That nagging feeling of ‘I was walking into a trap,’ yeah … that was because, by the time I came out of the oversize shed, there were people and a lot of them. I do not know whose idea this was but curse them. There was a lot of people! This as Janet had put it was a ‘house warming party slash, yeah I am still alive’ … lucky me! This woman knows I hate, HATE large crowds, and this was pushing it! I was told that there was food and drinks inside the house that I was to go and help myself. Thankfully for me, the sun was out, and we were not all stuck inside, that would have made things a lot worse for me. I lost count at how many, different people were here, I would say at one point in time there were twenty-five people. So I ate a bit kept to myself and just walked around, you know just to get a feel for the location.
For the most part, the location was cleared out of trees and bushes. It was replaced with a barn that I think needed some repairs, a wooden fence that was probably just as long as the driveway and width wise unsure. In my mind, I started to see horses inside the fenced-in location. When I touched the barn, I saw different stalls, hay on the bottom of the floor and lights in two or possibly three rows. I could hear the sound of horses, and I think two dogs. The deeds to this land had changed various time from one family to the next. Sometimes the property sat vacant with no one living here. Janet and Albert have been living here now for the last ten years!
Behind me, I heard, “what do you see kid?” Albert was strolling along in my direction. I told him what I saw, “at second sight, the area was very peaceful. The birds were chirping, and there was another animal sound, but I could not put my finger on it. Living in the city for so long, you forget how to tell the different animal sounds. But for sure you learn to tell the difference from an ambulance, police siren and fire truck. Those are the first sounds we learn as a child. Oh, we learn the sound of a dog, cat, duck and so on but out on the outskirts where there are farms, there are other wild animals.” I was asked what would I do with the land if given the opportunity? I had to think about it, “the land has a lot of potential, I guess it would come down to the individual’s passion and capabilities. I would not know anything about farm life. I would not presume to think that I would. If I think about it hard enough, I would assume that I would be weak and unfit to be a farmer. A farmers life is full of dedication and hard work.
Furthermore, you need a fair amount of knowledge to run and maintain a farm. So to answer that question, I would do something simple chicken farm with a small vegetable garden to start. The first year I would grow my favourite veggies, see what works and what I need to research more. The second-year I would increase my favourite food plus put into practice what I have learned. And keep this pattern going until I am a pro!”
Albert laughed at me, I had not changed in his eyes. An easy question to most people would have been a veggie garden. I, on the other hand, had to break things down and make everything long-winded. Personally, I do not know why I do this, I have been doing this since I was a little child. Trying to break this habit in the past … well, let us just say it did not work, obviously! Why chicken? Well there is only one thing that is pooped out that is edible, and that is chickens eggs, and you can make the eggs into so many things. And the bird poop can be used for fertilizer! Yep, I did it again! As Albert and I walked around the barn, I could tell that there was a need for repairs. He told me that after all is said and done, he and Janet are going to go on a cruise. That it is time that they started to see the world and do the things that he and Janet talked about when they were younger. Me being me I asked when he planned on going for the trip. No set date was made yet but in the near future! First, he wanted to get the barn done. It was on the to-do list for five years, this was the year it was going to get done … he felt it in his bones!
We talked a bit more as we both walked to the house, he explained to me that the land at the start was a great idea. They had the money to do everything, but now as they are getting older, Janet was having more health problems. It just did not seem feasible to hold on to the property anymore. Peter and Crystal wanted an excellent loving home, this place was great for them. I did not say much, I really did not have much to say about the situation. As Albert was being paged to join a group, I went into the house. Just like Brianne’s place, there must be a well nearby. There were improvements made to the house over the decades though I could still see the original sections of the house. The main floor was the original section of the place. There was a fair size cellar, the basement I noticed not finished. The cellar looked like it was still used for keeping jar preserved. From behind me, I heard, “be careful it likes to fill up with water from time to time.” It was a girl if I had to place the time she lived, I would guess 1800’s. She went up to the staircase, so I decided to follow her. She went to the fireplace and started to move the wood around to get it going again. She looked at me and smile, saying that they are a good family! And poof with that she was gone.
