Friday, July 12, 2013

What Happens When Something Happens



When people find out that we are house sitters, they usually have at least a few questions for us.  One of the questions we hear most frequently is "what happens if something happens while you are house sitting?"  That "something" being serious - an accident or injury for us or an emergency at home.  Well, we've just had "something" happen, so it seems like a good time to do a post on that subject!

The day after arriving in Edinburgh to begin a month long house sit, Colleen slipped off of the curb and broke a bone in her foot.  We had just stepped out of our hotel to check bus schedules for our trip out to meet the homeowner and we hadn't even put our phone in our pocket!  Yes, it's a rookie mistake...one we probably shouldn't admit to, but it's the truth.

Enjoying some of that rare Scottish sunshine.

So there we were standing in the rain, no phone, Colleen couldn't walk, and we were too far from the hotel for her to hop back.  Every cab that passed by was occupied.  It just wasn't shaping up to be a good situation.  Fortunately, a very kind and thoughtful woman came to our assistance. She called a cab for us and explained that there was only one hospital emergency room and that it was on the other side of town.  We were so very grateful for her help.  

The emergency room staff at the hospital were equally helpful.  It was a busy Saturday for them, but they worked us in and Colleen was  x-rayed, put in a cast, and on crutches within a couple of hours of our arrival.  Incredibly, the service was provided free to us.  We didn't pay for anything.  The hospital staff explained that for the first visit the same health care coverage that is provided for citizens is extended to visitors.  Coming from the US where health care is extraordinarily expensive, this was amazing to us. 

So how did this "something" impact our ability to house sit?  It didn't.  For the simple reason that there are two of us - an advantage that a single person house sitting doesn't have. While Colleen is recovering, Rick is able to take care of the house and so we're able to meet our responsibilities and fulfill our commitment.  Had Colleen been doing this on her own, she would have been in the very unfortunate situation of having to cancel on the homeowner.  

Our house sitting as a couple has also been an advantage in the past.  At one point, Rick injured his knee and was unable to walk well for several weeks.  Another time, sadly, there was a death in our family.  We decided that only one of us would fly home for the funeral and one of us would continue house sitting and caring for the owner's pet.  Of course we hope that these types of situations don't occur.  But they do and our saving grace has been that there are two of us.   

Sad to say, but we won't be seeing much of Scotland on this trip and our posts will likely reflect that.