When we last left off on this story yesterday, my husband had just been terminated from his job of 10 years on the beautiful horse farm in Maryland on which we live.
We were shocked, to say the least and if you've been following this blog, you've seen where I live and you'll understand my heartbreak.
My husband has a lot of connections in the horse world, and we called them all. I talked to some of the parents at school who are also involved in the business, and they said they'd keep an ear open. I checked the internet every day, but we didn't want to pay the fee for Equimax, the employment service.
My husband heard from the blacksmith that a farm manager job had just come open on one of the big breeding farms over the state line, in Pennsylvania. We'd already heard about it and decided we wanted something a little more low key. Maybe a lot more low key. So we didn't call and hoped that we were doing the right thing. It's a hell of a lot of work running a breeding farm and the responsibility for the care of all the horses is great. It's almost overwhelming, actually. And then there's the foaling. Basically, you're always on call. And you work every day during breeding season. Think about that for a minute. Every. Single. Day. From January 15 through July. It ain't easy, my friends.
I remember years gone past where my husband would go to sleep and end up getting up three different times during the night for foalings. He'd get about 2 hours total sleep and have to get up at 5:30 to be at work by 6 the next morning. He really wasn't looking forward to doing all that again.
So we sat down and I asked him what he really wanted, what he really could see himself doing, and he answered that he just wanted to work, to be productive,to be appreciated, to maintain a small farm, a couple hundred acres maybe, for a retired couple who maybe still had their hand in horses. It would also be good to have other animals on the farm, too. And a little house with a fireplace. And a garden.
When he told me all this, these are the things I prayed for. I prayed that he would find a job with all these things. When you think about it, they're not much, are they? But it's all he wanted. I really hoped to keep my job, too, but this I knew would probably be impossible. At least it was summertime, and I wouldn't have to leave the school in a lurch during the school year.
Days later, we heard on the news that there are more and more people being let go from their jobs. I began to think that our situation could last months. I started having trouble sleeping at night and concentrating at my job. I made stupid mistakes and became angry with myself. And then I decided that I needed to think like a retired person who has acreage and horses and needs help. Where would they advertise? Probably not on the internet. So I check the local newspaper over the Maryland border, up in Pennsylvania. Luckily, I know this paper. We used to live up that way.
The search engine for their classifieds are annoying and frustrating. I know that there must be horse jobs, but when I enter horse or farm as a keyword, they have nothing for me. I'm on my lunch break at work, and I got so frustrated that I hit the x to get out of the page, but instead I hit something else and a classified ad pops up on the screen. It says it's looking for a horse farm manager and offered a house and insurance. References required. And it was posted that very morning.
It looks exactly like what my husband is looking for, and when I go home and show it to him, and he calls, I decide to leave him to it and take a quick walk down the driveway with the dog. And when I come back 10 minutes later, he's still talking to them and laughing on the phone.
What's this, I think? And then he asks the name and I'm shocked. I will not tell you who they are, or where they live. But they're well-known and not just to people like us who know horses. They say they will call back after they check his references. And so we wait. The tension is high because we know there's no way that this could be this easy. After only a week without a job, could this actually happen?
Finally, on the 4th of July, he has an interview at 8:30 in the morning. It's a beautiful farm of 200 rolling acres. There are about 20 horses, several retired racehorses living out their old age with dignity and care, several ponies for the grandchildren who also live on the farm, a beautiful pond with wood ducks and geese and best of all, sheep! When the owners meet George, they are excited. A border collie who perhaps can be taught to herd! George would love that.
We walked over to the house and it's quite nice. It also has a fireplace and a 2-car garage. And as I stood on the lawn, and listened to my husband being offered the position, I realized that everything I'd prayed for had come true. And walking back to the barn, the owner said to me, "We prayed for someone like your husband. His references were excellent." And I stopped and told her that I, too, had prayed.
And then she looked at me, and with a twinkle in her eye said, "I think that life is really all about timing, don't you?" I agreed. And as I looked at my husband's new boss, I knew then that we were going to land on our feet.
As you're reading this, we will have moved in. There's much to do as we head into this next chapter in our lives and I may not be able to post for a few days, but you're not going to believe this next part . . . Verizon FiOS is available on the farm! Wow!
I have set pictures to autopost every day on my photography blog, A Picture A Day
. It's easier for me at this point.
To those who have been following this blog, thank you so much for your support. Please understand why I haven't been able to visit you all this week. And to those new readers who have been leaving comments, I can't wait to have some time to stop by your blogs and to welcome you to mine. Please understand why I can't do so just now.
Until next week, my friends. Oh, the picture on this post was taken on the new farm, just after the interview. It was raining lightly. This is the area behind our house.