As I stand in the garage preparing for a garage sale, I’m feeling overwhelmed by the amount of
crap stuff surrounding me. I’ve never thought of myself as a packrat. Nope, no hoarder here, but there’s plenty of stuff making for a nice sale.
Ever since our return from our winter RV excursion to the desert southwest, we’ve cleared out closets, emptied the basement, cleaned cabinets in the kitchen, and are now organizing the garage all in preparation to put the house on the market.
Two weeks ago we drove to our son’s home in Phoenix, Arizona, for a long weekend. We took a trailer load of furniture and knick-knacks to give to our son as well as some items to store in his garage. It was so nice to be greeted with 80 degree temperatures. Bring out the shorts and flip-flops….yeah….happy dance!
I was also excited to see the desert in bloom. I had never personally seen a Saguaro Cactus in bloom until this trip. The vegetation in my son’s subdivision was alive with color. The trees were covered in yellow and blue blossoms, the prickly pear were adorned with velvety yellow blooms, and the ocotillos sported a feathery maroon blossom. I couldn’t help but smile as I strolled the neighborhood.
The guys unloaded the trailer, and I had a blast playing decorator and designer. I was back in my element, doing something I love. Son had to calm me down from bringing out the paint supplies or sledge-hammer. Since it’s his house and his nickel, the remodeling will begin on a much slower schedule than I’m used to. Ah yes, no loss for a project next winter.
Back to my house, my project, and the term packrat. Until our winter stay in Arizona, I did not know the “real” meaning of packrat. I always associated the term with a person who is a hoarder. Packrats are rodents who are interested in nest-building. They are nocturnal and will spend their nights scavenging for building materials. They love the hunt for really cool things that can become part of their nest. They particularly like shiny objects and are drawn to the chrome on a vehicle. Oh, and all those yummy wires and engine parts make for wonderful nest-building.
During our stay at Cave Creek Regional Park, we noticed quite a few RVer’s using rope lighting outside. The rope lighting was laid on the ground underneath their rig. Al and I were somewhat perplexed as to why. Is this some new trend I’m unfamiliar with? On one of my evening strolls around the Gilbert Ray Campground in Tucson, Arizona, I noticed all the camp hosts with lots of rope lighting. One or two ropes under the RV and then another one or two under their vehicle. On this same stroll, numerous truck hoods were open or hoods were ajar with a flashlight turned on inside the engine compartment.
It was a cold night and few campers were out and about. I finally came across a gentleman who was in the process of propping his hood up. “Excuse me sir. What’s going on with all the hoods opened”? He responds in a slight southern drawl, “Packrats, ma’am”. In a questioning tone, I ask “Packrats?” “Yes ma’am. From what I hear, there’s packrats round these here parts. There’s a full moon tonight and since packrats like it nice and dark, we’re propping our hoods to let the moonlight in. Some folks use them there rope lights to ward off the packrats”. As I wave goodbye, I say “Thank you, sir. Have a good evening”, and rush back to the rig to share this info with hubby.
That night we lay a couple of flashlights under the truck for safe measure and the next day we head to Lowe’s and purchase some rope lighting.
Next on our agenda, crawl under the RV and make sure there aren’t any openings. We already have a can of expanding foam ready to seal the slightest of openings. No free loading mice or rats allowed in our rig. I guess this is all part of the adventure.