Away For 5 months, This Is What Happened

Being away from home for close to 5 months was not that bad actually. I went to India (Native country) in Feb end for 3 weeks, my return was on 21st March but plans don’t always work. Due to COVID-19, Indian government announced public curfew on 22nd March and nationwide lock-down on 24th March which affected my flights. After that, lock-down continued to extend. I got the golden opportunity to spend quality time with my family along with improving my skills.

Now since International travel has resumed, I was able to return to U.S. after 5 months. Travel experience was better than expected.

What do you expect after being away for months ? Don’t know, something horrific might unfold. When I entered my community, there was a feeling of relief (finally safely back !) that can’t be described in words. I rushed to my apartment with full mind makeup , ready for rats, spiders, dust, water leakage (happened earlier once) or any other loss but thankfully everything was in place, no surprises there. Good that i have renter’s insurance.

But there were other items which were messy or in horrible conditions, it took me some time to take care of them πŸ™‚

Refrigerator – As I hoped, this was really messy. Even though I had left very few items before leaving for India, whatever was there got completely spoiled (fungi everywhere). A Sweet potato made the vegetable-tray brownish with its juice and rest of the fridge was too dirty to describe. I cleaned it same day with soap water and threw almost everything.

Spoiled Vegetables

Vegetable Tray

Cleaning Done !

Plants – It was really heartbreaking to see my plants in dead state. Money Plant was worst with lifeless bent leaves peeping out of the pot and Poinsettia was as dead as expected (nothing left, no leaves). Only survivor was Snake Plant which should be admired for managing without water for 5 Months ! Most of its leaves were intact with couple of them as yellowish and few bent. I gave it water quickly in adequate amount and cut those yellow leaves. It’s recovering now.

Snake Plant

Money Plant

Utensils – OMG ! Worst of all were utensils. While leaving for India, I didn’t get chance to wash them (biggest mistake 😦 ) as I was in rush. Now they were totally dried up with fungi inside many of those. I didn’t even took those pictures 😐, my wife suggested me to dip them in soap water for few hours and then wash with warm water. I did the same, discarded few of them and cleaned rest.

Balcony – It was not that bad except bird and I believe, squirrel poops. Since bird feed was empty, no more visitors there. I had to clean the balcony to make it usable. Filled the bird-feed in hope of their arrivals but till now hard luck (just single bird till now).

Bird Feed Full Again !

Mails – I was expecting mails to flood on my face when I open the mail-box, but to my surprise it was empty. I reported this to my community manager and she asked me to wait for a day till she speaks to UPS guy. Next day one UPS guy came and handed over a carton full of mails to me (They kept all mails in Post Office as my mailbox was full). Now comes the most boring task of sorting. There were bills, promotional mails, PETA letters, insurance offers, credit card offers, debt collector notices, some government survey notices, Men’s health and other magazines and lot more. It took me more than 1 hour to sort them and then next 1/2 hour to take appropriate actions πŸ™‚

Car – Oh my darling ! Missed you a lot. After arranging home in livable state, I went to the garage to check on her. As expected, her battery was dead and she was lifeless like a dead bird. I called roadside assistance to tow it to nearest Subaru dealer for the service. Subaru has good reputation in serving the customers, servicing was fast. I took a Lyft to the dealership to get it, it was great to drive again 😊

Rest of the things were just fine with toilet and basin having dirt marks, little dirt on furniture and non-functioning Aroma Diffuser due to clogging (water dried and clogged it, had to clean).

Learnings :-

  • Never leave unwashed utensils behind
  • Try to finish fruits, vegetables, dairy before travel
  • Do some arrangements for plants while away from home
  • Be in touch with your property manager
  • Bring some ready-made food with you to avoid cooking for few days post arrival

Have you ever had similar experience, please share. Eager to hear back from you 😊


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