Week 54: Piles, tiles, and a plot twist!

This week, I pulled up to the house on Thursday, and there were big piles of black dirt in the front yard. This was, momentarily excited as we had recently talked with a landscaper who had agreed to do our final grade, and I thought they must be getting underway now that the weather was nice.

Then I remembered that Josh told me the landscaper wasn’t going to start until the concrete crew came back to pour the driveway, so I wondered what was up.

Turns out, Josh was confused too, and made a call to our excavator from last spring who was the one delivering the dirt. Our excavator was equally as confused. Because that dirt…was for another project!

Oops!

And he didn’t want to bring the equipment needed to come scoop it back up and move it. So looks like we’re keeping it. It would stand to reason that the first thing that happened significantly ahead of schedule happened as an accident. But we’ll take it!

Also arriving this week, most of our tile, including the slate tile for the entryway and the accent tiles for the guest bathrooms that I agonized over. The tile looks great with the paint colors (all of which are up on the walls now!), and the entryway tile in particular was an exciting arrival as it will let us finish the first floor flooring.

And now for the plot twist.

If you’ve followed our project from the beginning, you’ll remember over a year ago when we were buying lumber for Josh to start our cabinetry, we wound up with (through a strange set of circumstances and a misunderstanding) maple. This was fine. Maple is a beautiful wood, but it’s particularly tricky to stain. And we had planned on staining all our woodwork.

This set off months of indecision about our stain where we tried various colors and variation (water based, oil based, etc.) trying to find something that covered well and stayed even on the maple grain. The struggle was real, and we went from a really really dark mocha stain which looked good but wasn’t the color we wanted, and eventually switched on a color we loved but would be much harder to do well. We’ve been practicing on a door, and it’s been a challenge. But I had my heart set on that stained woodwork.

So it was to Josh’s surprise more than anyone’s when we started moving in our doors and cabinets this week to start staining in earnest, when I looked at the natural maple boxes up on the wall, and the unfinished door in the pantry and suddenly said, “I actually like the natural maple with our paint colors and style.”

This is a big choice as it will affect not only every door and cabinet in the house, but also has me considering every other decision that was made in conjunction with that decision. The paint colors, the tile, the railings, etc., so many things were decided based on the stained woodwork we planned for. Paint can be redone, and tile can be exchanged, but those choices need to be made now, all in conjunction with this one.

Beyond the aesthetic, there’s also a time/labor factor to take into account. Whereas I knocked out an entire house worth of paint in a little over two weeks, Josh estimates it would take me about a month to stain everything we needed stained and to do it well. That’s A LOT of time we could get back at this point, especially if the style/aesthetic gain isn’t worth it in the end.

So Week 55 is a plot twist, a potential pivot, and a big decision that I thought we made eight months ago, but it turns out eight months is a long time, and seeing things in the space has a definite impact on the perception of what and how things work.

Stay tuned!

Cheers!

Wine for your Weekend: QuarantWINE #5

Well wine lovers, the calendar rolled over to May this weekend and our stay at home order in Minnesota was also subsequently extended through May 18th, so it doesn’t look like those mid-spring cookouts with friends are going to be firing up just yet.

That being said, on days that the weather is nice, Josh and I have taken great comfort in our backyard patio, grilling out when we can, and having backyard fires in the fire bowl. Now that the house is in the wood flooring phase, we have lots of wood end cutoffs and floor planks with flaws that can’t be used. In other words, a fresh supply of kindling and firewood.

And you know what goes well with patio sitting, grilling out, and bonfires? A good bottle of wine!

One of my favorite wine trends in spring/summer is a red wine that can stand to be chilled a bit. My absolute favorite summer red is from the Minnesota winery ‘Four Daughters,’ and is a pinot noir that is both sparkling and should be served chilled. It’s everything that you want from a traditional red wine, with some pizazz for your summer special occasions.

