I've spent the last few days house sitting for my friends while they attended family camp. They have a dog and two chickens, so you could say I was house/dog/chicken sitting which, of course, sounds way cooler. Their dog, Maxwell, was easy to please. He wandered in and out of the house as needed, and napped in the living room. The chickens needed their scratch, (supplemental feed), to be let safely in and out of their coup, and to have their eggs collected daily. They were very pleasant creatures and would even come over to check me out when I came near.
Here are the lovely ladies themselves. Unfortunately, you can't see the coup to the right. It looks like a little red barn!
I enjoy house sitting. To me it is like a mini-vacation. However, I don't go crazy in other people's homes. In fact I tend to minimize my environmental impact as much as possible. I'll walk the same route throughout the house, clean as I go, and try to not to move things around. I do this so it is easier to tidy up before I leave. I try to leave things as clean, or cleaner than when I left them. I know how much of a buzz-kill it can be to come back to a unkempt home.
One of the main reasons I like house sitting is because I get to enjoy a home without having to maintain it. The grass is not mine to mow, (unless requested), the garden is not mine to tend, and the remodeling projects are above my pay grade. I get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of other people's labor. From the swing set on the back porch I don't look out to see a dozen weekend projects looming. I look out to see a charmingly tended yard, hanging flower baskets, and a tree house.
Even though I appreciate the freedom to be lazy, I have to admit I hope to own a house someday. I know this would mean that all that labor and upkeep would finally be my responsibility. But it would also come with the satisfaction that by my own hand I created something to take pleasure in everyday. I'm not sure I'll have a chicken coup and a tree house, but I bet I could handle a hanging basket or two.