The holidays have passed and "tis the season" for us as vacation home owners to swing in like Santa's elves to get to work and assess the needs of our vacation properties. In our case, we personally perform much of the work ourselves. Our cleaners do a terrific job between guest visits, but there is only so much they do routinely and several times each year we visit and Elizabeth will perform the deep cleaning. Just some of the things she does is vacuuming under furniture, between cushions, and every other nook and cranny. Even the fan blades require a cleaning. Scuff marks accumulate and she breaks out the "Magic Eraser" to remove them.
I take on the "honey do list." I'm sure Elizabeth would tell you that she wished I did as good a job tending to the same list for our own residence as I do our vacation homes. But my role is not terribly glamorous either. All the drains require being snaked, loose towel racks tightened, touch up paint as necessary, and interviewing contractors for some of the bigger tasks that inevitably need to be completed.
Each of our lists are never ending and we leave with a sense that we didn't complete everything. In truth, it isn't possible. And there are always "surprise" items that get added to our list when we arrive. For example, I found the water line was frozen on the refrigerator water dispenser and the light bulb burned out. Fixed. One more thing to mark off the list. Wait, it wasn't on the list. Such is the life of a vacation home owner.
Some of you may be reading this and wondering who on Earth would want to own a vacation home. Let me be serious in stating, it isn't for everybody. Elizabeth and I have been thrown many curve balls over the past decade, including Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, among other events. I recount the stories for my friends who have a glamorous notion of being a real estate mogul as a reality check.
For Elizabeth and I, we have a terrific complement of skills allowing us to accomplish what we do. We recognize we are creating a vacation experience for families who are often celebrating some major life event; an engagement, a wedding, an anniversary, a graduation, a birthday, or a holiday.
Our regular sojourns, whether individually or together, provides us with an opportunity to recharge our batteries even faster than we are spending them performing hard work. We don't miss a moment to take in the sunrise or sunset, to glance out the window and see the blue heron on the beach, to see how calm is the Sound in the morning or to watch a fish leap from the water in the evening.
We don't get to always enjoy the vacation property at the best time of the year either. And although it may be chillier outside, it is a quieter time. We take the time to enjoy local restaurants just as our vacationers do, but we do so enjoying it all the more as fruits of our labor. Happy 2017!