Don’t you love it when you go in to shut down your laptop for the night and you take one last peek at your email and there, glowing in your inbox, is a message that you just have to open – and read – and read again. And now your mind is buzzing with possibilities and excitement and fear and what ifs? Sleepy? No, not now. That was so five minutes ago.
Well, here’s the short story on my enticing email from Heidi. When I signed up for Home Exchange three weeks ago, I had no specific goals other than to test the waters on some short stays closer to home and otherwise figure out how it all worked. A shakedown cruise of sorts. Plus I would get to peruse all the offerings and dream. Well, my friends, Heidi came a-calling with a pretty interesting offer… Heidi, her husband and five year old daughter live in Century City, a very nice suburb in LA between Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. I worked there back in the days when I lived in LA so I know it pretty well. (I’m sure a lot has changed since 1987, but still.) Turns out they are thinking about moving to Portland and are looking for a home exchange from August 2012 through June 2013. Nowhere in any of my thinking was the idea of a long term stay like this a possibility right now. That was for way off in the future. And frankly, I’ve lived in LA and while I do like to visit from time to time, it is definitely not on my list of places to live permanently. Too busy, too crowded, to expensive, too L.A. But, for a few months…say January or February through June…when it’s cold, gray and gloomy to the max in Portland, well I have to say I perked right up at the idea. Hubby, Mr. “let’s become Citizens of the World”, was seriously not enthused. In fact, he was kind of a wet blanket on my initial enthusiasm. Big Bummer! And it raised a few very interesting points for future discussion. Apparently the move from talking to doing is not going to be as easy as my Pollyanna mindset had led me to believe.
Obviously, there are logistical questions to be considered and worked out in any kind of long term swap, but, it would be so much easier to do between Portland and LA than say Portland and Prague. First, (again) what the hell do we do with Mr. Ricky? He and hubs are a team – the dynamic duo, and I fear that Ricky might fare slightly better than his human half if they were separated. Second – August? Leave Portland during the one or two months of really lovely summer weather? After I waited a whole year for summer to come back? And third, we would have to actually pull the trigger and do something so far out of the comfortable box we currently live in. Whew. Not so quick or easy as it turns out.
Actually, if it were just me, it would be an easy decision. But it’s not, we’re a team. So I’m going to move us through this slowly to see where it might lead. Here’s my tentative plan:
1. We have to take the cat. Will they be amenable to a handsome well mannered fur boy moving into their “gorgeous, art-filled, 3-level contemporary town-home with a grand piano in Century City”? If no, end of road for now. If yes, take one step forward.
2. Heidi indicated she was flexible in her dates and might consider multiple swaps to get the full year. Ok! How about Les and Nancy from February through mid-June?
3. If 1 and 2 fly, then it’s time to start working on my armchair based and very comfortable there world traveler. Baby steps. Stick and Carrot. Sexy lingerie. Time to bring out the full bag of tricks!
4. If 3 flies and the hubs climbs on board, then it’s time to negotiate with the LA swappers to see if we can work out a lovely FREE winter vacation in sunny Southern California. If so, here’s where you’ll find us on the weekends…
Yep, this is definitely worth pursuing. Words of wisdom from the Old Grey Haired Guy I live with ~ “Keep saying Yes until you have a reason to say No”. Words I now need to remind him of. I’ll keep you posted.