Sunday, September 1, 2013

 Well; here it is, September 1st of 2013 and I haven't written a post here in over a year. It has been a long and brutal time since I last posted.

 Throughout all of the layoffs I have had, we experienced financial problems that kept growing; so we had no choice but to file bankruptcy. We were luckily able to keep the house, but we lost our SUV along with the other bills we had acquired. Bankruptcy was something I did not want to do, but we had no choice.

 I did love the farm job, but face it, it was less than half of the pay I was used to as a pipe fitter. I took it at the time because it was an income, and I didn't want to sign up for unemployment again. I worked six days just because it was more hours, but it still wasn't enough to catch up. I stuck with it while still looking for something else, but the options out there were pretty slim for a long time. I stuck with it until mid September.

 I believe it was September 29th, when my mom was having some pain in her back that wasn't going away. She couldn't get into her doctor for at least another week, so my sister took her to the emergency room to find out what it was. The doctor who did her CATscan gave us the bad news. It was cancer. Stage 4 colon cancer that had gone to her liver. The prognosis wasn't good.

 When she went home a few days later, she just quit. Quit shopping, quit doing things she loved (crocheting, sewing) and that was it. My dad's dementia went downhill, and they needed help. My sister was there as often as she could be with having a 7 year old, but it wasn't enough. I left the farm job to be there for her; at first every other day. As she got worse, we had hospice care for her at home; and I stayed around the corner with my uncle for nearly a month so I could be there every day. Mom made it to her 70th birthday in February, but passed on March 19th. It was the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life.

 When it was all over, I came home and looked for work. Once again, I found nothing. I got the same old answers I got before-"Over qualified". I didn't care if I was; I needed a job. I had applied for a job at a local market down the street to work in their produce department, but found out they had hired someone else with experience a few days later. I was disappointed, but kept looking. A few weeks later they called me early in the morning. Not to work in the market, but on their farm. I took the job and started the same day.

The pay is MUCH better than where I was last year, and there is a lot more to it than just farm work. The owner has a lot of rental properties, so we (myself and two other guys) take care of them, along with the farm work and putting away the bulk foods when orders come in at the market. There's nothing quite like starting your day tossing 50lb bags of flour, sugar, oats, etc.

 So far, the job is going great and I actually look forward to it when I get up. The only problem I have so far is the commute. I just can't wrap my brain around only driving 2.5 miles to the market or 4.1 to the farm. *laughing* I still insist on getting up two hours before time to clock in. All of those years in construction still have me in the same habits. Ah well. More time for coffee and online reading.

 I wish I had more to write, but I simply don't. There was no money for the garden this spring, so we didn't have one. The chickens and ducks are gone, and I sold their pens and houses. We haven't done anything homestead related in over a year, and I miss it dearly. Hopefully in the spring of next year, things will be back to somewhat normal and I can start all over again.

 There are more stories to share, but I'll leave those for another time. I just figured that I would come here and do my best to explain to those that still may be following, why I have been absent for so long.
Chris.

7 comments:

SciFi Chick said...

Welcome Home. You've been missed.

Linda said...

You have had an incredibly hard year. Hopefully, you can recover and start again with chickens and growing things. I was forced into a bankruptcy and survived.

Katy Allene said...

This is the first time I have found your blog and am instantly hooked. I have added you to my morning reading list. I am so sorry for the loss of your mother last year. Hope you are doing better and the sun is shining for you again. Every year when I order and buy my seeds, I find that I buy way too many. I would be happy to share my over abundance if it would help. I only buy heirloom seeds. Just let me know and I will send you what I have left over. I know seeds are not that expensive, but anything you don't have to spend on seeds can be spent on something else. And we all have to stick together. If this would be of help you can contact me at kballene@gmail.com.

Wendy said...

Glad to see you back. So sorry for your loss.

Stephen said...

I'm awful sorry, Chris. God bless.

Mohimba said...

Hope all is going better for you now. Going through our own hard time. People love organic and local until they see the price. Employers don't always consider you employable, since you didn't "work".

Forest Wilson said...

Sir,
I found your blog while researching homesteading.
I'm very sorry for your loss.

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