Of fences in the front

A friend mentioned to me today that I still don’t have my front fenced in, after our rash of weird thefts.

So why not?  My mortgage situation has resolved as well as it can right now. I guess I have two reasons for the delay and I think I’m going to have to overcome them. One is money. The other is fear. Maybe it’s really just one reason.

Rabbit's eye view of front of RSF.

Rabbit’s eye view of front of RSF.

Where money intersects with fear, there live my irrationalities.

It’s true I was left in the lurch. I’ve had a bit more than two years to come up with ways to get us by with what we have. I was fortunate to have a part time job. On a bad day, I’d say, unfortunately I only have a part time job.  I’m trying to stay with the more grateful attitude without slipping from there into unrealistic hopefulness.  It’s a fine line and I’ve played there, to my detriment, so many times in my life.

So with the mortgage as is, now for the first time since I’ve been a single head of household, I actually earn a little more each month than my mortgage. But. There’s always a but coming. I will undoubtedly be unemployed through the winter term. On unemployment, my income is once again less than my mortgage. I’m going to think in terms of “thank goodness I should be eligible for unemployment” in the winter term. Period.

It’s best not to dwell on the unemployment of winter.

Back to the fence. I could put it in now. Putting it in says two things: I’m staying here and hey you in the truck at night – stay outta my yard! Putting it up is also a way of saying that I think I can afford it. Saying that I’m not going to lose this place immediately.

I grew up in a home that swayed over the edges into want sometimes. Back in the day, I can remember my mother brusquely telling me to hide from the bill collectors. It was a routine I knew well and I also recall her sending me the  all-clear when those bill collectors left the front stoop. No, she wasn’t paranoid. Sometimes they came to the door at that time and place and sometimes there just wasn’t quite enough money left at the end of the month.

I remember the first half of my marriage when there were power outages from lack of payment and the pièce de la résistance of marital insolvency: the day, a few weeks after losing the first farm and renting in town, when a big flatbed truck came and took my ex’s cute little pickup truck away for nonpayment. Several little kids stood at the window transfixed, squealing, a couple jumping up and down.  What a sight! Excited kids! Their father’s vehicle! Big truck! Lots of noise! Whee!  Sigh. A month or so after that I found a job that earned actual money.  I had worked during the marriage but worked at jobs that mostly were bartered for, like childbirth education classes. One dear friend paid me for monthly columns for her home education and homesteading publication. And one paid me in actual cash for the childbirth classes.

Still, after the removal of the shiny little pickup, I grabbed onto the first job I could find. It led in some good directions for me. Probably I should have worked at a job like that before the first farm was foreclosed on, but life is never wrapped up as nicely as we hope for. At least my life never has been. Mine has always been more of a freeform affair. I don’t know if that is changing or not. I haven’t had the time to think about that yet.

So I fear not having enough money to stay on top of our needs. To be honest, sometimes I fear buying the groceries. Sometimes I become anxious making the water payment. Etc.  Two years of making do with what is here should have given me more of a sense of security, I often think.  I’m not going to beat myself up for my insecurities though. I’ve had enough of that.  I am going to work on developing enough courage to say yes to the fencing.  Who knows where that will lead?

Magical winter creosote at front of RSF.

Magical winter creosote at front of RSF.


About rainshadowfarm

I teach anthropology, am an archaeologist, a drylands agroecologist, community educator, and a single mother of eight grown kids. I currently own and operate an educational and research farm in the southern Mojave Desert, Rainshadow Farm. I'm 100% West Virginia hillbilly. Not necessarily in that order.
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