After he caught up with my recent journal entries yesterday morning, Cliff decided we'd go check out the "ghost farm". I've been at him since September to drive down the hill and take a look at it. There's also a place on that now-deserted road that I'd love to own, and had been pursuing to some degree. A woman I work with lived there until recently, until they defaulted on the loan and moved. The old house wasn't much, although, when Cliff and I went inside it yesterday (yes, we were trespassing) we agreed we've lived in worse places in our lifetimes. What I love about the house and two acres is its location, looking out over the river bottom. I'd heard it could be bought for under $40,000. However, after doing some detective work to trace down its present owner, I called the bank that had ended up with it, only to find out they closed on a deal the day before. It's sold. Obviously, we were not meant to have it. I don't know what we'd have done with it anyhow; saved it for retirement, I suppose, when Cliff can no longer take care of the 43 acres we have here.
Cliff's in the process of painting our Cub tractor; when he opened the can of Van Sickle paint he bought for it, it was orange rather than bright red: he'd bought the wrong color. So we made a trip to Orscheln's, about twenty miles away, to switch cans of paint. I bought a farm set I'd looked at the other day. Hopefully the kids will enjoy it when they're here. If not, I'll play with it myself! I think the real reason I wanted it was because one of my favorite Christmas gifts as a child was a farm set with cows, pigs, and chickens, and a metal barn with a loft. I just can't help strolling down memory lane.
Cliff has had some scares over the years, after sand-blasting or painting. He'd wake up in the night unable to get his breath. So he invented the rig you see here: it brings him clean air from a squirrel-cage fan in the garage attic, so he isn't inhaling paint or sand as he pursues his hobby.
I imagine I'll switch to a lighter schedule at work in February. The part-time plan there offers plenty of flexibility: I'll be ableto work as little as two days a week, or, during busy times, up to five days (I don't see myself doing many forty-hour weeks though). My knees have a better chance of holding out for another year and a half (until I'm 62) if I work less hours.
We got by pretty well while I was on medical leave, drawing half my regular pay; all I did was quit wasting so much money. I could cut back a whole lot more, on groceries and such. No more airplane travel around the country for me! It's OK, it was fun while it lasted.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1