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House-sitters anonymous (reference for a house sitting star)

by Norman Stannard, 15th January 2006

What happens when your isolated home stands empty for a while? I’m guessing you can see the removal truck-sized answer to this question coming a mile away. Introducing super-sitter, Roger.

grass_fire

30 October 2001

As you all probably know, we had a little bad luck in early August when someone took advantage of our absentee ownership, the remoteness of our house and our lack of a security system and got away with just a ton of stuff. Since then, Lucy and I have done what we could to improve security at the property while we rebuild what we had.

In the course of our ‘reconstruction’, we’ve met a young man named Roger Peabody who offered to look after our property when we’re away and supervise crews when things need to be done around the property. I’m thrilled to report that he’s done an absolutely fabulous job so far and is, or should be, high on the list for ‘hero’s status’ in the valley.

A couple of weeks ago, while he was coming up to unlock our gate to let a painter and his crew in, Roger noticed a fallen tree, some downed wires and a small curl of smoke coming up from the ground just as you round the switch-back below our house. Acting quickly, Roger enlisted the help of the painting crew to control the ground fire while he called the Taos Canyon Fire Department and Kit Carson Electric. From the reports I got, it took a few hours to get the fire fully quenched, the tree cleared from the road and the Kit Carson crews repairing the power lines.

First, Lucy and I thank anyone who was involved. The fire could easily have gotten out of control and there is no doubt in my mind that our house would have been consumed fairly quickly in an expanding fire.

Second, Roger demonstrated a presence of mind and maturity in this incident that sets him apart from ordinary ‘house-sitting’ types. In this and all his other dealings with us, he has demonstrated nothing but the highest calibre of character and integrity. He’s a ‘star’ and one that I’d like very much to recommend to anyone in our position.

Roger’s background includes extensive property management, some construction and a lot of crew supervision. So when something needs to be done, he’s really good about making it happen. Also, he’s shown himself to be very conscious of the value of services provided. He works hard to keep the costs under control while making sure the job gets done properly.

Roger has family in the area and he knows almost everyone in the construction business. He understands that nothing in Taos gets done unless it’s supervised more or less constantly and he’s willing to put in the time it takes to see that happens. He’d love to have some more properties in the valley to look after while their owners are away.

I’d be happy to answer any questions anyone has about my experiences with Roger, but if you call him, you’ll find he’s extremely forthcoming with information and accommodating almost to a fault. He’s a very nice young man who deserves our gratitude and a chance to be successful in a very difficult field.

Norman and Lucy Stannard

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About the author: Norman Stannard

Norman Stannard is a home owner and family man from Taos, New Mexico (USA), who is mighty pleased to have found a reliable and affordable house sitter at last. He's hoping he and wife Lucy won't be burned again by thieves.