In researching this week’s wine pick, I was surprised to find many reviews and tasting notes suggested that this wine was excellent slightly chilled. We didn’t drink it that way during virtual game night with my family this week, but with that recommendation in mind, I could definitely see us going back to this one as a summer patio staple.

Guenoc Estate Vineyards - Guenoc Petite Sirah California Selection ...

Guenoc Petite Sirah was a wine I initially grabbed as an Easter dinner pick earlier this spring, but ended up passing it over for something else. Nevertheless, it was recommended as a good pick with ham or other smoked meats for having high tannins to cut through the richness of the meat.

Indeed, upon opening the bottle, the nose was almost “tight,” and I expected an exceptionally dry, high tannin, and high acidity wine. So I was pleasantly surprised that, after letting the wine decant for about 20 minutes, the first sips were incredibly fruit forward with strong berry flavors. My first impression was almost that the wine was sweet, but in fact the finish was pretty short, dry, and tannic more like I expected.

The balance, however, was really nice, and both Josh and I took our first sips, looked at each other and went, “Wow! That’s good!” I’m not sure we expected it to be bad, but we were definitely pleasantly surprised at the balance we found.

We enjoyed the 2017 vintage, though if you can find an earlier varietal, 2013-2015 appear the vintage of choice, and coming into their own! If you can snag it at $6.99, great deal!

Stay safe. Stay home. Cheers!

Feeling Alone in Quarantine? Watch this!

Sometimes what we need in a moment like this is a dose of perspective.

Whether that perspective is the faces of the healthcare workers on the front lines, or a news story about the impact of volunteers, or a story of survival, or a story of defeat, a little shift in the lenses through which we look at our own situation can be a helpful and healthy thing.

If you’re like me, and continuing to shelter in place, work remotely, and limit interactions with other people to a socially distanced and masked conversation with your grocery store checkout worker, this quarantine might be starting to border on isolation. (Or perhaps you crossed the threshold into isolation weeks ago!)

Which is why when the reality documentary series Alone showed up on my Amazon Prime account this week, it peaked my attention.

Alone is a survival series produced by the History Channel that follows ten contestants into the wilderness and documents their efforts to build shelter, collect food, etc. It’s technically a competition, with the last person remaining in the wild a winner, but most of the contestants aren’t really in it for the money so much as they’re on personal quests for understanding of self, spiritual fulfillment, or the meaning of life.

Ok…that last part is a bit dramatic. But truely, you don’t hear many of the people talk about the money.

There are no competitions between contestants. The contestants don’t even know where the others are. In fact, nobody knows where anybody is, because the participants don’t even have a production team along with them. They’re out in the wild alone, hence the title, tasked with documenting their own progress with Go Pros and other small camera equipment.

And if you’ve got five minutes and want to play an Alone version of “what would I do?” you can check out the gear list, including the section in which contestants have to choose only ten survival items from a list of fifty possible choices. LINK HERE.

History's survival series Alone back for Season 4 on June 15 ...

But despite the crazy weather conditions they face, the threat of predatory animals, injuries, lack of food, etc., the thing that eventually eats away at many of them, is the loneliness and isolation.

I’ll tell you what, it will make you morning Zoom meetings in your home office seem like a regular social mixer if you compare it to living on a bed of moss, alone, in the rain, with a bear sniffing around your head for 56 days!

Seasons 1 and 2 are currently available on Amazon Prime, and I’ve got to tell you, we’re pretty hooked. I’ve never been a Survivor fan, as the whole game show setup just felt contrived. This is definitely not that, and if you’re craving something completely different that celebrates the human spirit, features gorgeous scenery, and shines some perspective on the isolation some of us might be starting to feel, this is definitely bingeable!

Or, if you’d rather not linger in untamed nature and solitude, there’s always Netflix and Too Hot to Handle!

Either way, Cheers!

Week 53: Throw yourself into something!

Despite the featured image…don’t throw yourself into a fireplace!

Last week was a little weird.

The weather got increasingly nicer and it felt like spring was truly right around the corner, and that made everything feel slightly better and was maybe moving towards “normal.”

