It was our first ever home stay. I registered with Mindahome a couple of months ago and this was our first “assignment”: a week of looking after a place and pets: one dog, two rabbits and some chickens. I felt suitably qualified to care for them as I’ve had all of the above and more, even a lamb!
We met the owners a couple of weeks ago, a lovely young family on a large semi-rural property 15 minutes from Geraldton. The dates fit in well as our car was booked in for major works mid-week. We had no other plans, maybe visit the museum that we hadn’t yet seen, but we weren’t fussed. We figured we’d use the week to relax
We certainly did that, but in a way I wasn’t expecting. I hadn’t counted on the other half getting sick and ending up in hospital. He spent four days in there and it turned everything on its heels. He’s better now, thankfully, but I honestly believe that it all happened for a reason. The fact that we were in a major town and he was able to get the care he needed and I was able to see him every day was a blessing.
At the homestay I slept in our van and not in the house but we were able to use their wonderful alfresco area. Within that space was a garden, an inviting outdoor pool and comfy lounge gazebo and a large undercover eating and cooking area. That’s also where the rabbits lived, as well as Marty the dog. Inside the house was a huge theatre room and Doug especially had his heart set on streaming the latest James Bond movie. It would be a novelty for us, at least since we’ve been on the road for six months, and it felt somewhat decadent.
But mostly we were outside. The resident rabbits, Snowy and Thunder, loved a good pat but especially loved their food. The chooks, further away in their pen, were happy little scavengers. And Marty was, well Marty was perhaps the most aloof dog I’ve ever met.
He didn’t seem interested in being patted at all and have you ever heard of a dog that doesn’t want to go for a walk? He seemed nervous, shy, aloof, it’s hard to know what he was. And yet he warmed to me. He was always close by when I was cooking and eating and when I baked a cake to take into the hospital. Then, on the third day alone with him, as I saluted the sky with my early morning yoga pose, he suddenly got down on his haunches and began playing. I was delighted. Maybe it was a universal play pose I’d struck because from then on he seemed to realise I was no threat. And actually quite the opposite.
Our first homestay was not what I’d expected but it was a memorable introduction to what I’m sure we’ll do more of down the track. It taught me not to stress so much, to accept what is and to trust that things always work out. Though it can be easier said than done at times, I like this advice “don’t use your energy to worry. Use your energy to believe.”
Maybe next time I’ll mind a dog that likes a cuddle but still, I grew to love Marty, with his big dopey grin and gazelle like bounding. When I returned from the hospital at the end of each day, he was there, waiting for me and so was the van on their property and it all kinda felt like home.
So, although we had a pool we hardly swam in, a barbecue area we rarely used and a rather kooky dog, it was a pretty successful introduction to house minding.
And I’m grateful for it all.
The night before Doug came home I sat outside under the fading night sky, watching the clouds drift above me and I journaled. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and gratitude, knowing he was okay and that I was also okay. I was in a good place. Sometimes the Universe knows what we need and the simplest things can make us happy.
This week we move on. Who knows what awaits us but I’m open to all the unknown paths, the roads less travelled, the detours and new adventures on this ever evolving journey. I’m ready for all the happiness in unexpected guises.
Although it’s good to have an idea of where we’re going, we don’t always need a definite plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.
Have a listen to the short video below. it’s John Butler Trio’s badass bluesy version of Pharrell Williams “Happy” and I love it! I woke up and found this clip on the morning I picked up Doug and it was so apt. I danced to it outside while Marty bounded about me, in his usual way. Can you picture us? Wherever you are I invite you to embrace the energy of the song and the feeling of hope and happiness.
As John says in the intro and in words that I totally resonate with “I still get frightened … but I trust myself more …I love what I do and I’m so thankful to do it. I enjoy every millisecond of it“
Oh, and by the way, we DID get to the museum and we did watch the latest James Bond movie on their big screen.
Wishing you all joy, love and lots of happy vibes. Here’s to embracing a spirit of trust and adventure.
In love and light.
Update as at 20 January 2022: On leaving Geraldton we stopped for a night at Milligans Island on the coast before heading down to Bunbury for a new set of tyres and a wheel alignment. We’re currently at Big Valley, a farm stay, that is central to the Margaret River area.