Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Farm Auction

Our farm auction was held on April 15, 1989. It culminated a 9-year relationship that included the best of times and the worst of times. After 18 years in Washington,  D. C. one of my fears of early retirement was in not keeping busy. Little did I realize the amount of work that an 80-acre farm with a dozen buildings on the farmstead, can provide. Nor did I realize the job that I accepted with the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission required as much time and effort as my Federal job had though it only paid about half as much. At one time in my career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service, I was the agency's Personnel Director. After counseling many people regarding their retirement decision and plans, made mine without fully recognizing my commitment. But the plus side was the involvement of family. Elaine was a real trooper through the whole time. My folks got considerable enjoyment of going out to the farm and doing yard work and miscellaneous chores. Carolyn and Julie were always a joy to have around and we attribute many of Julie's abilities to her early childhood training. She could drive the Ford tractor when she was 8-years old. Our farm fish pond was a joy to family and friends. We amazed even ourselves in being able to raise and market, certified Trail Blazer Switch grass seed. But after 9 years we decided to call it quits. We wanted to do some foreign travel, enjoy our house in town and utilize our motor home.  The day of the auction was emotional but I don't recall any tears. We took a pickup truck load of things back to Tim's in Indiana within the next few days and began preparing for our 6-week trip to Alaska.  It was during that trip than we took on our final employment with the International Soil and Water Conservation Society in Ankeny, IA, but that's another story. The farm experience remains a questionable chapter in our lives but if we had the chance, I expect we would do it all over again. 

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