We are sharing this story even though it reflects somewhat poorly on us here at the 4B Ranch, but I think that there are many of you out there that are in exactly the same situation and if we discuss this, it is healthier for all of us. We racked up another first this week, here at the ranch- our first visit from the Repo Man.
I spend a lot of time smiling and pretending that our financial footing is solid, but that is make believe. The rest of you that have been scratching along trying to make ends meet, know that we do this so as not to put off customers, make friends and family worry, and to keep our own sanity. But times are hard for many of us.
We had been doing great since I was forced to retire due to illness and we began our endeavor, originally as my therapy project. Dan was working a real job and we were on a five year plan for the ranch to move from hobby to full business and become self sustaining. Then, layoff followed by termination came last August, like for so many of our fellow Michiganders. Since then we have been trying to cut a year off our time frame and move into the black this year.
Our bills have been geared towards our income while Dan was working for Four Winns and though we certainly did not live extravagantly, we made all our payments. Not anymore! We cut fluff like eating out and satellite TV a long time ago. I stopped taking my M.S. drug because even having Medicare, the $500 a month co pay was more than we could afford. But with my high medical bills we have not been able to meet all our payments, including the car note for the KIA Rio we bought several years ago for Dan to use to commute to work.
This week, KIA decided to repossess the car though we are only about $400 in arrears at this point. This is certainly their right. And we are certainly in the wrong, not making the obligation we committed ourselves to. But neither the animals nor we can eat the Rio, and we are not living in it, or burning it for heat, so that payment did not rank at the top of our list. Neither Dan nor I have ever faced the Repo Man before. What a humiliating experience. And the fellow, who called here, was very nice.
It has taken us both a week of positive self talk, and pep rallying for each other to keep slogging along, trying to get ready for our Farm Market season, calving and all the other forward looking things happening here. We tell ourselves that we are not alone. We try not to feel too pitiful but looking for others that have it worse than we do sure doesn’t make us feel any better, though we know we still have so much to be grateful for.
If you have had a visit from the Repo Man, or anticipate he will turn up soon at your place, keep your chin up. It is only “stuff.” Things will get better. We hold hands with you and keep walking forward along this spring’s furrows.