Other people apparently like it, too. While we aren’t in the rental business, others occasionally stay here, enjoying themselves and leaving a few footprints behind. A lot about this house has been letting go of the complete control of ownership and getting into the serendipity of sharing … especially when it comes to the things left behind.
There are, first, the things that are practical and appreciate: soap, bug spray, coffee, beer koozies, Zip-Loc bags and cool kitchen surprises such as artisanal vinegars, homemade fig chutney and jam.
Then come things that are a bit less practical for us, but, yeah, okay: tanning lotions of low SPF, tea lights and, ahem, feminine hygiene products (which would have been in Category One 15 or so years ago).
And then there are the truly mystifying items. Somehow, Aloe House has amassed a collection of tennis balls. This would be understandable if we or our acquaintances played tennis, or if there were a place to play tennis on North Caicos (the court at the former Prospect of Whitby is long overgrown), or if our guests included Golden or Labrador retrievers. None of those suppositions applies, and I have tried to interest the potcakes (local dogs) in balls, but they just look at me like bored teenagers. (Yeah, right. I’m gonna chase that?) Ultimately, I have no idea about the origins of the tennis balls.
And now, there’s a mermaid doll. Actually, two. Let’s just stop there, noting that no children have stayed at Aloe House. I’m sure it has something to do with vacation whimsy.
Other mysteries (for me) involved hunting for the misplaced. I rearrange the linens nearly every trip (constantly separating the “scrub towels” from “good for guests”), but can I ever find a washcloth? I leave reading glasses everywhere, but always seem to need new ones. Dog bowls disappear regularly (I don’t have dogs, but try to make sure my neighbor “adoptees” always have water. I suspect some doggie hoarding, somewhere.) And only yesterday I found my flexible cutting boards atop the refrigerator, a place I normally ignore because it’s far above my eye level.
I prefer, however, these mysteries to the alternative: being the type of homeowner who has to control everything. I am an organized woman, but when it comes to beach houses and island time, relaxing the standards is the only thing that makes sense.