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"The Story Of GoatWorld (Part II)"

ScratchNAll
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As a young boy (and even as a young teenager) it seems that I was surrounded by sheep. Lambs to be more exact. At one time, my mother had that decorative phase where she had alot of household decorations based on that theme. Here a lamb, there a stuffed lamb. Lambs and religion seem to go hand in hand as well.

It was only fitting that my one time boss had the last name of "Lambert" - a keyword I was certain to pick up on.

I had worked very hard for nearly a year. Lots of overtime, boring nights and weekends stuck as a hermit in the dimly lit confines of a music studio, and very little travel except the everyday back and forth to and from work or to the studio.

When vacation time rolled around, I had it all planned out. I would head to the Sierra-Nevada mountains and pack in as far as I could for 10 camping days of rest and relaxation. The trip was great and I came back refreshed. But prior to my departure, the herd had been restless. It seems Sheep World had been the talk of the shop that week and there were no goats to be found.

Now when I go on vacation, my razor usually does as well. For some odd reason, I decided that I would try to sport a beard - something that takes me 1/10 as long to grow as the average man. But I took the beard one step further - Mutton Chops! When I returned from my adventure in the mountains as Grizzly Adams, there I was with a full reddish-blonde set of mutton chops just ready for the workplace delight.

"Hey Mr. Gary. What you doing with the funny looking sideburns?" a fellow worker asked.
"Well, I figured since I'm one of the 'Lamb-Bert" crew I might as well make my vacation a tribute to the Lamb" I replied.
"When I was out there on the road, everybody that saw me knew I was one of the 'Lamb-Bert' crew."

There's no denying that this brought a whole new concept to the Goat/Sheep World chronicles. Soon, whoever was able and willing to grow mutton chops was doing it. But I think they got sort of confused when I suddenly went back to my clean shaven self.

"What happened Mr. Gary? You not lambing it anymore?
"No" I replied. "I just got tired of scratching the fleas!"

Working at the company continued for quite some time and I must admit it was one of the better jobs I've had in my life. But on the other hand, California wasn't quite the life I had remembered growing up, and soon my legs were itching to be on the road. Exactly where, I had no idea. But somewhere.

One of the problems encountered was that of real estate. Housing was rather expensive and in order to own something of your own that wasn't paper thin walls and neighbors right in your backyard, a person had to look further east or south. The wonderful world of commuting! And many of these areas were once considered the "dregs" or "boonies" just 10 years prior. Many of these areas have now blossomed into huge cities. But nonetheless, commuting wasn't for me and paying high real estate prices wasn't either.

So You Wanna' Raise Goats Do Ya'? I wasn't against living in the boonies...my family has lived in many places over the years that weren't exactly on the beaten path of civilization. Independence, CA for one. Population 1000. About 400 miles north of Los Angeles. Beautiful place but I think anyone could understand that the commute wouldn't be fun. So in the back of my mind was finding a place, somewhere, in which the tradeoffs would be equitable. One of the funny things about life is that no matter how well you think you are in control of your life, there are always surprises waiting!

In 1995/1996, I met my now wife, Pam who was currently living in Missouri by way of Texas, by way of Hawaii, by way of Turkey, by way of Europe....you get the picture. Like me, Pam has travelled and lived a great many places throughout the world so we immediately had that in common. But furthermore, Pam has a love of animals, specifically horses in which she owned one in her younger days and hoped to own another again at some point. During the whole time we talked (courted), I don't think the subject of sheep (or goats) came up once though I probably "baahed" at her a time or two just joking around like I did at work.

We kicked around the idea of different places to live and it came down to either the area near the beaches of SoCal, or Central Missouri. For whatever reason, we chose Central Missouri as a stopover and later planning to move to an area near Pigeon Forge, TN. We can say that we "almost" made it to Pigeon Forge - we were scheduled to leave on a weekend when some sad news came in. Pam's father who lived nearby in MO had suffered a stroke. Our plans were postponed so we could stay in the area and be with him.

A few months later, instead of opting to go to Tennessee, we bought a small home in an area just north of Branson, MO., again just as a stopover until we could actually get to Tennessee. Pam's father continued to do as well as could be expected, but unfortunately it wasn't long after we had moved, that he passed away. I got to know her father somewhat and he was a great person. Pam misses him greatly as well. Because of the circumstances, we ended up staying in our new home quite a bit longer than we had anticipated.

The goats were just around the corner...

READ MORE IN THIS CONTINUING SAGA

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