Then school was closed for the rest of the year, and in the face of four more weeks of distance learning, and no return to normal, and what feels like endless uncertainty, nothing felt slightly better at all.

So, as I have a tendency to do sometimes, I threw myself into something that I could control in an effort to feel like I was able to stabilize something…anything.

Thus, I painted. A lot. I edged, and I rolled, and I did second coats, and I got unreasonably angry when I dripped on the floor or accidentally bumped the ceiling with the roller (all fixable issues to be sure!). I stood in a long, socially distanced line at Home Depot to pick out one more paint color for Josh’s office. I wash paint out of my hair…more than once. And when it was all said and done, I’d painted the majority balance of the house.

And then I took a big, deep breath and a short break…because Josh told me my next task is going to be to install 80+ outlets and light switches.

Josh spent much of the weekend building the fireplace housing and mantel, as well as the railing posts. And the hardwood floors continue to creep towards the front door as well…though we’re waiting for our front entryway tile to come in so that we can plan out how the two are going to come together.

Next week…much of the bathroom tile is here, and the accent tile that took me months to find is going to be fabulous! Stay tuned for it’s imminent arrival.

Cheers

Week 52: One year down…

Week 52…

I’m conflicted between feeling like a year went very fast and feeling like I lived five years in the course of the last one.

And with days feeling like weeks and weeks like months during this pandemic crisis, it could feel like years before we actually finish this thing!

Fortunately, in this “finish work” phase, it’s validating to see progress happening almost everyday. It’s easy to feel like we’re moving forward when you walk into a white room at the start of the afternoon and walk out of the room a few hours later and it’s blue.

It’s easy to feel like we’re moving forward when you can see the hardwood floor creeping from the far wall closer and closer to the front door.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you realize just how many more of these little victories need to happen before we’re done. And it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re not quite sure how many victories rely on steps that will be impacted by COVID-19.

For example, this week we went to order our bathroom tile, and after narrowly avoiding disaster after Josh went on the Home Depot website only to find the that the tile I painstakingly picked a month ago was not unavailable, we were able to find it from another vendor. That vendor had enough for our project, but after we placed our order, we immediately got an email that order processing was being impacted by COVID-19, and thus our order would take longer than expected to process and ship.

It’s impossible to know how many other little speed bumps like this we’ll hit.

In the meantime, we take our little wins: rooms that now have color, spaces that now have flooring, supplies we accidentally ordered 10 months to early (like all the doors we’ve stored in our garage for the better part of a year!) that we now have on hand and can use.

Cheers!

Wine for your weekend: QuarantWINE reading

Did you know? Pandemic dreams are a thing! National Geographic totally checked it out!

I’m a vivid dreamer anyway, so the first days of the pandemic crisis, I was not sleeping well at all. Fortunately, as this “new normal” has stretched on for weeks, I’ve become a bit more settled, and can sleep through the night again. But the dreams have continued.

This week, however, I didn’t mind the dreams as much. And that’s because this week, I had wine dreams fueled, no doubt, by my before bed reading of Bianca Bosker’s brilliantly written memoir Cork Dork.

Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers ...

The premise of Cork Dork is simple. Bianca Bosker is a successful tech writer who decides to quit her job in an effort to turn her wine hobby into a wine career over the course of a year by preparing for and passing the certified exam from the Court of Master Sommeliers. This might not sound like a big deal. People shift career paths all the time, you may think, and certainly moving into a serving role in a restaurant isn’t that big of a deal!?

You would be wrong!

If you’ve never had a taste of the high stakes testing and tasting in the world of Master Sommeliers, you have to watch this:

And then if you want more, you’ll watch the full Somm documentary series…multiple times…not that we’ve done that…too often…

Bianca Bosker is not striving for master sommelier, rather certified sommelier, a lesser rank at the beginning of the sommelier “leveling up” program overseen by the court. Still, she must learn to blind taste accurately, serve wine within the strict service guidelines of the court, and memorize thousands of wine factoids that could possible show up during service or on the theory exam.

