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  • J.F. Rowan

House Sitting in Milledgeville, Part I

Though our time was relatively peaceful during our brief stay at Bussey Point, we had a date in Milledgeville GA to house sit for 19 days in a home that is situated on Lake Sinclair. So, on the 14th of December at approximately 5:30 in the morning, I am awake. If there was a camera attached the ceiling over my bed, it would have recorded the look of concern on my face. After 58 years, one tends to know and recognize the subtle signs of an oncoming illness. Today, it happens to be a frog wrapped in a blanket of steel wool who has come to nestle in the back my throat. I try and ignore the bastardly viral frog.

During the first days of ownership, Yvette and I decided to not fry anything inside the Tiger and instead carry a small butane burner for such occasions, especially when access to the Turtle kitchen is less than practical. So, with the sun barely making its' way over the horizon, my task is to fry some bacon outside for breakfast. Yvette readies the coach inside and whips us up some scrambled eggs. I smile because we make a good team. For someone who has never camped before, I am more than delighted as to how Yvette has adapted. We enjoy our meal and one last view of the water and the diesel comes to life. We're off to Milledgeville.

Milledgeville, Georgia

As we depart, Yvette grabs the Atlas as the trucks nav system shows nothing on the screen, not even a road. It will be a good day for someone to be thrown into the deep end of the "Navigator's Training" pool as far as map reading is concerned. She does a great job and between the two of us, we still take a wrong turn at some point, but the learning derived from it is well worth the extra miles. After all, there are really no wrong turns, right? We arrive in Milledgeville Georgia in good shape.

"Why house sit?", some ask. "I thought the whole idea was to get off the grid, get busy being isolated, secluded?" Or, "Doesn't this sort of contradict your whole philosophy in exploring?" All very good questions. When we started doing research several years ago, the one problem we saw was the ability to camp for free anywhere east of the Mississippi River. Yes, we have camped and it has been cheap, real cheap. But so far, it has not been free. Some would also wonder why they aren't we taking advantage of a Walmart or a Cracker Barrel "overnight" parking lot camp spots, aka parking lots. Just google some Walmart camping experiences and there you'll find the answer. It can be pretty creepy depending on where you are and the bottom line is, it just doesn't suit us unless it's an emergency. House sitting will allow us to catch up on certain chores and do so without spending a whole lot of money if any. And, if we're lucky we'll be able to extensively explore the area we're in at the time.

Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, Ga.

Not a bad view.

So the plan is, whenever we are in the eastern half of the United States, we will take advantage of a house sitting gig. Doing laundry without a bag of quarters, taking a real shower, having access to the legitimate high-speed internet, are just some of the reasons it's nice to get back to civilization. And as I seem to be finding out as I write this, if you're going to get sick, it's nice to be comfortable when you feel like crap on a cracker. Also, I have been able to take the time to do some maintenance on the truck and the trailer. Getting things organized and tidied up in preparation for the next leg of our journey. And then there's the mail.

Since we've been able to have some extended downtime, it's a great opportunity to have mail and packages forwarded or even order a few things from Amazon such as our new electric toothbrush charger that uses a USB port for charging. We are very fortunate to have friends at home help out with forwarding mail and other items we might need from our storage unit. We can also ship items home that we thought we needed but clearly don't.

In part two I'll tell you how this particular house sit came to be, and what tools we use to get these gigs and where we plan to go next. One of the other cool benefits I forgot to mention is the animals. For a time, although sometimes too brief, you get a dog...or a cat...or a lizard...or...

PS-Merry Christmas Everyone!

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