Article Index "The Story Of GoatWorld (Part VI)" Article Index

Welcome To GoatWorld.Com The year 2003 in many ways to me was like a bad nightmare. Both my wife and I started looking at each other wondering who it was we had angered in a past life (or this one). What mirror we had broken. They say you make your own fate - I'm sure we had a hand in the choices we made because in retrospect, I'm not so sure that moving back to Missouri wouldn't have been the right choice. Heck, at one point doing a "bailor" (CA slang ling) back to California wasn't entirely out of the question!!

We rented a "cozy" little trailer way up on the side of a mountain; Florissant right next to Crystal Peak if anyone knows the area. It really was breathtaking and beautiful. Pikes Peak right across the valley. My own little ski slope down the long road from the place, but real cramped quarters for two people and several goats. No, no, no. The goats weren't in the house with us although a few found their way into the living room when they were ill.

Problem was our place in Missouri hadn't sold and we were going through "sellers hell" and had to opt for a lease to own option with a prospective buyer. As that turned out, chasing a tenant down for rent at the first of the month, every month, in another state to boot, will quickly turn calm into chaos. This went on for several months and as it turned out, the tenant did his own "bailor" and vanished from radar, leaving the house a total wreck.

My wife went back to survey the damage while I stayed in Colorado to make ends meet and keep the goats fed. Once back in Missouri my wife contacted the realtor we had purchased the home through and she agreed to list the place and put a property management company in charge. Big relief but big dollar signs to be spent danced in my head like tooth fairies at a candy convention. I just couldn't remember what mirror I had broken to bring such ill luck.

But the bad luck storm appeared to be coming to an end as just at the last moment, some folks just up the road from our Missouri house saw the for sale sign and expressed an interest. They had just bought a place and figured if they could get the two adjacent lots that we were selling, they'd be the tall hogs at the trough. One snag: "can we get it on a lease option until we get financing?" I'm not much for haircuts but I lost a bunch naturally hearing that. But I figured a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush and said yes.

Just as the new tenants promised, a year from the date they signed the lease option, they got financing and we received a check. "Free at last" I remembering singing in a jubilant voice. Even my wife who normally speaks in tones just above a bare whisper was chiming right along. We chimed all the way down to Colorado Springs and went on a little spending splurge that ended in buying a huge KFC bucket meal and back to the mountains we rode. I should have known that Jack of Spades was somewhere in the cards for the evening...

We get home and devour our huge meal and a coulle of hours later my wife tells me she isn't feeing too well. I told her I wasn't either and that we'd just eaten more chicken, biscuits and potatos than we had in five years total. But I knew something wasn't right. She got worse. At about 2 in the morning, she's real ill and I'm sitting there thinking, heart attack. I loaded her in the Jeep, and headed out of the mountains to Fort Carson Evans Hospital. She got worse every mile we drove and lots of thoughts ran through my little walnut brain. It took the good folks at Fort Carson about twenty minutes to determine she was having a real awful gall bladder attack - it needs to come out.

It was a very early sunrise from the Evans Hospital parking lot and I remember looking east and thinking, "it might be nice for us both to live out east of here, closer to the base just in case something like this ever happens again." Thankfully Pam was a good patient and the operation went smoothly. Well except for the fact that when I took her home a couple of days later, I kept checking on her...she was still a bit groggy from anesthesia. In one of my checks, she had gotten out of bed and was nowhere to be found. I looked outside and wouldn't you know it, she was out trying to ride her horse!

THings started looking up as I truly believed that while there is such a thing as luck, it's more a case of wise decisions and being in the right place at the right time. We were now free to pursue another home of our own and began to search in earnest for our next dream home. We both agreed that while the mountains were certainly nice and we had no regrets in living there, being closer to the city was the better choice. "Farm or apartment" I asked. It only took her 2 seconds to reply "farm" and the search was on. My own thoughts of the "Condo in Redondo" (Redondo Beach, CA) quickly vanished like the perfect wave on the ocean to an eager surfer.

Arkansas River Valley

Agricultural Research Service

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