Saturday, September 17, 2011

House on the Hill

View from my room

I’m on St. Elsewhere for a month, housesitting, dogsitting, and B&B sitting. The house is spectacular – a six-bedroom villa on several acres, with an open-air design that captures the hilltop breezes and the nonstop Caribbean view. It’s owned by Europeans who visit a few times a year, and managed by an American couple - the former owners of one of the local dive shops - who’ve been on the island for nearly two decades.
Our friends Gigi and McDiver introduced us to the island and the dive shop owners, and like everyone lucky enough to get an invitation to House on the Hill, we were immediately smitten.

On our last visit, I planted the idea of Rick and I as housesitters; and it’s worked out better than I could have imagined. Four weeks for me (three for Rick) to pretend like we own the joint, playing in the pool with Reef and Roxie, tooling around the island in our host’s rugged 4x4, raising a hand in greeting - just like the locals - to those we pass on the hair-raisingly narrow town streets and rutted mountain roads.

It’s not all free mangoes and pina coladas, though. This palace comes with a list of to-do’s as long as my arm. I am cook, baker, laundress, and housekeeper for the B&B guests; dog walker, bather and feeder; gardener, fish feeder, grocery shopper, pool monitor and cleaner, mail and paper collector. I had to draw the line at mowing and emergency preparedness, which is why McDiver joined me here for the week before Rick could break away from work. He’s the mechanic, the lawn jockey, the guy who steps out on ledges to pull down the malfunctioning hurricane shutters and frees jammed keys from locks.

This is 100% different from my life at home, where I spend 100% of my time sitting at my computer as my ass grows ever wider. This is constant slow motion in 90 degree temperatures, where there is always one more chore and where the internet is so slow that signing in to Facebook can take several minutes, or forever.

I wonder if anyone has ever correlated the body fat of Facebook users v. non-Facebook users? Could be interesting, but you'd probably have to take pina coladas out of the equation, and that's just not gonna happen here on St. Elsewhere.

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