Sunday, July 14, 2013

Landlord No More

Some of you already know this - and I was keeping pretty quiet online about it - but I finally sold the family ground. Since Sis and I have half shares, we split it down the middle. The money is enough to help out for some time, but it is not even close to being enough to retire on. Half sections of ground, while the price has gone up, are not that high out here compared to dedicated corn and soybean country.

Since the ground does not get enough rain to continuous crop like the guys in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and so on do,we have to summer fallow it, which means it sits idle for a year before it can be planted again. With the way the weather has been cooperating, that means I'm all in once every two years. This year, it was several late freezes plus drought that knocked it out. Two years ago, drought and hail - but the miniscule amount sold for a price I certainly wasn't used to. In all the years that I've been in charge since Dad died in '98 - Sis and I have gotten exactly one crop yielding over thirty bushels to the acre. I can remember Dad hitting it two or three times, but Dad generally planted milo, and had cattle. So he had three possible revenue streams. It got to where we just never could get milo to grow well enough to pay for the seed, so we stopped that. As a landlord, I rented out the pasture rather than run cattle.

And having the old farm house burn down didn't help either. I'd have liked to put something out there, but even after selling it I don't have the money to do much other than to plant an older used mobile home. It's cheaper for me to rent the place I've got now and it's a lot more convenient to "live in town." I'd have figured differently, but it turns out I'm a lot more adaptable than I thought I was.

And Sis could sure use the money as well.

And I sold it to the family that had been leasing/renting the place already. So, it's gonna stay a family farm. Dad would like that, I think.

So, I'm gonna be getting a new incisor crown - I've been toothless up front for long enough. Y'all probably know about the new pickup, or assumed that since I sold the old one. I've got some health related issues that need to be addressed, so I'll be taking the time to do all that. When yer on an hourly wage and ya ain't workin,' it makes it tough to pay the medical bills, much less the rent and other things.

And, I've always admired Charles for his World Tours. I'm not sure just how far I'm gonna get, or how long I'll stop, or much of anything other than I do want to to to OKC ( and I really, really need to see Chaz), Grand Rapids, MN, and Michigan to see relatives. Not sure if I'm gonna make it west to Denver - I've got an uncle there I really need to see (as well as several other people....). I've got another couple cousins on the west coast, but - well, not sure if I have the time to do all the other stuff and go thataway. Of course, this means that I'll be wanting to see all my online pals I've never met - Grey Havens, Farmer Frank, and Gawd willin' and the crick don't rise stopping off in Indy to meet the residents of Roseholm. I'm sure it would be best were I to time it to drop in on one of their blogmeets, should they hold one again. Not limiting myself to just this list, either - just don't want to get to detailed and promise something I cannot fulfil.

And I'd dearly love to see my dairy farming family buds in upstate New York, as well as Tatyana in NYC, but again, not sure about time to travel and all. I know Tatyana is dying to have me tour "her" city that she is so in love with, and it would be so awesome to see the crew at Northview. Were I to go that far east, I could not forgive myself were I not to see Washington DC and the Smithsonian, Philadelphia and other historical sites of interest.

I haven't even set the time yet, nor how much time I'll take. I've got three weeks (one benefit of seniority at this job), plus some personal days, but again, I'll probably approach this on a "when I decide to leave here, I'll go" basis. I'm kinda tired of hauling ass to get to a site to get unloaded, and hauling ass back to go out again. I'd kinda like it to be MY idea for a while.

So, there you have it. I may be coming to a town near you. Tickets iz free.


Farm.Dad said...

Ill wish you a sorrygradulations . I have a real good idea just how mixed emotions the whole thing must be .

Jeffro said...

Thanks, Farm.Dad. You have it....

Anonymous said...

Too much info to absorb!

FYI: even if one used to hot climes, being in NYC in August can get you a heart-attack, it's that wet-cotton-in-the-throat-ugly. Not a best time for touring the alleys.
I thought it's my duty to issue a fair warning...but you're welcome any time it suits you, you know that.

jed said...

I had inferred that you might have sold the farm. It's a shame, but understandable. Used to be a dairy farm in my family, mom's side. Grandpa turned it over to my uncle, but over the years, it got harder to compete with the big dairies, and he leased more and farmed less, until he was a farmer no more. His health wasn't so great either. He passed on, and none of my cousins wanted to be farmers. If you find yourself in Arlington, MN, you could visit it -- that'd be the high point of any trip up that way, for sure. ;)

Hope you can make it out my way. We'll gather up the local rabble and turn some beers over.

3 weeks off. I wonder what that would be like?

Jeffro said...

Thanks, Tatyana and Jed.

Jed: may not get paid much, but I do get some decent bennies!