Over the weekend I dumped the land. To my credit, I arrived at this decision in an incredibly mature fashion which involved a pros and cons list and a game of rock-paper-scissors with Jeremy. I won. Meaning: although we had a good run together, it may be time to part ways with the property.
Jeremy was (is) not ready to kick her to the curb just yet. The sweat and blood equity he’s invested is exponentially greater than mine. They went through a lot together, Jer and the 15 acres. Together they’ve weathered drought, a broken tractor, and a recession. It’s fair to say that I also have invested deeply in those acres, more emotionally than physically. But my eye wanders. It always has. And I’m prone to reach a tipping point after so much disappointment. The thing is, it might be..well..we’re just not that compatible and have grown apart. I think it’s over between us.
Well – at least – that was my stance by Sunday night. Sunday afternoon I spent cheating. Drove around the other side of this county and scoped out available properties. With houses. AG EXEMPT. Fantastic school districts. Shining tube fences. Horse properties. Our land can’t compete – it’s a no-contest situation.
I scrapped together a list of available properties, picked three contenders, and developed an argument to force Jer’s consideration. But his devotion is powerful. He’s a second-and-third-chance type of guy. I both love and hate this about him. His argument against the break-up was also powerful by simply stating that most other land is out of our league. “We’re scrappy people,” he reminded me, “and so we need scrappy land.” Who needs horse fencing, standing homes – running water?! Isn’t half of the thrill in the blank canvas we’ve been given? Utilities and barns already prepared and ready for us?! WHO WANTS THAT?! – he questioned.
I’ve questioned a lot over the course of this most troublesome half-week, during which our options are simultaneously seriously limited, but possibly also re-opened for consideration. We can roll the dice with our current situation. Submit appraisal after appraisal. Move from lender to lender until the stars align and someone finds sufficient value in our pocket of the county to provide a loan. We can do that. Or we can pat our backs for a job well-done, pack all of the lessons learned away into storage, and move on down the road to something already, well, READY. A spot with a house, utilities, a barn, some fencing. That sounds like a lovely relationship.
In a single day I fluctuate between wanting to completely divorce myself from the land, to feeling snively about the thought of losing it all because of one lousy little recession. The emotional separation has begun, and I can picture my life without it. But I know I’d have regrets. So there it is; an update without an update. A break-up being reconsidered. Or rather, a relationship on the brink. If possible, I’d like to work through this in therapy; me and the land together. Primarily I’d like to know why it makes forward progress so incredibly difficult and how it keeps us too enthralled to walk away. Evil seductress.
Most stories have one beginning and end. Ours seems to have many.