Sunday, August 29, 2021

Thou Shalt Not Steal

Years ago my brother and his family and me and my family were up at the cabin for a few days of fun with the kids and some fishing. It hadn’t been too many years before that our parents had died and the cabin was kind of a place to go that felt like coming home. Our dad had built the one room cabin many years before we were born and my brother had added two more rooms to it so it was plenty big for our two families to stay. Many of our relatives still lived in the tiny town of Grey Eagle, population 368, of which half were probably related to us. To this day 40 years later, the minute I see that water tower in Grey Eagle, I feel like I have come home.

One night after the kids were sleeping we got to talking and reminiscing about all the adventures and times we had been at the cabin when we were kids. Looking around there were many items that had been there since the cabin was built. The old pot-belly wood stove from my great-grandma’s farm, her huge round cast iron  griddle where stacks of pancakes were made, and my favorite cereal bowl and spoon. The bowl was a transparent cobalt blue bowl with a picture of Shirley Temple at the bottom. These were given away in sacks of flour at one time according to my mom. The spoon was a heavy wood handled and painted one from probably the 40’s  or 50’s.There was a whole set of silverware like that. As we were talking, my brother started talking about our great-grandma’s house a few miles down the road. I was only about 6 months old when she died, so I have no memories of her, but my brother’s always had stories about her. She lived in a tiny one bedroom place with an outhouse and a hand pump outside her house. The house had had other people living in it years ago after she died, but it was now empty and the land was owned and farmed by the neighbor next to it. My brother had heard that the house was going to be leveled by a bulldozer and the land farmed.

It was about midnight when we started talking about how sad it was that the place would no longer be around. We drove by it on the way in and out of town. And then it happened. My brother had the brilliant idea that we should go to the old homestead and take the pump that was in the yard. Afterall, it was going to be plowed under shortly, along with the house.

So we got into my old ‘64 hand-painted blue Plymouth Valiant and headed out to the highway and to the house. We had a big heavy pipe wrench in tow and the plan was to take the pump and run. We had reasoned that it was going to get demolished anyway so it wasn’t like we were stealing or anything, right? It wasn’t really trespassing because it once was our great-grandma’s land right?

We got to the driveway of the property and parked the car kind of behind some bushes. There were a few cars on the road at that time of night. Most were those coming home from the local bars. We had a flashlight with us, so before taking the pump we went into the already almost demolished house. The windows were punched out, no doors going into the house. The inside was pretty much filled with furniture and debris and even a few trees starting to take root inside. The house had been left and abandoned with someone’s possessions still in it. There even was a compost toilet in dire need of being plowed over. We went back outside and headed in the direction of the pump. 

The grass and weeds were almost waist high and it was a challenge to locate the pump at first. The mosquitoes were buzzing all around us and sucking the blood right out of us. Our arms and legs were covered with them biting us. One of us had forgotten to bring the bug spray. To this day it is still in debate whose job that had been.

My brother made his way to the pump and decided the only way to get to it was to lay down and begin dismantling it. I stood above him and swatted mosquitoes as they landed on him and me. Just then a car drove by slowed down by the driveway. The flashlight was turned off and we stayed there not moving at all. The car then sped up and headed back towards town. While we couldn’t be seen, the old blue car was probably pretty visible from the highway.

It was decided that my brother would stay there and continue to dismantle the pump and I would just take the car and drive up and down the highway until he was done and met me in the driveway with the pump.

Off I went through the tall grass to the car. Me and at least 10,000 mosquitoes sticking their stingers into my flesh. At that moment I made a mental note to myself. If there were ever any more midnight thievery, I would wear long pants, long sleeves and not leave it up to my brother to bring bug spray.

I must have drove up and down that stretch of highway over a dozen times waiting for my brother to appear in the driveway with the pump. I would get close to the driveway, slow down and look for him, and keep on going down the road to a  place to turn around and do it all over again. I figured it was a good sign not seeing him, it must mean he is getting the pump off.

Finally about the 15th time I came back to the driveway I saw him in the shadows. But there was a car behind me so I kept going past him. The bars must have closed and everyone was headed home, because all at once there was a line of cars behind me and coming towards me in the oncoming lane. I just kept driving until I was almost into town and could turn around.