For a taste of what the theory exam entails, try this practice quiz!

To break into the industry, she leans on experts in the field, calls in favors from friends, and employs her skills as an investigative journalist to get into some of the most exclusive and elusive wine events, tasting, and science labs in the world. Studying body chemistry, the science of scent, chemical reactions, as well as what really makes a wine “good” and how much of the industry is actually bull shit, Bianca prepares to enter a profession she asserts goes beyond even vocational calling into lifestyle in general.

A must read for wine lovers, Cork Dork is cleverly written and features many restaurants and vintage labels on foodies and winos bucket lists. For the wine novice or wine curious, this book is a friendly, humorous look into the world of wine, that makes the work of the sommelier look both ridiculous and glamorous at the same time. And it’s hard not to learn something about wine in the process.

You’ll want to read the whole thing with a glass of vino in hand of course!

Cheers!

Week 51 – A splash of color arrives!

Once upon a time, when we first decided to build a house, I went Pinterest crazy picking out all kinds of things that could go into the new house. One of my largest house Pinterest boards was for paint colors! I had over 26 different colors of paint picked out and saved for the house.

To be sure, Josh was not going to let me paint the house 26 different colors! So after collecting at least a dozen paint chips, and using the impending threat of shelter-in-place to motivate some decision making at the beginning of March, we narrowed it down.

There’s a lot of yellow/beige and blue/green shades there…which if you walk through our current house, shouldn’t be a huge surprise!

After last week’s intensive cleaning of the drywall dust, Josh went absolutely gangbusters getting the entire house primed and all the ceilings painted so that I could start getting paint on the walls! And WE’VE GOT COLORS!

As you can tell, we’re not afraid of color, and we picked some pretty bold ones which felt slightly bolder on entire walls than they did on just a little paint chip square. But we’re digging it.

The bane of my painting existence has become the column on the corner of our dining room that has one side exposed to the hallway, two sides exposed to the dining room, and one side exposed to the living room. Which, when painted that way, turned into a technicolor nightmare…so we’re walking that back a bit! 😂

Also, the wall opposite the yellow wall in the hallway is supposed to be an accent wall, which we’ve decided to do with a vinyl graphic, and while I’ve been really set on birch trees for some time now, all of a sudden there are so many options and other considerations! Fortunately, we can’t do anything in vinyl until the paint has fully cured 30 days. So we’ll get the colors on the wall…and then hope something just “speaks to me” as to what should go there!

Josh assures me there are lots of other details to worry about before I spend too much more energy on accent vinyl! 🤣

Cheers!

Easter 2020

Though I’m generally most comfortable sharing subjective commentary on life and wine, the extraordinary circumstances of today’s world, combined with the extraordinary circumstances we celebrate on Easter, has prompted a different kind of writing.

The feelings and thoughts on my heart this week manifested in a spoken word poem, “Easter 2020,” which I’ve decided to share with you this Easter as something different…

Because this Easter does in fact feel different.

And because spoken word poetry can be hard to read as straight text because it’s difficult to capture the rhythm and beat, I even made a cheesy video with some sample editing software to go along with it.

May his resurrection renew your faith in our ability to overcome death…pandemic or otherwise!

He is risen indeed! Cheers

Easter 2020

Imagine Easter, the first one, amid COVID-19 
Jesus rides in on a donkey, but mostly unseen. 
No one gathered on the streets. Maybe a few people notice and applaud from balconies
Waving palms or hanging laundry, exchanging pleasantries
With their neighbors within shouting distance
Because there’s been insistence
For social compliance and quarantine
And defiance could mean 
Death. 
And Death is already on the docket this week.
Actually, death’s been all they’ve talked about for weeks. 

