Going with the Flow

My understanding of house sitting at this point indicates that I will always be going with the flow. Changes can happen from day to day. There is little in the way of long-guarantees. Some would call it living on the edge.  

Arriving in Gütersloh  

I arrived in Germany a month later than what I originally agreed to as my hosts were behind schedule building out an apartment on their top floor. That was no problem, as I still had an apartment in Ecuador. When I did arrive, the construction work was still ongoing. I lived with my hosts for about three weeks until they finished. They then took off for about four or five days.  

They returned as their four children were arriving from England, France, Australia, and here in Germany. Two of them were attending a wedding here. It was the first time in four years that these children had all been together. So, I lived another week with the family. The house was jumping from top to bottom. I fit in as best I could. This was not a problem, but it did require me to remain flexible (the major tenet of house sitting).  

After a few days, the children started leaving, with one remaining. By the time you read this, the parents will have left to start their long-awaited travels, and I will have begun house sitting (with one son) as originally planned. All of which is to say, I have been going with the flow.  

Getting into Town          

Marketplace with Martin Luther Church steeple
 in the background

I haven’t had much opportunity to get out into the community, though I’ve made a few ventures. Gütersloh, like most European cities, is built out from a central square. The square here is not as striking as many others, as I believe there was much war damage throughout the city. Yet it is functional. Three days a week, the square functions as a marketplace with food vendors taking up most of the space. I have managed to get to the market twice.  

Woolworth in Gütersloh, Germany

On my last trip into the square (about a 20-minute walk), I discovered a Woolworth store. I grew up with a Woolworth Five and Dime store in Minnesota, but I was under the impression that they had long gone out of business. In fact, I’ve learned they have diversified but declined over the years. A current brand is the Footlocker stores. I am going to visit this Woolworth on my next trip to the square.  

Attending an Organ Concert  

Martin Luther Church Gütersloh, Germany

Last weekend, I attended an organ concert in the Martin Luther Church. I had not been to an organ recital since some years before leaving the U.S., as I had not been around pipe organs where I lived. I very much enjoyed the concert given by a Swiss-trained organist who was a native of Gütersloh. The organ was German built in the 1950’s, and the organist showcased it as it was intended to be played, choosing a single 19th Century popular French organ symphony. I hope there will be other organ recitals here.  

Searching Future House Sits  

In the meantime, I am spending a lot of time searching for future housesitting opportunities. The secret seems to be to jump on the newly listed openings for the months ahead. It seems to be harder to secure more immediate opportunities, as they have been listed for some time and the hosts have had many applicants to consider. Consequently, I am also looking for alternative housing situations.  

With time, finding subsequent opportunities should even itself out. So, I’m hanging in there and simply going with the flow.  

Fact: House sitting is what a volunteer does when someone asks them to live in their home while they are away on holiday or travelling. 
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Author: Warren R. Johnson

I am a US citizen travelling in Europe. I have retired from two long-lasting careers: an ordained minister with an exclusive ministry in sacred music (organist-choirmaster), and a book dealer (2 stores and Internet selling). Another shorter career was as a data manager in medical research. Today, I am pursuing a writing career.

2 thoughts on “Going with the Flow”

  1. Warren, sounds like a wonderful experience. Thank you for posting and praying God direct you to your next assignment. We miss you!

    1. Marsha – Thanks for responding to my blog posts. I see you’re pretty active on Facebook. I do miss Panamá; it’s heads and shoulders beter than Ecuador. For now, at least, I want to explore Europe. My best to both you and John.

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