I am considering sending out the following letter:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jorgensen,
I understand that you have both just purchased a large piece of property in Alabama. You intend to winter in Alabama and summer in Alaska on the large piece of property you have owned for some time.
You might find you need a caretaker in Alabama. The property has numerous buildings, a large lake and two houses.
You might find that you need someone to keep an eye on things when you’re away.
The two large fish feeders need to be kept full, not to mention other things on such a large piece of property.
My husband and I retired from New Jersey in 1999 and are living in South Carolina.
We are in the process of trying to find a continuing care facility. We intend to sell our home and get rid of most of our belongings and relocate in about a year’s time.
Trying to sell this house and relocate to a continuing care facility while we get rid of a lot of things might be a little tricky.
This is my proposal to you.
Let us be your caretakers. We don’t need a salary. Let us live in the little house. We can’t stay very long, only a year or so, as we are old and a little decrepit.
We can update the little house for you, because the kitchen and bathroom need redoing. We can furnish it with our furniture and turn it into a guesthouse for you down the road.
We might even add a bedroom and update the utilities if you like, all at our expense.
I am willing to help you entertain your relatives that might come to visit; as for your friends, you are on your own.
After we sell our house in South Carolina, we can move lock, stock and barrel. Our extra stuff can go into an outbuilding until we find a use for it. Then, when we are ready to go to the old age home, we will take a few things and say goodbye.
Mr. and Mrs. Jorgensen, I hope you will give much thought to our proposal.
I don’t think having caretakers was something you thought about, but our proposal does seem brilliant and fair. I have sent a pickup truck full of stuff to sweeten the deal.
I await your reply.
Sincerely, Margaret Erichsen”
(I have to use my maiden name to throw Mr. Jorgensen off track. You see, the Mrs. is our daughter Cathy. And she thinks I’m kidding.)
Margaret Griffin has lived in Sun City Hilton Head for 16 years and will stay there until she gets the caretaker job.