Imagine Jesus, and the twelve, in the upper room
Gathered together cause he knows what’s coming soon. 
From the outside, this meeting will not look essential, 
But Jesus says, “For this meeting it’s preferential 
To shelter-in-place here with me. 
Because I’m the shelter in this place here you see.” 
He sends them out to gather supplies, 
But when they come back they say, “We’ll have to improvise
Because the shelves were empty.” 
And Jesus says,” Fear not, I am the bread for you!” 
And they think, “Nice metaphor, but they were also out of toilet paper.” 
Relaxed around the table, Jesus goes to wash their feet. 
Peter says, “Lord not my feet, my hands! Twenty seconds!” 
And Jesus says, “Simon, this isn’t about the pandemic.” 
But that doesn’t feel quite right to Peter
Because everything has been about the pandemic.

Imagine that night, they go out to pray, 
Probably past curfew, but this way they can stay
Six feet apart. 
But in his heart, 
Jesus knows six feet is the least of his worries. 
And in the dark
Of the park
He asks for the cup to be taken. 
Meanwhile, the disciples awaken
To find the authorities coming. 
And the real authority comes down from his prayers, and he allows himself to be handed over.

Imagine the trial. 
No crowds gathered yelling “Crucify!”
They’re all inside
Where they’ve been told they need to be, 
Maybe watching on TV. 
Maybe Pilot’s got his council on a Zoom meeting. 
And they’re still beating 
Jesus, 
To be sure!
Because the whips are long enough to stay six feet back. 
All the soldiers wear masks. 
All the guards wear gloves. 
They cast lots for his garments, sealed in a biohazard bag. 
After he carries his cross through the empty streets, 
The city crew 
Comes through
With sanitizing spray. 

Up on the hill they nail him to the cross. 
Above his head they toss up, 
“King of the Jews!” 
Because Pilot refuses 
To change it. 

The sky goes dark. 

Jesus breathes his last. 

From the ground comes a blast, 
An earthquake. 
And everyone thinks, “This is the last thing we need on top of everything else we’ve got going on!”

A few hours later, a friend takes him down. 

Imagine the sorrow. 
It wasn’t enough that family and friends could die from disease, 
Now their Lord’s carried off and dies for beliefs
That they believe too. 
So what should they do? 
Go home? 
Stay safe? 
Cover their face
From the public to avoid spreading germs?
Or because maybe that way people won’t recognize them,
And that they were once with Him. 

But at least he got a tomb! 
Because there are bodies being stored in makeshift refrigeration units.  

Now imagine that morning. 
Sunshine. 
Clear air. 
Everything’s still. 
And though it still hurts that Jesus is dead, 
And thought it’s still true that pandemic plagues the world, 
You might almost convince yourself that life is normal for one minute. 

But then the tombstone’s rolled back, 
And there’s no one in it! 

And suddenly, it’s not the pandemic that’s changed the world forever. 
It’s something bigger. 
And it’s something better! 
They run to the tomb, 
And the their surprise
The death count that they’ve been watching the rise of
Is one less. 
And that one death, 
Has set eternal life in motion. 
And the notion that quarantine
Would somehow mean
That death was allow to triumph 
Has no place
And no face value 
To a God that literally rose from the grave so as not to have to stay six feet back anymore. 

So eyes up, 
Because He rises up. 
We’ve got the greatest example of victory in history. 
And HIS STORY
Is all we need
To know we’ll be OK. 
Easter reminds us there is a way to overcome, 
Because He overcame.  

And if he took your sin, he can handle your germs!

Wine for your Weekend: QuarantWINE #4

Wine is a decent gift to give while living in shelter-in-place. You can still get to the store and buy it. It’s easy to wipe down the bottle and make sure it’s safe to gift. And it’s small enough to inconspicuously leave on someone’s front porch so as to adhere to social distancing practices.

Plus, we could all use another bottle of wine right now!

There are two ways that I gift wine…ok, if I’m being honest three.

Way 1: Knowing the preferences of the gift recipient and having the appropriate time to research, and/or having experienced a wine that matches said preferences, I select a specific bottle that I know the giftee will enjoy.

