by Rain Trueax
If you've been with me on this blog a long time, you know that since 1999, we have owned a second home in Tucson, Arizona. We have used it less or more depending on the year. To help with its expenses and because sometimes we found it hard to get away, for 5 years or so, we offered it on VRBO as a vacation rental for those with pets. It's never been a good fit for those with allergies as when we are there, we have our cats with us. Snowbirds want it most frequently, which meant if we have gone, it was in the fall or early summers.
We decided in 2017 that we weren't renting it in 2018 because we wanted to do repairs and some remodeling, which required our being there. We kept putting off going until finally it was 2018, and we had to get it together. The farm would be okay without us. We have someone who feeds the cattle and sheep. We arranged to have the wild birds and hummingbirds be fed. We had a house-sitter as well as wonderful neighbors who keep an eye on things (meaning cattle or sheep on the road) when we are not there.
We had to go, wanted to go, but kept putting off leaving for assorted reasons, some personal and some physical problems with the farm-- including water damage from the water heater (it was the original when the home was built in the '50s and needed replacing) and then another leak destroying the utility room floor. Couldn't leave with Thanksgiving or Christmas, could we?
During most of the fall, we had decided firmly we'd not take our vacation trailer or the two formerly feral cats. It being iffy travel in winter, we wanted to take motels and what motel lets you take four cats??? They could be fed at the farm. They'd be fine there as it's been their home.
Looking at their little faces, as they lounged on the sofa, and that idea flew out the window. They were going, which meant the trailer was going. How that would work was uncertain, with one cat hating another and one cat still spraying despite being neutered a year earlier-- and all of us in a small trailer with no real separations other than the bathroom. It didn't matter. The six of us were going.
During December, I kept plugging away at my book as I put off packing for the time I'd be in a different climate-- although with Tucson, you can get a winter-- not a wet and cold one though like our home in Oregon. I have to admit part of me just didn't want to go, even though it was the best choice for us all.
Finally, the year had ended and we were pushed for a firm timetable for leaving. It would involve days on the road, but we had a destination we loved. The cats would like it too since we fenced the yard to keep them safe from the desert predators-- if not from each other.
These photos are all of our home in the desert, the place we call Casa Espiritu, It always feels like home when we get there-- getting there is, however, always the problem. This time, winter was setting in on the mountains, unknown storms lay ahead, and a travel trailer had to be pulled and parked every night.
How the trip went will be broken up, since this one already went long. Tomorrow gets into what it involves taking a travel trailer on a trip. Monday will be the trip and how that went with us and the cats!