After making my way back to the driveway, there were still cars coming back into town. I finally found a place to turn around discreetly and headed towards my brother to pick him up. There he was hunkered down in the ditch flashing his light at me to stop. I turned in and he hopped into the car. Off we went to find a place to turn around and go back to the cabin.

When I asked where the pump was, he explained it was pretty rusted on and he couldn’t loosen it to get it off. And he had a skunk near him the whole time he was working on it. He said he had almost hopped out onto the highway when he saw a car coming, but realized that my car had a headlight out so it was easy to recognize. He was just hunkered down in the bushes until he saw the Valiant with the one headlight.

When we got back to the cabin and were telling the story of what had happened, it was decided we never ever were to tell our Grandma about our plan to steal the pump. We figured she would be upset with our antics and potential thievery 

As luck would have it word did get out about that night and our midnight adventures. My niece was singing like a canary to grandma all about how we went to steal the pump to bring to her as a remembrance of her mom. Grandma sat quietly as we explained our rationale for trying to “re-allocate” the pump. She listened carefully, not saying a word. And when we were all done and feeling a little guilty for what we had attempted, grandma looked at both of us right in the eyes and said…”Haven't you two ever heard of a Hacksaw?”.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Selling the "Damn Camper"

A few weeks ago, we wound up going to Wisconsin to look at a Class A motorhome. After much discussion, we agreed that an RV was our best bet for traveling once my Best Half retires. And that is coming soon, hopefully in just a few months or so.Our plan is to load up the dogs, hop in the RV and leisurely do some traveling cross country. For the past two years we have had a travel trailer that was fine and yet I just couldn’t bond with it and make it feel homey. In fact I nicknamed it the “Damn Camper”, not because anything was terribly wrong with it, but because I just didn’t like towing a travel trailer for a vacation. Just hitching it up to the van caused friction in the marriage, not to mention any backing up with it that had to happen. And worst of all, important things get left behind when you tow a trailer, such as the boat for fishing.

With getting the RV, the time has come to sell the “Damn Camper”. We got home with the new RV and parked it next to the old trailer and proceeded to empty out the contents into the new RV.The kitchen supplies and tool box and such were put in their new spots in the RV. It was now time to sell the “Damn Camper”

I put an ad in Marketplace on Facebook on Saturday night. And within about an hour of posting messages started charging in. The standard, “Is this still available” to more specific ones like “Does the toilet really work”. And my favorite from a man asking for the fridge measurements. When I messaged back what the dimensions were, he then messaged me back, “No that’s not right. It looks way bigger in the picture”. I then asked him to bring his special tape measure and he could check my work. I never heard back.

One by one, I answered multiple questions and set up times for people to come look at the “Damn Camper” I soon realized that listing something expensive on a weekend is kind of dumb, because most people don’t have that kind of cash lying around their house. And due to so many people messaging me, I decided to not hold the camper, or take any down payments  to hold it. It just seemed that full cash and drive it away immediately  was the way to go in order to not have people showing up just to “kick the tires”. While I am no bull rider or rodeo queen, this isn’t my first rodeo and I have had people promise to come back if I hold an item, only to never hear from them again. 

Even though I put in the ad that there would be no holds and it had to be full cash payment, people still messaged me requesting I take their downpayment and keep it if they didn’t return. I hate selling expensive things online. There is just no good way to do it where you don’t have people angry. There just isn’t a good way for people to message you, and set up a time to see it. I mean what if a person says they will come at 5 and you agree, but then another can come earlier. What if the first person buys it and the second person is on their way to look. Marketplace and Craig’s List are set up for the perfect storm. Eventually it will happen that you will have several people angry because you won’t accommodate them and sell to them.

By Sunday night we had several people that said they were going to go to the bank and stop by and pick up the “Damn Camper”. They were all advised that whoever had the money in hand for the full price and was at the house would drive away with it. As much as I wanted to accommodate people it has never worked out to my benefit when I least with selling stuff online. Yeah as much as I hate shopping for stuff, I think I hate selling stuff even worse.

Monday morning came and once again the messages started coming in fast and furiously. There were the “tire kickers”, but there were ones who had the money and wanted to look at it. Again I stuck to the “first come, first served” strategy. Just as I was about to message back a time of 5 pm for a few that were wanting to come, I got a message “I can be there in an hour to look at your camper. I have the full amount of cash if I decide I want it”. I gladly responded to him to come as soon as he could. I said a silent prayer that this person would want the “Damn Camper”.