Way 2: Without a lot of knowledge about wine preferences, I seek out a clever selection based on label design and or name that fits the gift recipient. For example: Middle Sister wine for my sister…the middle of three kids. Or the numerous bottles of Josh wine that Josh has received for Christmas and his birthday. Or the bottle of Director’s Cut I got after I finished directing the high school musical.

Way 3: Admittedly the third way is to grab something on the fly as we’re running late to an event either picking something that you know the gift recipient already loves or a total wild card that may or may not be any good. Funny labels or awesome clearance deals usually get preference here!

Layer Cake Cabernet | Total Wine & More

If you’re looking for a practical, giftable wine this pandemic season, try Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon!

Layer Cake is a classic cabernet sauvignon with all the fruitiness and structure you’d expect. Dark fruits like plum and blackberry dominate the aroma and flavor on the palette, which has a nice fullness and right out of the bottle even before decanting.

According to their website, the goal of Layer Cake Wines is to create wine that tastes like $50 a bottle at a $20 price point. To accomplish this feat, Layer Cake is a Cabernet Sauvignon created from a blend of cabernet grapes harvested around the Napa Valley region. Grapes are selected from different wineries for every year, in an effort to create complexity and character in each vintage, and allowing for the best possible results based on growth and quality of fruit harvested.

Oak and an earthy finish round out the full body of the wine. It has a long finish, giving way to a bitterness that’s not wholly unpleasant, but similar to a black coffee or dark chocolate. We paired this wine with ice cream which was decadent, but also delicious. I’m not sure that’s the ideal pairing, as I imagine ribs, tenderloin, or grilled anything would be more natural fits. However, this wine could also stand alone as a nightcap, desert, or just as an end of another day working remotely five o’clock kick back.

Cheers!

Four things we want our Airbnb guests to know during shelter in place!

It’s a really bad time to own short term rental properties!

It’s actually a really bad time to own rental properties in general, but it’s a lot easier to work with long term tenants on options for rent deferral and payment plans than it is when short term renters just cancel en masse and our places sit empty.

To be clear, I don’t blame our short term renters for cancelling. When there’s a global pandemic on and 90% of Americans are living under some kind of shelter in place order it’s not unreasonable to think that people’s original travel plans are going to be drastically altered.

Also, while some Airbnb hosts have strict cancellation policies and were out there having a fit that Airbnb overruled their guidelines and thus took money out of their pockets, we have always had a pretty relaxed stance on cancellations, so Airbnb didn’t really overrule anything we had in place, and we’ve had plenty of warning as to what’s coming…or rather, who’s not coming!

In the face of Airbnb’s restrictions and fears over COVID-19, many hosts have just shut their places down entirely, but we’ve decided to stay open. We went this route, in part, because we have some reservations from clinic patients in particular whose treatments and procedures are essential or critical, and we didn’t want to put them out. Also, our Airbnbs when full, bring in a lot of income on the month, and even when partially occupied, some money coming in is better than none.

That said, as Josh and I have otherwise limited our own goings out to the very occasional trip to the grocery store, and back and forth between our current house and our building project, we also recognize that if we’re going to get COVID-19, it’s likely because someone in the rentals will have come in with it, and we’ll be exposed, and/or our future guests will be exposed!

Thus, there are somethings we want our guests to know, and some things we’re doing in between every guest, to make sure both parties are protected! Here are four things anyone travelling now (or in the foreseeable future, probably!) should know!

1. We have plenty of toilet paper! 😅 But you might have to ask for it! – A few weeks ago when the run on toilet paper started, one of the first things Josh and I did was pull all the extra rolls out of our rental properties. Don’t misunderstand, we’re still giving our guests toilet paper, but we didn’t want someone to hear about the run on toilet paper, see eight extra rolls sitting on the shelf, and decided to pack them up for their own personal stock. Now we’ll make sure there’s a roll (or partial roll) on the holder, and leave a spare if the length of stay calls for it, but we’re keeping the rest of the inventory at home!