I walked around upstairs, I could hear little tiny feet running around. You know the sound when siblings are playing a game, that was the sound that I heard. I looked around from one room to the next, but I could not see anyone at all. I did get a feeling that one of the families that did live here fell prey to an illness and died here. Since this is the children’s happy place, this is the location that the children prefer to remain at. When I got back down to the bottom of the stairs, Peter was standing there. He wanted to talk to me and asked me to go for a walk.
To my delight, we walked away from the group of people. Heading to the barn, it was a nice pleasant walk. Peter had pointed out to me that not once did I socialize with anyone that was at the house. I also pointed out that I have the tendency to be anti-social. It was a simple conversation, Peter wanted to start a sheep farm. Just to get things started, two hand fulls which literally meant ten sheep. Peter wanted to know if I would be willing and able to help run the farm. I never pictured myself being a sheep farmer. I always pictured myself doing a job that required little to no person to person interaction.
Working with animal … they have their own personalities, but they do not lie to you. If not threatened, most animals will not attack you. Humans, on the other hand, you just have to be different from them, and they are willing to hurt you. Okay! I will learn what I need to know, but I will not be around when the lamb chop is being killed for food. Which I thought was fair of a request. Sheep would not be the first thing I would choose to raise and care for, but sheep are just as cute as chickens!
The next topic was rent and living arrangements. This was a massive concern for me. I, of course, reminded Peter of the past and the same story that had been told so many times over again, it was like a broken record. As with him, his reasoning was like a broken record. I made it a point that if things got bad, I would leave! I did not want to get him set up with sheep and all the work on the oversized shed … for what? A headache and money being wasted. I was not as positive as Peter and Crystal were about this move. The only thing that is even remotely making me sway on the yes side is Ash’s family and how they are making everything work out … well, kind of working out!
“It would take a great deal of work, and there will be times of failure, but things will work out in the end. Things are never that simple sometimes. Sometimes more dedication has to be put forth in one thing versus others. Running is the easy thing, living is the hardest thing ever. Were are only guarantee two things in life, taxes and death. Everything else is up to us to work with.” I heard every word Peter had said, and it did touch me. So I promised only one thing and one thing alone. I will work my hardest to be the best that I can be. Peter pulled me in for a big hug … what the hell is with people and hugging me lately!
We walked even slower back to the house as Peter told me how he and Crystal acquired this land. He went on and on about the plans for the property. At the start, Crystal and Peter were going to take over the shed as their own home, while his parents kept the main house. Then I had moved into rat valley central. Peter told only two people about my situation, his parents. That is when the original plan had changed. Peter said that they were making plans for doing a lot of travelling. Now Peter’s parents are planning on downgrading. They will stay for a while, just to get things going. After that, we would be on our own! The oversize shed would be turned into a small little cottage-like home. I can say one thing, when Peter dreams, he goes big.
I started to laugh, now I understood why Albert was asking me what I would do with the land. I have for sure walked into a lion’s den and had no idea what I was doing this. It seems that the whole family sometimes know me better than I do myself. There was going to be no way for me to get out of this one, at least not that easily. I shook Peters’ hand and said: “well played out, my friend, well played out.”
By the time we got back to the house pretty much, everyone had left. Eight hundred and fifty dollars … Peter was a little thrown off. I repeated the amount and added for rent. Of course, Peter was like I can not take that much. I told him my reason … first off that is how much I was paying for my one-bedroom shit hole, I am used to paying that amount. Plus they are going to need a start, if they want to keep the land for many more generations, they will need some kind of income coming in. With a baby on the way, two new jobs and loans to pay off, things will not be that easy. Ta-boot they will have an increase in gas, they will be travelling back and forth to get to work and plus sum. There is the cost of bills, insurance and on top of that food. For the time being, we are talking about five adults and soon to be baby. So that is where eight hundred and fifty dollars come from. That is when he pointed out my income situation. That is when I said, “do not worry about it, I have money that I have not touched in years.”
As we aimed to go inside the house, Crystal, Janet, Albert and to my surprise, Brianne and Benjamin walked out of the house laughing. The first thing that Brianne said was it looks like we are going to be neighbours. Up to that point, it actually did not cross my mind how close they were. It should have been the first thing that I realized since it was a hop skip and a jump to get from Brianne’s place to here. Brianne and Benjamin were introduced to Peter by Janet. And I was handed my phone. This was a hand to the forehead moment. How could someone forget their phone? I have no idea, but I sure did. We laughed a bit about my careless action, and I was like we all have those moments, and this is mine.