He showed up within the hour and looked around at everything. All the while he was looking, he was on his phone conducting business. We chatted between his calls and finally after taking a ladder to look at the roof he came down, called his wife, and said he would buy it. All the while my phone was actually overheating with all the messages coming in. I was so overjoyed when the guy handed me the cash and I was able to mark it SOLD.

As the guy hooked up the trailer to his big truck, I took one last look at the “Damn Camper” trying to muster up some type of bittersweet feeling as I watched the tail lights flicker down the driveway. And yep there it was...nothing but the joy of being able to mark it sold. Good-bye “Damn Camper”, hello new RV.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Operation: Go to Your Room!


About a week ago, my Best Half had a little tickle in his throat and a dry hacky cough. Figuring it was his allergies flaring up, he took an antihistamine and went about his day. During the night the cough turned into some congestion and a little wheezing which was not unusual for Allergy Man. He woke up the next day congested and sneezing. We figured he had the start of a cold he was dealing with. By Sunday night, it had been 3 days of him coughing, sneezing and congestion. I suggested to him that when he got to work in the morning he should see about getting a Covid test. Not thinking he really had Covid, but figuring if he got tested he could get another 2 days off work and rest up. He had been dragging the day before with feeling run down and fatigued. So what the heck, he has 4 months or more of sick leave that he won’t get compensated for when he retires, so he may as well take a couple days and use it. At least that was my reasoning.

Monday morning came and he went to work. He still had the cough and when his co-workers heard him they sent him away to get tested for Covid. The plan was working just like I had hoped it would. He would be home until the results came in and then he would be back to work mid-week. It was all going just the way I had hoped it would. And then he got the results.

Tuesday morning he checked his email and there were the results from his Covid test. He had tested positive for Covid. Stupid Covid had hit our house. Fortunately we both were vaccinated last Spring. His symptoms are mild like a cold with a little more fatigue, but manageable. 

While he was on the phone with his Employee Health person going over time frames of being off, she had instructed him to make sure I get checked also, even if I didn’t really have any symptoms. I was very tired, but that comes with the territory of sleeping next to a person who is coughing, sneezing and snoring like a freight train all night. But off I went down the 35 miles to the clinic for a Covid test.

On my way down, I started thinking about all the scenarios that could happen. I finally came to the conclusion the easiest thing would be if I tested positive too. At least then we could quarantine together and just keep away from everyone else. Way easier than me isolating from my Best Half in the house and both of us quarantining from everyone outside the house. I started thinking we could even find a spot in the remote national forest for a week and go camping. I was getting excited to get my test back.

The results came back late Tuesday night and I was negative. Along with the results came a large email file with instructions on what to do and how to isolate and quarantine. I have to say that the instructions from the CDC/clinic were about as clear as an algae filled lake during the dog days of summer. The instructions discussed the amount of time needed for quarantining. After faithfully reading the first 3 pages of instructions, at the very bottom, was the one sentence that read: “if you have been completely vaccinated, you do not need to be quarantined.”. Huh? 

So there it was, the confusion setting in this nurse brain of mine. Am I free to not quarantine since I am fully vaccinated? Do I still need to be quarantined from the public as I am still surrounded by the “Big Walking Germ”? Do we need to isolate my Best Half from me and I still need to quarantine myself from going out in public? It was late when I was reading the directions, so I set it aside until morning when I was more rested and my brain was functioning better.

Morning came and I re-read it. Still I had uncertainties of what to do. I am vaccinated, no symptoms, but still surrounded by the love of my life carrying around the Covid germs. Try as he may, he isn’t the best at quarantining. And even if he did put his hearing aids in,I still would need to come close to him so he could  lip read or hear me if we needed to communicate. I needed to come up with a game plan we both could live with the next week or so.

After re-reading the guidelines for the 4th time I finally figured out that if I am no longer in contact with the person with the virus then I wouldn't need to quarantine at all since I had a negative test. But since the covid virus is living and taking up residence all over my roommate’s body, I would need to quarantine and somehow isolate him from me. 