This sounds ridiculously bizarre…but these are the times we live in! If a guest requests another roll, we’ll drop one off. (A friend suggested we ask to see the empty roll first!🤣 We haven’t gone that far…yet!)

2. We’re cleaning EVERYTHING and protecting you and ourselves while we do it! – Fun fact, we bought Clorox wipes in bulk before it was trendy to do so, because people are filthy and we’ve always wanted to make sure shared surfaces and spaces are clean from guest to guest. And while we’ve always been good about the table tops, counters, nightstands, etc. getting wiped down, we’re pretty OCD now about doing doorknobs, light switches, handles, and buttons. Also, we’re cleaning with gloves, and based on recent recommendations now covering faces to avoid spreading anything we might inadvertently have to you.

And when all that used laundry comes back into our house, which has never bothered me as much before as it does now, we’re hauling it in by black garbage bag and transferring it straight into the washing machine where it gets washed on hot.

3. We know it’s a pandemic, but we expect you’ll still follow the rules! – This is my favorite Airbnb pandemic story from the past few weeks.

The week before the shelter in place order in Minnesota, the guidelines were essentially social distancing of six feet and gatherings less than ten people. One night, we got a late booking at about 9pm for two people. Josh rushed over next store to make sure everything was setup and ready, and while he was there, the group that had booked showed up. It was four people, not two, and they were college aged. Josh immediately got the feeling they were there to have a spring break party, and had no regard for the social guidelines. (One of the guys reached out to shake Josh’s hand when they showed up. No thank you!)

So the night goes on, and it’s pretty quiet nextdoor, but before we go to bed, Josh gets an inclination just to step out and see if everything seems kosher. He opens the front door, and can smell the marijuana from our front steps. So over he goes to tell the guests they have to stop or leave. He knocks on the door, and immediately hears all voices in the house stop and someone say, “Should we all go in the bedroom and close the door.” So he calls through the door that won’t help them now, and eventually someone comes and lets him in.

Here in our tiny, one bedroom rental, are a dozen or more people packed together in a cloud of pot smoke. And Josh’s initial reaction: “Are you guys paying attention at all!? There’s a pandemic and you’re all way closer than six feet apart!”

The moral of the story…we are doing everything we can to keep our places safe and available for those people who absolutely need them. But we still expect you to follow the rules (and the law!) and be respectful of the space. It’s a pandemic, not anarchy!

4. If you cancelled now, consider coming back later – After Airbnb made all reservations cancellable without penalty, there were a bunch of Airbnb hosts that cried foul because their own cancellation policy had been overridden, and they had lost out on a lot of money they had been counting on to pay the bills. I made the mistake of reading the comment section on one of these news articles where a lot of Airbnb guests were going off on hosts that shouldn’t rely on rental income to pay the bills and should have savings for emergencies like this, and fatcat landlord’s that were looking to turn the crisis into profit.

To be sure, we have savings to help us cover expenses when our rentals aren’t full…savings, ironically, that were built up, in part by our rental income. Also, I’m pretty sure that if anyone is going to turn this crisis into a profit…it isn’t going to be short term rental hosts!

If you cancelled a reservation with us, we said nothing of it other than to wish you and your family safety and health. If you cancelled an Airbnb somewhere and got a different tone of response from you host, extend a little grace in remembering that this is an unprecedented time, and for the same reasons you panicked and backed out of travelling, you host may have panicked and lashed out as they saw their monthly income disappearing.

Either way, when this pandemic has passed, and you look to reschedule your vacations, appointments, business trips, etc. I hope you will consider rebooking with the same host you cancelled with. We know many other Airbnb hosts, and we’ve stayed in Airbnbs around the world, and almost everyone is just trying to provide the best service they can, connect people with community, and make a little extra money on the side. We hope if you couldn’t stay with us now, that you’ll come back and stay with us later…we promise, we’ll still have toilet paper!

Stay safe! Wash your hands.

Cheers!