Snowbirding

Charlie, October 2013

Charlie, October 2013

Two Homes, Two Cities

I am a snowbird. That means I do not stay in one place for both summer and winter. I have a daughter in Idaho and a daughter in Las Vegas. Since multiple sclerosis makes it difficult to live alone, I live with my daughters. I live in Idaho when it is too hot in Las Vegas, and I live in Las Vegas when it is too cold in Idaho.

Some people have summer homes and winter homes. Some people have several homes, and vacation homes. Some of us belong to the poorer level of citizens, and can not afford two or more homes. We want to do what we see others doing, but can not really afford it. For us, friends or relatives exist and are willing to have house guests.

Now, houseguests in this sense does mean long term house guests. That means I do not barge into their homes and take over. Instead, ask them if you could stay with them for a few weeks. Perhaps the first year, you would stay a week or two, that is normally long enough to decide if you and them are compatible enough to stay longer next time. I have never been good at being in one place too long. By staying with others for a week or two at a time, I travelled without it becoming too expensive.

I have two very wonderful daughters who allow me to live with them. If you don’t have children you can live with, perhaps you own an RV, and live in it instead. I also did that for a few years. Due to ms taking my legs away a couple of times, it got too scary to drive. I gave up my motorhome and became a bricks and sticks dweller again.

When I stay with others, I try to be helpful to them. I make minor repairs as I can, I help with the cooking and cleaning when I can. Note the “when I can”. Just because I stay with someone, that never gives me the right to decide I must clean their house for them, or rearrange furniture, or help them throw out what I consider useless. It also means I do not own a house any more. Since I do not own the dwellings I stay in, I am careful not to damage those dwellings. I also may be able to help out with the groceries, utility bills and other expenses part of the time.

To be truthful, when living with others, you or I do depend on their generosity. We are guests in their houses, even if they treat us as family members. Sometimes that is a difficult distinction. We are not there full time, which means we should be guests, doesn’t it? Yet, we are there long enough that we can not be guests any more.

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