Monday, November 9, 2009

Self Un-employed

You may have noticed that my weekly blogs have turned into occasional blogs. Or maybe you didn’t. As is the history of rural Colorado we in the bust part of a boom and bust cycle. These cycles have occurred pretty much since whites began inhabiting the West and while they often are based in real estate, they affect many other parts of the economy. What started as a downward slide of the general economy has finally taken most us with it.

We have been limping along since September 2008 by cutting back, dipping into meager saving, and did I mention, cutting back. Such is the nature of those of us who make our living by someone else spending money. Since we left our government jobs in 1993, we have tried to make a living on our own. By staying flexible and constantly looking for opportunities, we have been able to get by. Some years have been pretty good and some not so good but overall we have made enough to survive in this rural and distant location.

The last year has been the most difficult we have faced since leaving “real jobs” with a regular paycheck, employer paid health insurance, retirement plans, and normal working hours. To make a living we usually have three or four different endeavors going at once hoping that the diversity would balance the income stream out some. One by one they have slowed down and then disappeared. At the end of September we had finally earned our way to 50% of the poverty level.

Just when we were starting to wonder if we had finally reached the end of this trail another opportunity arrived. A small business owned by a family member is actually flourishing and they needed help handling the order shipping. It is a bit of a challenge from this rural location but we are making it work and we are even able to hire a neighbor to help out. We put in ten hours a day, seven days a week. Who knows what the future holds for this small business but for now we are thankful for the opportunity.

People always wonder how we make a living in paradise. When asked, I tell them we are self un-employed. It seems the best description of our situation.

From Fleur Creek Farm

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