One day many years ago when Greg and I owned a house and lived in Cabbagetown full time, Greg was walking down the street and saw a neighbor round the corner with a jar of salsa. She was having trouble with the lid and figured if she walked out of her house with it she would run into someone who could help her out. Greg opened her jar and she returned home. Our lives in Cabbagetown for the last 8 years have gone something like that. Many times we have shown up in the neighborhood not really knowing where we would go or what we would do but we always knew that if we just drove under the iconic Krog Tunnel that led to the neighborhood it would all work out.
Actually we never planned to come back to Cabbagetown, Atlanta, or even the US when we first left to go sailing. But really the truth is we really didn’t have much of a plan at all. Then during that first sailing season, I ended up being seasick all the time. Then things started breaking on the boat. Living the life was became hard so we decided to take a break, dry dock Blue Wing, and return to Atlanta for the summer. A friend put us up and just when we decided that we couldn’t stay with her the whole summer another friend asked us if we wanted to house sit, then another, and another, etc. Greg started doing odd jobs and our summertime routine started to take a life of its own.
Our third summer back Greg teamed up with another neighbor, Paul, who did painting. Together they started a very informal, but eventually very busy business. By then our yearly migration back to Cabbagetown was becoming a thing. People booked house sitting early – sometimes a year in advance. I often had to tell people no when we already had sits scheduled. Paul, who could get painting jobs just by walking around the ‘hood, started saving up the really big jobs for Greg’s return.
This year we had no worries about where we would stay or what we would do when got back. Our house sitting calendar was full except for a handful of days and Greg and Paul had more work than they would be able to accomplish during our four-month stay.
It was all working out to be just another normal summer until I set up some spreadsheets, looked at our bank accounts, examined potential retirement income, and crunched the numbers. Our return to Cabbagetown this summer, at least money-wise, was actually superfluous. After many years of coming back to town from sailing broke, we were finally ahead.
We love Cabbagetown, all our friends there, and all of the pets we’ve gotten to know over these past 8 years of house sitting, but we also want to travel in the summer when we can go north to places like Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska! So we decided to make this past summer in Cabbagetown our last.
It feels like we are really leaving this time but everyone knows we will be back – just for a visit, a few weeks in the fall maybe – perhaps a short house-sitting gig or if there is a really interesting idea about painting a house, Greg might do that too.
A little tally of numbers for the past 8 years —
Pets house sat:
33 – Dogs
28 – Cats
1 – Parakeets
See a gallery of all of our pets here.
13 – Number of house exteriors Greg and Paul painted in Cabbagetown (this doesn’t count houses they painted outside of the neighborhood or the numerous porches, fences, and interiors that they painted.)
See a gallery of all Greg and Paul’s Cabbagetown houses here.
* Click pics to enlarge and view in a slide show.