I can remember when Covid first was coming into the mix of all of our lives, we came up with a game plan. That was close to 2 years ago. We had talked about how we would separate ourselves from each other in the house if one of us got Covid. While back then it was a real and scary reality, I have to say, I thought by now we were over all that drama. Afterall we did our due diligence and got vaccinated. But as the virus mutates and more people come in contact with it, the numbers of positive cases and even deaths have risen dramatically the past month or so. Covid is once again rearing its ugly horns at us and laughing.

During the beginning of the pandemic, we had come up with the plan that if one of us got Covid we would separate and the sick one would stay in the “Damn Camper” to ride out the quarantine days. The healthy one would keep the house running and deliver meals to the sick one. It was a great plan until the temperature dove below zero. So then we decided that we would block off the family room, laundry and small bathroom from the rest of the house. That was our plan almost 2 years ago and now we are needing to put it into play.

It has been a week since we started “Operation: go to your room”. At best it will last another 4-5 days and we can crawl out of our hole to live another day. It has been an experience I hope to never have to repeat. I have washed and sanitized everything that the Covid germ may have come in contact with. There are disinfectant wipes strategically located throughout the house, and bottles and bottles of hand sanitizer all over the house on every table possible.

We are doing the best we can to be responsible Covid positive people. The last thing we would want to do is give it to someone else. Daily we are grateful that we made the choice to get the complete vaccinations, because looking at the statistics it could have wound up so much worse. For right now we are content to look out our separate windows on opposite ends of the house and watch the corn grow in the field.

Stay safe everyone in the best way you know how!

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

VOTE VOTE VOTE! Bumper Sticker Contest

Hi this is Sue from Solid Rock Minnesota. I’d like to take a moment to thank you once again for listening to our podcast and reading our Blog. As always it is fun to see where all the listeners are tuning in from. We now have listeners and readers in all 50 states, along with Washington DC and 31 countries around the world! Along with the written Blog, our group is growing larger every day. 

I am hoping all of you listeners will go over to the Solid Rock Minnesota FaceBook group and vote this week for the best bumper sticker photo. Just go into the announcement with the bumper sticker pictures and pick a picture and comment on it or hit the like button. It is as simple as that. The person who took the winning picture will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. The winner will be announced Sunday August 15th. 

Thanks so much again for joining us! Many Blessings to all of you!


Sunday, August 8, 2021

Banking in a Small Town

The other night as I was looking at campers and motorhomes for sale, I finally came across one that looked like it might be “The One” we have been searching for the past few months. After the last trip out with the “Damn Camper”, the trailer I could never seem to like, we decided to start looking for another means of travel.

Through much discussion and a whole lot of tossing around a million and one possible camping scenarios, we decided our best bet for getting from point A to point B is the ‘99 conversion van. We have put on over 8000 miles with it in the past few years, sometimes on its own and other times pulling the “Damn Camper”. For the times we would travel the country and not have a designated destination, we decided to start looking for a motorhome, either a class C or a Class A. My two requests were that it had a double bed in the back and I would be able to drive it without feeling like the back of it was so long  that it was in another time zone than the front.

My Best Half is planning to retire soon, after working in large Metro clinics  as a building engineer for the past 37 years. He is ready and I am ready to have him retire from that job. For several months we have been browsing Marketplace and Craig’s List for RV’s. But none of them ever really stood out as something we wanted. Or if we did see something it was out of the budget we had. I can’t tell you how many ads we have sent to each other over the past year or two. And then it happened.

I found an older, but well kept up Class A RV. It didn’t look to have any issues. No leaks, no mechanical problems, and about the size we were looking for. So I contacted the guy over in Northern Wisconsin and said we would be there in the morning to look at it. It was a 2 hour drive one way, so I wanted to get there as early as we could before someone else close by maybe came and grabbed it up. You always run the risk of losing a good deal on sales sites if there is someone else close by with the cash. It happens.

Saturday morning came and we hurried to the bank to withdraw the asking price of the RV in case it really was what we wanted and could then buy it there on site. We walked in and fortunately (or so I thought) we were the first ones in the bank. The first and actually the only ones in the bank, we could get in and out quickly and be on our way North. The two tellers at the counter and the one teller working at the drive thru area all greeted us a hearty good Saturday morning. They were all smiling and perky and if I didn’t know better, I would have thought we were long lost family. I went to fill in the withdrawal slip as my Best Half chatted with the teller taking care of us. First it was about the weather and heat and lack of rain this year, and then it was about what fun we had planned for ourselves this day. Jokingly, we told them we were going to take it all to the casino and try to double it. They all laughed, as our teller started pulling all the info up on the computer. We then told them our plans of maybe buying an RV.

