dorigreen00 at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 15 08:27:47 EDT 2001
This is a probable goodbye to my friends here, and to farming.
I am putting my farm on the market today and making arrangements to
surrender my animals to a humane society adoption program as soon as I
receive an offer on the house. In case anybody's interested, it's $80,000
for the house and barn and five acres, $15,000 for the adjacent 15 acres.
Nobody will lose money -- I'm being surrounded by $400,000 Stik-Bilts.
Against all better judgement and past experience, I opened my home to one
more "hardworking but no money" housemate. She arrived on Sunday almost two
hours late without a phone call and hardly made any small talk before
admitting that the place was not what she had expected and she would be
leaving the next day.
Turns out she had some sort of strange expectation of a Disneyland bed and
breakfast place where she would be an instant intimate friend and full
partner. Instead she found the reality for which I had posted pictures and
detailed explanations about the help I needed here, and I guess I was not
the towering Amazon goddess she had envisioned. I did not apologize for not
matching her fantasies!
When a housemate pays the officially-required first and last month's rent
plus security deposit, I hire a $100 cleaning crew to make sure that we
start off squeaky clean. When they come with nothing, they have to make do
with what I can do and if I can't afford new vacuum cleaner bags that week
it might just be the best I can do with a broom and mop. My
all-day-Sunday-though-worn-out-from-Saturday-market housekeeping efforts
didn't meet her standards either, this announcement after grand
proclamations in her correspondence that oh yes she was ready to pitch in
and work for her room and board, I should put her to work. Oopsie, yes
there was work for her to do, what a shock.
I'm very glad that I stayed polite but firmly packed her immediately off to
a motel -- she was not staying for one more minute, certainly not for a free
meal and bed-and-breakfast stay.
I just can't get it across to anybody that just one more pair of hands, just
a few additional dollars, would make such a huge difference over what can be
done by one person.
For two days' effort in harvesting and schlepping, plus a full week of
hauling water in 100-degree heat, I made $40 at market on Saturday. And
sprang a leak in my gas line on the way there.
I might still accept housemates and potential partners if they have a
contribution to make and aren't so stupid that they think I'll accept
criticism from them before they've put in that contribution. There are a
couple of people I'm talking to now but if I have an offer before they make
up their minds, oh well.
I am completely ready to sell this place, probably ten minutes before the
bank would take it and for maybe five thousand dollars more than I owe on
it. I tried for ten years, with my inheritance and life's savings and
income and effort. All gone now thanks to the cruel dishonesty of that
"build it and they will come" nonsense.
They will come, all right. And say "wow what a great idea, wow what great
work you're doing, hang in there." But they will not help for even one hour
and they will not pay even five dollars toward that work.
I have been out of off-farm work for six months and there is nothing on the
horizon. I composted 1,000 grown-from-seed heirloom tomato plants because
nobody helped me get them in the ground when I tore the cartilage in my
knee, so I don't have a big tomato cash crop. I tried crawling along the
rows but it just didn't work.
My mortgage bank has arbitrarily refigured my escrow retroactive to 1997 and
issued a demand letter for $6,000.
The question has come right down to "and hang on to just exactly what?"
I am so ready to be outta this business and wake up from this nightmare that
started out as a dream.
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