Let’s Talk Income: Chapter Three

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Approx. a week and a half had passed since the beginning of my Let’s TalkIncome series; we were $381.09 lighter in the kitty, it was Sunday evening and we still had to face paying for the repair of a large flat tractor tire.

Monday was a work day for me so this trip to the tire shop fell to my pioneer wife Barbara.

When I got in from work Monday evening I donned work gloves and set out to do battle with the repaired tire. It had required a new tube. That and labor set us back another $95.08.

Funny thing about a 200lb tire, most folks aren’t up to heaving it into place with one hand and screwing on a lug nut with the other. Sooooooooo I went back to my bag of tricks and dug up a short chunk of 4 x 4, cut off during a post job, to use as a fulcrum for my friend the rock bar. With the tip of the bar under the tire I was able to apply pressure to the bar with a knee while jockeying the tire onto the lug bolts. Then steadying things with a knee and one hand I threaded on several of the lug nuts. It didn’t take long to get things tightened up after that.

It was a tad wet to plow but things were going well so I hooked up my ancient two-bottom breaking plow and got to it. Our sand ground drains quickly and most of the garden plowed well though one upper corner was pretty mushy.

Tuesday evening I hooked up a dilapidated pull behind disc that I inherited with our place many years ago and went to work mellowing out the plow furrows. She’s not pretty, but still does a credible job of working down the soil.

While the two week period I’ve described isn’t necessarily indicative of all life’s ebb and flow, here in the Ozark hills—it’s certainly not unusual. And nothing ever breaks one at a time. We had put out $476.17—oh did I mention that my much put upon work boots had finally fallen apart during this episode and I had to sadly consign them to the burn barrel. The replacements ran $144.93; bringing our total to $621.10—most of it in unplanned expense.

Many a brave soul has come into the hills seeking to simplify their lives; only to discover too late that it takes more than some livestock, a garden and a full woodpile. I know—I was one of them. If you intend to make the move from the city to the country—you’d best have a sound financial plan as well as plenty of grit.

In Chapter Four we’ll discuss some strategies for making a living in the country.