While we were in a bit of a hurry to get on the road for the 2 hour drive, we continued to visit with them all and waited while the teller finished what she was doing on the computer and went to the vault to get the money. The conversation was mostly about traveling and how Covid messed up many plans last year. Then the teller at the other window started telling us about her great and inexpensive trip she booked during the Pandemic. And then the teller at the drive in window got on the subject of the airline violence that has been happening. We listened to them both while we were anxiously awaiting our money to be handed off to us. We were now starting to run late as we had been there about 10-15 minutes listening to them tell about their past vacations and how it is now with traveling. We all agreed the “just wear the stupid mask” plan was the best to prevent issues on a plane. 

My Best Half looked at me when the tellers weren’t looking and pointed to his watch. I nodded and we both for the most part stopped talking so the tellers could work and finish up our transaction. I started wishing that more customers would come and need help so we could get our business done and be on our way. But no such luck. 

Our teller was back and once again documenting in her computer holding the money. We were inches away from getting our money, finally. She held the money, ready to count it out, but first needed the other teller to co-sign for it. And that teller was finishing her story with us about how hot it has been running in the mornings and she now is up earlier before the heat hits. So we waited…

When there was a little silence, I asked if there was anything else they needed on our end to finish up the withdrawal, our teller said there wasn’t. There was an awkward few seconds of silence, and I mean really awkward. I’m not sure but I may have been guilty of being rude in terms of “Minnesota nice”. I was walking a pretty thin line at that moment.

It had been a good 15 minutes or more since handing the withdrawal slip to the teller. Our teller finally handed the other teller a slip to co-sign and then proceeded to count out $100 bills. All the while doing this, twice, she cautioned me that they were new bills and quite sticky, so be careful not to pay more than we should. I agreed I would be cautious and she put the money in an envelope and finally handed it to me. We then started the Minnesota good-bye as we walked backwards towards the door. We got in the van and both of us breathed a huge sigh of relief to get on the road. As I sat back and settled in for the now 80 mph drive to get there on time, I thought about how different it is to live in a smaller town where everybody really does know your name. I am convinced that if possible one of them would have walked us to our vehicle to finish off the Minnesota good-bye with “See ya soon, watch out for deer”.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Hello , Goodbye, Hello, Goodbye

We have 4 grown kids and 2 currently live out of state, a son who just moved from California to Nashville and a daughter who is in the military and stationed in Spokane, Washington. And right now at this moment our daughter and family live about 30 miles North and our son and his family have been living downstairs for about the past 2 years. I only mention the locations of all the kids because it is about to change once again.

Our downstairs basement, which is a walkout style, has never been truly vacated for more than about a year. Our kids all left home shortly after high school and college and started their own careers and families. It was bittersweet to see them make their way in the adult world and be successful, while at the same time a little sad to see some of them living so far away from us.

About 13 years ago our oldest daughter and husband with their 5 kids, (3 that were recently adopted at the time), asked if they could move in downstairs.They were hoping for a little time to regroup and eventually buy a house and move to Duluth about 90 miles from here. Of course we agreed and plans were made to finish off the downstairs into a separate dwelling for them. It pays to have a son-in-law who is a cabinet maker by trade, as not only was the downstairs finished off, but I got a whole new kitchen makeover upstairs. He came to me one day and said, “You don’t want the downstairs kitchen to look better than the upstairs kitchen do you?”. I kind of looked at him and said I guess I didn’t, not knowing where the conversation was going. He had decided to take all the upstairs kitchen cabinets and put them downstairs in their kitchen. So my upstairs kitchen was gutted and new cabinets were made, along with a wall being torn down to open up the kitchen to the living room,and I had the most beautiful and functional kitchen I have ever known. And they had a 4 bedroom place with a kitchen, bathroom and laundry. They soon sold their place and moved in downstairs.