Janet and Peter were saying goodbye to those that were leaving. I decided it was safe now to get what food was leftover. Crystal being the friendly open person that she was kept on talking to Brianne and Benjamin. That gave more time for me to eat and have a drink.
Finally, Peter had to know how I met Brianne and Benjamin, that story was told. Then there were questions about last night. Benjamin gave the short version of yesterdays events. Gotta love Peter, always looking out for his non-blood sister. Brianne had picked this up and made a comment that Peter and I must have been siblings in a past life, Peter has the protective demeanour when it comes to me. Than Benjamin added that with us being so close, Peter must have a couple of good stories about me. My headshot at Peters location and I was like, “I have many more stories that your parents and Crystal have no idea of … tread carefully!” Everyone laugh heartily except Crystal, she had a soft chuckle going on. I got the feeling with my retort she was wanting to know what the stories were, not liking secrets and all. So I reassured her that these stories are the ones you regret anyone finding out about. That I have been sworn to take these situations to my grave or I will suffer unimaginable torture if I break the oath. That seemed to calm her nerves down and only confirmed Brianne’s thought about Peter and I were siblings in a past life. I do believe in reincarnation, I can not be one hundred percent sure about it, the thought cannot be proven nor disproved either.
To avoid any more questions about me, I asked Benjamin if he was able to get all the phone calls done and dealt with. Which of course he had. It was business calls that he needed to get done, and with saying that he did remind Brianne that he needed to get a new phone. It was still early in the afternoon, and some things needed to be finished. I walked with Brianne and Benjamin to the car. As they were getting ready to head down the driveway, Benjamin popped his head out of the car window and yell that since he has my phone number now, he will call me once he has a vehicle. That I was not to forget Saturday, I owed him a date, in payment for ruining his truck! I said, “okay, thanks for rubbing salt into the wound.”
By the time we were getting to leave, Peter had said he had to get a few things done, and Crystal needed to have a nap before she had to do a fill-in, shift at the hospital. After getting the errands completed, Peter was going to be finishing up his work at home. I knew that I did not want to sit at the apartment listening to the television. So I said that I was going to go shopping. Once I said that Janet was like “oh shopping that sounds great.” What can I say about Janet, she does like to go shopping when the opportunity was available.
Everything was in motion, Peter was going to drop his mother and me at the mall. Peters father was going to come to pick up his mother and me after shopping. Heading to the car, Janet wanted to know what I wanted to get. The first thing that crossed my mind, clothing. Washing my three pairs of clothing was becoming a pain. I needed at least four more outfits that can be interchangeable. Janet was like “owwww! I love looking for new clothing.” I was like, “excellent I have a pair of eyes to make sure I do not buy something completely ridiculous.” The other interior motive for going shopping was I wanted to get something for the baby. I know I had promised Peter that I would not get over-excited, this time I had a really really good feeling everything was going to be perfect. This time everything just felt different, a strong, healthy baby girl. Keeping that part to myself was going to be a hard thing. I felt it was a girl and my gut when it is this strong, I am ninety percent right. Okay so I have not been wrong in the past, but I still give myself that ten percent to be incorrect.
Driving down the road, Crystal was like “so Benjamin … he is kind of cute. I heard him say a date!” Yep, he was loud enough everyone heard him. Of course, I had to be me, and I was like “yeah I am kind of responsible for the situation of his truck. Besides, he thinks I am a mystery novel worth reading.” Everyone was kind of chuckling at what I said, probably more at the mystery novel more than anything. Peter had piped up, asking me if I wanted one of his friends to do a background check on Benjamin. That he still had friends from the army days that work in the police force and would be willing to do it for him. I saw Crystal’s arm fly out and hit Peter in the arm and his mom says “Peter!” in a scolding way. I lend forwards and said, “would you big brother, would you!” What I did not know at the time, Peter was not joking, he was honest. Which I still find funny. I had found out later that Benjamin had a squeaky clean record.