Friday, July 09, 2010


7/9/10 Friday
The meeting with the USDA people hit Cherie harder than I thought. “I hate this place” she exclaimed as she broke down. “It’s like it was a big joke” she said as I tried to console her. I’ve admired Cherie for her strength, for the burden she took on when she remarried me despite the severe effects of the brain injury. I admire the fortitude displayed when we moved here to a house with no hot water, heat, or much of anything else. She endured the rejection and isolation we experienced at the church we attended for over a year until we found the love and fellowship we needed in Midland. We lived on my disability check for the first few years a meager life, eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly along with whatever else we could scrape up. She hung in there, she has stayed at my side, we are in love if nothing else. As Cherie cried she said that me and her job were the only bright spots she had. It breaks my heart to see her pain but it was good to hear that I was the bright spot in her life.

So what can I do? I love Cherie with all my heart and it is for her I wish to build this farm into a thriving business, in order to provide a life for her and also with the hope of gaining acceptance and a measure of prestige. But it’s been a struggle, there’s no doubt about that. I’ve been a one man show fighting through the effects of the brain injury and pain to accomplish the little that has succeeded. My reaching out for help has met with little success. We been blessed by many who have donated needed items but as far as accessing government programs and serious level business resources my efforts have to date done little. So I sit on seventy five acres of land that I don’t have the tools or resources to develop. The USDA guys said we qualified for payments on our acres through a government program that was similar to the CRP program, only we could lease it out for grazing or do other things with the land, except grow vegetables. But that is just meager subsistence money. I have land that can be farmed and developed. Why would I want to just sit on it and barely exist? I don’t understand that whole attitude. Am I regarded as some kind of low life who has no ability or worth, someone who should just be relegated to a bare just getting by existence?

I’m upset, and my words reflect that. I won’t quit. But I love Cherie. I want to make her happy and secure. In my mind the path for that is through this farm, it’s a resource that has yet to be developed. I’ve perceived that some think I’m chasing a pipe dream, perhaps even think I’m a fool for daring to dream of better things. Perhaps I am. But the alternative, to dare not to dream, to resign myself to subsisting and just existing, is not acceptable to me. There is that spirit deep within that says not only “I will survive” but “I WILL OVERCOME, I WILL SUCCEED”. I made it past the survival mode after I woke from the coma. I wasn’t expected to live and did, I wasn’t expected to ever be able to walk and talk, and I do both well now though I have a limp and sometimes say things I shouldn’t. Should I worry about what others think? I know the answer is No but what people think hurts. What people think also becomes another obstacle that must be overcome for their attitudes precipitate actions that cause problems. Whomever convinced the old man that I was only there to take advantage of him caused much harm, which could well have been their intent. I know that if a community came together to help someone great things can happen but also that the opposite is true. Jesus did fantastic things everywhere he went but when he went to His hometown the bible says in Mathew 13:58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief. So even Jesus was hampered by the attitude of those around Him. As a sales trainer I used to teach the power of a positive attitude, of a “Can Do” mentality. It’s just hard to maintain in the face of all this.

Just talked to the widow we help. Other peoples problems sure help make yours seem smaller. I want to help others but have a hard time helping myself. Doesn’t matter, I will still do what I can for others when I am able.

As soon as I walked outside it started raining. Wasn’t a hard rain, just a light sprinkle. I looked at all that needs to be done and found myself once again fighting depression. It’s too muddy to do a lot of things. As long as it’s just a light sprinkle I’ll stay out there working. The words of that meeting keep echoing in my head, particularly the question asked about what made me think I could do any of this stuff we dreamed about for our future if I had a hard time keeping up with what I had to do now. With God’s help I can do amazing things. There is a scripture that says “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” that comes to mind. I think I’ll go online and look it up.

I so enjoy having internet access now. I use a site called that has great bible study tools. The scripture is in Philippians chapter 4 and when I read the whole thing it brings comfort. Let me share it with you. The first part is one I know well.

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This verse is a principle I try to practice, though often not successfully. It is important as Christians, and for everyone else for that matter, to take care what we feed our minds. It’s just like the computer adage, “Garbage in, garbage out”. You are what you feed yourself and I don’t care who you are, if you stay in filth you will get dirty, both inside and out.

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things

And there is the scripture that started this

11. I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Does this make everything better? No. It just gives me strength and helps me to choose to trust God.

Breaks over, time to get out in the rain and work. Doesn’t matter if I get wet from the rain as I generally get soaking wet from sweat in a few minutes anyway.

The miscreants are back. They’ve stayed close for a few days, to our great relief, but went exploring again last night. As is often the case there is evidence of trouble they flirted with. Ben looks ok but Gretchen’s back leg is bloody and swollen. At first Gretchen was the only one I found despite calling but when I came back to the house later Ben was there.

I think I’ll focus a lot of energy working around the house to make things look nice for Cherie. I’ll mow the weeds we call a lawn after pulling the big ones and fix things up in her flower beds. Hope that helps put a smile on her face. It needs doing badly anyway as I’ve neglected that as I struggle to prepare beds and plant seeds. Can’t do it all but sure wish I could.


Gwynne said...

As you admire Cherie's, I admire your strength and determination. You have the right attitude. I believe if you keep at it you will be rewarded. I've never understood the CRP programs...paying farmers NOT to farm...makes no sense to me either. May God bless you both.

Bob said...

Thanks Gwynne, I'll take all the encouragement I can get.

Anonymous said...

Wally and I both think you've made leaps and bounds with the farm and house. You and Cherie are precious people, so keep your chins up and know that there are lots of people who pray for you and that love you very much. Jen