They stayed about 2 years and then they started looking for a place of their own. They now had 6 kids as our daughter had gotten pregnant for the first time and had our grandson while here. It was at times structured chaos and the noise was always a welcome to what would otherwise be a pretty quiet house if they weren’t here.
The day they moved out, my son and his family asked if the downstairs was open for them to come live for a bit while they regrouped and found a place to buy. Of course I was excited to fill the downstairs with noise and have the grandkids close to see daily. So they moved in the weekend after our daughter and family had moved out. There really wasn't a chance to miss the structured chaos, it was alive and well once again.

My son and family stayed just about 2 years also and then packed up the now 6 kids and moved to North Carolina where he took a job. They bought a place and we got to visit a few times. And we were living the life of empty-nesters for about a year. It was different compared to what we were used to over the past 4-5 years. There was no one here but the two of us. The downstairs was completely vacant and empty. I made a point of not going downstairs for anything because I would get sad longing for the noise and family. 

About a year into our empty nest, My daughter told me they were talking about moving back downstairs to save up and regroup once again. They were going to buy land closer to us and build. She asked if they could come live here again. Of course we agreed they should come live here for a while. Visions of noisy kids swinging in the backyard, dishes clanking downstairs in the was all coming back and I was excited. So one Friday night they pulled into the driveway with all their belongings packed up and ready to unload downstairs. 

I often believe them moving home the second time was more Divine Intervention than them wanting to leave Duluth. They had 7 kids now and my daughter was a few months pregnant. A few months after moving in she started going into pre-term labor with the baby. She wound up being hospitalized for several weeks to prevent her from going into labor early. Between my son-in-law and me we managed to keep the 7 kids and house functioning relatively well. We both had to work at the time so we adjusted our work schedules to make sure one of us was here at all times with the kids. Our grandson was born about 3 ½ months early and it was 5 months before our daughter and grandson would be home from the NICU. And within a few months of that, they were moving out to their new home, that my son-in-law had built, just 30 miles North of us. Them moving back home at that time was truly a God thing in my mind.

Shortly after our daughter and family moved out, our son in North Carolina called and said he accepted a job in Minnesota. He was asking if they could stay in the downstairs since it was now empty. Of course, once again, we agreed to let them move back. A few months of silence was about driving me crazy, the more the merrier was my thought. So soon they were pulling into the driveway late one Friday night with their moving truck and all their belongings. The plan was once again to stay maybe 2 years to regroup and save up for a house.

The past 2 years have been fun having them downstairs of us. There is always noise of kids chatting, playing soccer outside and dishes clanking in the kitchen. I have grown accustomed to it over the past 13 years. And having daily, and sometimes hourly, visits from grandkids is what this grandma’s life is all about. There is joy in all that noise and commotion. And both me and my Best Half wouldn’t change a thing if it was just our decision. If it was our choice we would build a big compound here on the farm and have all the kids and grandkids living here. But that is what headline news stories are made of… so maybe it isn’t the best idea.

The other day, our son came upstairs to visit. He was letting us know that he accepted a job offer in El Paso, Texas. They will be leaving here for Texas in mid-September. While we knew they were here for a short bit, we were hoping moving meant more like just moving a few miles away, not 1424 miles to be exact. So now once again we will have 3 of our 4 kids and families 1000 miles or more away. I’m not sure why, but when he told me they were moving, it made me feel...old. Life keeps moving on and changing, nothing ever stays the same. And change seems to come a little harder as I get older.

While I am sad they are moving so far away, it is just another lesson in learning to let go of all the things I have no control over. Once again, we will have to learn to get used to the silence from the downstairs and backyard, no more spontaneous visits from the grandkids coming up to visit or play music together. Now we will once again have to shut the windows if it looks like rain when we leave and lock the doors. No longer can we text someone at home to do it for us.

To be honest, I am not looking forward to the once again empty downstairs, but it is what lies ahead for us. I keep telling myself I just need to endure a few months of being alone here during the day. In a few months, my Best Half will be retiring. Then we can fill the house with us shouting back and forth to each other because he doesn’t have his hearing aides in. And I may get to a point of enjoying a few hours here and there of silence as much as he will too. Fortunately, my oldest daughter and family are close by and we can find time together as we always do. That hasn’t changed.

Who knows how it will all pan out with having kids all over the country. Retirement will hopefully mean traveling the country and stopping to see them along the way. As for the empty basement...well just like Motel 6…”we’ll leave the light on”. You just never know who will pull up in the driveway with all their belongings and need a place to stay.