Friday, June 10, 2011
Farm Report--April 15, 2007
A visitor yesterday reminded me of this, so I thought I'd post it for old time's sake. I should have been more diligent in keeping a chronicle of the metamorphosis out here. So much of it I wanted to forget! Oddly enough the date I wrote this appears to be my birthday! I hope some celebrating was going on as well.
Many of you have written with inquiries about our farm. In the interest of saving time, I'm sending out a "report". Almost ten months ago Jerry and I signed papers on an 8 acre farm about four miles south of where I teach school in Montpelier, Idaho. One would think our combined intelligence would have stopped us, but nevertheless we went willy nilly forward! My worst case scenario was that the remodeling (kitchen, family room, master suite, library, powder room) efforts would be completed by Halloween, and now my best case scenario is perhaps the 4th of July!!! Finding workmen has taken effort, and the ones we've found have had a decided Green Acres/Petticoat Junction flair! Our first carpenter fizzled out once hunting season opened. When he Would show up, we followed him around admiringly like intoxicated puppies just Pleased that he was here! He made some ghastly errors in judgment for which we have had to pay, but who can expect a guy to keep his mind on work when the hills are alive with elk?? At Christmas (during a blizzard) we made the move over from Paris where we'd been "camping" for 18 months, The outlook on daily living here has been grim. We're sleeping in the old part of the 1924 farmhouse, and because we're also storing everything in the house we only have a narrow walkway. Nowhere really to sit except the bed. We've been eating in our bathroom. Eating isn't exactly a correct term either because we haven't had a stove or refrigerator for 4 months. We've pieced, as my mother would say. Meanwhile the winter has raged outside and then petered out into spring and vast mountains of mud and construction debris! Giant piles of old cupboards, sheetrock scraps, nails, old wallpaper,lath and plaster, all mixed in with mud! Once the snow melted, the sewage system ceased working and we had a real down-and-dirty week of absolutely no water--which meant, of course, running a quarter mile down to the neighbor's to use the bathroom, showering (I used two buckets and Jerry went down the road to the neighbor's house), and brushing our teeth out on the lawn under the moonlight (which was actually the highlight of the week! It's pitch black out here. No streetlights for several miles). We went the entire month of February with absolutely no one (except the electrician who has showed up nearly every day for nearly nine months--more on him later) appearing to do anything. Now at long last we are ready to paint. The painter we were recommended is an alcoholic--great painter but he doesn't want anyone around, AND he wants to be paid up front. Huh??? And he'll do WHAT with the money?? Meanwhile Jerry has become Mr. GreenJeans! I can barely pry him off the tractor! Who'd have ever thunk that????!!! He moves stuff and digs and is really quite content. Cathartic I guess. Everyone who visits us walks away murmuring "Hail Mary's" under their breath! I'm not sure if they're praying in our behalf or giving thanks that they're not in our boots! If there were a "White Trash Report" column in the local paper, they'd want us to write it. As I mentioned we've had quite a cast of characters show up for work here. Lots of them were students of mine that I couldn't pound English into no matter how hard I tried. I remember one of them handed me back the copy of Fahrenheit 451 I'd given him to read and said, "I'd rather not." So now he's hammering out in our addition and I'm still teaching English! Art the plumber/handyman is a character straight out of Red Duke and really worth the trip here to experience. But without a doubt, the "star" of the show has been Rodney the electrician. I go way back with him to my teen years as the babysitter of his five kids. Rodney had a brush with death a while ago. The good news is that he has incredible zest for living now, but the bad news is his memory was impaired and I think he doesn't honestly know what he's done around here! We've not received his bill yet because he's undergoing colonic treatments over in Preston which are supposedly going to improve his memory!!!! So there you go. No bill because of a big intestinal CLOG! I guess he and We are hoping it will all come "out in the end!" In the meantime we get a daily update on his progress on the cleansing!! Mugsy thinks Rodney is one of the family. I only hope we're paying by the job and not the hour. That's about it. Writing about this has made me feel a little better. If you have suggestions or comments send them along. We here at the Funny Farm are looking towards the green grasses of summer. Maybe a few chickens will ease the winter memories. Perhaps the llamas everyone wants to give us will salve our weary hearts. So if you come to visit and you find us sitting in the bathroom, respectively on the tub and john, chowing down some canned spaghetti RIGHT OUT OF THE CAN, try to be gentle. We're fragile here at Happy Acres. Love, Marilyn