I am an all time house but a part time home. I have owners and I am sure they pay a full time mortgage on me. During the winter I am shut down, someone does drop by now and again. A property manager, I suppose. A quick walk through, a check of the pipes, not even a light dusting though.
Did you know dust is almost entirely human skin that is shed daily? Kind of gross. Really gross. Without humans wondering around, cooking, showering, playing, napping, I don’t really need all that much attention.
As the trees begin to leaf out the property manager gets more involved. He jangles his keys and tromps in wearing work shoes. It is still cold outside but he has some prep work to do.
He freshenes up the place, throwing windows open, fluffing the drapes. Checking light bulbs. He goes out and comes back with some supplies for my pantry. Then he rearranges the shelves with the newest freshest supplies toward the back.
When he is done fussing around he shuts me back up and I don’t see anyone until at least two very hot weeks go by.
Being a summer home is not a bad job, I am filled with activity all in a big ball of energy. The family hasn’t changed for almost a decade. No new babies come in and the children are less apt to mess up my walls or break the lamps. They do continue to drag sand and grit in on their shoes. The sand etches my floors in defined pathways. There was a shoe rule in the beginning but about four summers in, the rule was abandoned.
I didn’t have don’t have air conditioning and until recently I didn’t have a television.
The owners claimed I was a place to unplug, to relax a way to leave the city behind. But a tv came with a vcr, then a dvd player, then on a hot summers day, a cable guy came out and hard wired the tv.
The family still spent a fair amount of time running on the beach, burning their shoulders and noses but they also spent an alarming amount of time inside.
Two years ago the family showed up with computers and more wiring went in.
The energy that used to start out expectant and chaotic then settle into a calm hot quietness has changed. Now, the thread of worry and the feeling of anxiety follows them and they are not the relaxing people who came before.
I am still a summer home but the days of unplugging are long gone.