permaculture. Love animals. Totally committed to green products, from Susan: “I want to be able to lick the floors and the walls and not get sick”. YES! Some kindred spirits! Awesome. This was just what we were looking for in this new life. They had a studio they were finishing above their shop (Jeff could help!). And a greenhouse they wanted to build (Jeff could help!). It was becoming more and more attractive as we talked. Except that the rain would start in the winter or fall and that’s why they wanted to be able to leave. And that is not what we wanted. So Steve suggested that the spring time might be a fit for us. Susan suggested we just stop over if we make our way up there so we could get to know each other. Jeff basically agrees, I look over at him. He is so super-psyched. He’s ready to change his permanent address. He’s ready to move in to their barn. We hung up telling them we would talk it over, the stopping over for a brief visit. Again, I saw that this was an open door. Even if it wasn’t what I expected, or rather in the location I expected.
Jeff and I talked it over a little and said, “Yeah. Let’s do it.” I wrote them an email to say we would take them up on their offer! And would it be too presumptuous to ask if we could stay a week; moving the trailer is a big deal. We don’t like doing it frequently. Steve wrote back almost immediately with a resounding, “Yes!”. Jeff and I were flying high! Oh man! It was happening! And really easily! I started looking at petsitting/housesitting gigs in the area to fill in for the rest of September. First thing the next morning, we get another email from Steve. He apologized saying he jumped the gun after talking to Susan. That it would be better if we get through the first night of meeting each other and then decide further. Not that it wouldn’t happen but: first things first. Jeff and I were crushed. I felt scared: ‘Oh know, is this foreshadowing? This is the wrong thing, isn’t it? What if they’re mean? Now we have to perform for them?’ Ugh, it got dark for the both of us. Jeff went into, ‘Nothing that I want ever works out for me. This is how it always is. I just shouldn’t ever want anything’. Oh, I hated hearing that from him! I didn’t want him to think that of himself!
That was Saturday. Saturday was a little rough. We went to the beach to soothe ourselves. It helped. We forged ahead and leaned into the things we believe in. I think we both read Conversations with God. The first thing I read reminded me to:
“Eliminate the concept of ever being offended. Do away with defense of any kind.”
That put me back in my adult-mind thinking. ‘Okay, if I was a high-minded adult how could I face this? Well, I wouldn’t be afraid of being hurt. Especially not from kindred spirits’. I would realize that no one can hurt me. That if I go into every new scenario with people focused on how they will hurt me or abandon me, I’m going to have a tough time at life. I will want to avoid new people. And that’s what I’ve been doing a lot of in my life until recently. I didn’t want that anymore. Worst case scenario, there’s something unpleasant and Jeff and I would just face it! And make the next right decision, no big deal. I wrote back to Steve and managed something gracious and simple.
My instinct said: take the pressure off this one thing and book a gig nearby. I had one saved in Cottage Grove, OR. It was 2 kitties and it looked perfect. Two weeks long. These gigs we get from trustedhousesitters.com are always a stay at the owner’s house watch the animals while they’re away, situation. That’s what this was. I put in a request to apply. Sent a note to the owner about Jeff and me and told her to take a look at our profile. And our references (thanks everybody! John, Suzanne, Heather, Anna, Faith). That was Saturday night before I went to bed.
I woke up Sunday morning and we were approved! Just like that! They had a kitty named Bunny and Boris. Bunny reminded us a lot of Kitty. It was going to be perfect. We were gonna get some furry, kitty love. And I had just gotten an email from Steve. It said blah, blah, blah, time you’re arriving, and I’ll be mediating with some of my SRF friends. WHAAAAAATTTT???!! This was the first time Jeff and I had ever met fellow SRF students! And with people we already felt connected to! SRF stands for Self-Realization Fellowship that Yogananda started. It means they have gone through the same lessons we had, we spoke the same language. So cool. He also asked for Jeff’s number so they could speak directly, like men should. 🙂
It felt like the little blip was over and non-existent and we had managed to act like adults and no one noticed. Hooray!
This was Sunday morning and Jeff and I were high as a kite! We went to Agate beach in Patrick’s Point Park. It was a beautiful day. Perfect weather. We celebrated our great day and our success. At making real something that was a dream.
Next up: sell the trailer, sell the truck, travel the world. With just some suitcases.