copyright 2017 Chris Smith All rights reserved.
It was a nice day so I went for a walk on the dirt roads. The road was so familiar to my feet that I could almost do it blindfolded. Walking helped relax me and sometimes it even distracted me.
I followed the road as it jogged around to my Parents driveway on Parcel A. There were two gentlemen coming towards me. My heart pounded. Strangers walking around on the Farm wasn't normal and these days it spelled bad news.
They were dressed in semi-casual attire and didn't act lost. I, in contrast, was dressed in an old green turtle neck, with a large hunter camouflage hat on, chocolate brown BDU pants, and my two-year-old walking shoes. I didn't look attractive in any way. I kid you not.
It was too late to divert my direction in order to miss them. They had already spotted me. I wished I could pull off the "Dumb Blonde" look or better yet click my heels and simply vanish right out of the scene. But I could do neither. I took a big breath and braced myself.
One of them stepped forward, clearly the appointed "Spokesman" of the two.
"We're looking for Mr. Smith?" the Spokesman asked.
"I think he's tooling around on the tractor," I replied while trying to catch my breath from sheer terror.
"What?" asked the quiet one.
"I think he's on the tractor somewhere on the property."
"Should we wait down there," asked the quiet one pointing to the A-Frame house on Parcel A.
"No, probably head over there," I replied pointing in the direction of the Glass and Main House compound on Parcel B.
"Thanks," the quiet one said.
They walked off in the direction of the houses and I continued on my walk. My heart started beating faster as the aftershocks of the meeting hit me. I wondered what bad news they brought on their shiny shoes. The walls were closing in again. All kinds of thoughts were starting to run through my mind. None of them were good. Then my stomach joined the fun and went off on a churning fit.
I did my best not to focus on the situation, without much result. When I passed the two men again they were talking to my Parents, who were on the tractor coming down from the top of the hill, Parcel C.
I learned later they were from the company who held the mortgages on Parcel C and Parcel D. Tom, the quiet one, and his assistant had come to the Farm to check up on us. Our landline phones had been turned off a few weeks ago, along with our internet service. No one could call us on the Farm phone and there was no cell phone signal where we lived.
With the current state of economy and the amount of foreclosures all over the country and in our area, the investors were starting to feel a touch panicky.
"So what happened?" I asked my Dad later that day.
"They came to see if we were still here," Dad said.
"Why? They thought we'd just packed everything up and leave?"
"I guess so," Dad said.
"Well, they don't know us very well."
"No they don't," Dad said.
"They'd have to pry Mom's fingers loose to get her off this land," I said.
"Yes, that's true."
Dad had avoided situations in the past by just giving. He knew how to give up and run. But it wasn't who he was anymore. We loved this land and wanted to stay. It was our home. We had no plans of leaving.
Maybe it would have been easier if we had just packed up and left. Then Tom and his assistant would have arrived only to find a vacant farm and no trace of us. Staying added more weight to our shoulders.
But how could we leave the land we loved?
There were moments when all we wanted to do was run away from the noose closing around our neck. Somehow I hoped breath would still reach our lungs and we could survive the coming days.
"The latest job loss is the worst since December 1974, and brings job losses to 1.8 million in just the last three months, or half of the 3.6 million jobs that have been lost since the beginning of 2008."
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