I’ve been house-sitting/driveway-camping for about two weeks now. For the first week, I barely went into the house: I did my laundry one day, I used the kitchen a couple times, I showered. I let Z wander around in the backyard and I sat in the backyard chairs and wrote, but I mostly felt like I was camping in a place with a house nearby.
But after going in and out enough times — putting the mail away, watering the plants, washing my dishes — I started to get comfortable. There’s an area off the kitchen that’s basically a fully enclosed porch with two chairs and a lovely view. I sat there and wrote a few days last week, when the temperatures outside made the van less comfortable, while Zelda napped next to me on the fantastic dog bed.
What makes it fantastic? Honestly, I have no idea. I should probably take a picture or at least find out the brand name because Zelda likes this bed so much that she has started telling me she needs to go into the house, for apparently no other reason than that she wants to nap in that dog bed instead of her own (two!) dog beds or the beds in the van. Literally, she will stand at the front door of the house, waiting patiently, until I open it so she can go inside and flop down on the bed.
But as Zelda has gotten more comfortable, so have I. Gradually last week, my whole van kitchen started moving inside. First the instant-pot, then the sous vide cooker, then my varieties of rice, then most of my fridge food. When I went grocery shopping on Friday, I acknowledged that I was cooking in a real kitchen and so I ate incredibly well this weekend. Friday, sockeye salmon with a garlic-dijon-lemon marinade over a bed of quinoa with a side of roasted asparagus. Saturday, baked cod topped with goat cheese, oregano from the garden, and lemon zest, with an asparagus risotto. Yesterday, spicy roasted chicken with mixed green salad. I eat well in the van, but it is so, so nice to have a real kitchen with running water and a vent fan. This kitchen, in particular, has an island that is the best working space I’ve ever had to play with in a kitchen. It makes me want to bake pies and cookies, because it would be so easy to roll out dough on it.
Unfortunately, I had one little disaster, yesterday. Well, or maybe two. The sink started first spraying water from the base of the faucet and then spewing water from the base of the faucet. Now when I turn it on, the water pours out from the base without going up into the spigot at all. Ack! I promptly texted my hosts’ son, asking for guidance, so am waiting to hear from him. Meanwhile, I can’t, of course, use the sink. That would be fine — is fine — except that the water situation was so distracting that I forgot about the chicken liver I was in the midst of sautéing until the smoke detector two rooms away started blaring at me. Double ack! Talk about oblivious — the whole kitchen was smoky and I was so focused on the water I hadn’t even noticed. So I currently have no water from the sink and a pan in serious need of some intensive scrubbing. As my mom would say, if that’s the worst that happens…