We started out with a plan, really, we did.
It was supposed to be easy. Lease the property, get the utilities turned on, take down the concertina wire, clean things up, move in our trailer, start welding on the fence system, get rid of the mesh, get some water hoppers, some hay, and attach the gates. Ready for horses.
But by this morning, John was starting to totally freak out. He was panicking as he reached for a cup of tea. I took the cup out of his hand, and said.”Let me do that for you. Go sit by the fire and calm down.” I filled the tea cups and grabbed my planning book as I went to join him.
Getting the property leased was no problem. The problems started right after that. We were informed it was commercially zoned and we could not have horses there. Across the street are cows and horses. It’s a Livestock Auction facility. We wrote to the mayor and the planning and zoning board. We delivered the letter to the Planning and Zoning Enforcement guy, who was wearing a gun and dressed like a state cop. Wow! They take P&Z seriously in Milan. John was not worried by this. Just a speed bump, he thinks we will get a variance.
Then the water went on without a hitch. We didn’t reconnect the building because of the danger of water freezing in the pipes, but we have water. Electricity did not do so well. The electrician wanted $3,000 to put in a new meter. WHAT the hell!!! No way. The landlord said get another estimate. Second electrician said $800. We said, “Okay.” But it still is not done. They may be waiting for the electrical inspector to give them a green light.
We organized a work crew for tomorrow to clean up the property and get the pens ready. Of course a major storm is predicted. John is camping out in the building without the convenience of utilities. Luckily it’s a warm tropical storm on the way.
The State Highway Department had promised to remove the razor wire hanging from the fence on the north boundary. It is about human head high and according to the land plat, their fence is sitting on the Livestock Auction property. It’s incredibly dangerous to have around animals. It has to go. The Highway Department promised to remove it, but it is still there. My back up plan involves covering it with rags, which would be incredibly funky.
Here at home I’ve been working on the trailer. It’s very old, but serviceable. There was some kind of electrical short, so I took the electrical panel off and systematically tracked down the problem, which was an external plugin that was getting water leaking into it. If I had my life to do over again, knowing what I know now, I would have chosen to become an electrician. I like it because it follows rules meticulously. Yesterday, I started remaking some of the wood trim around the windows that had disintegrated over the years. Today I am adding some storm window material to keep the winds from sneaking through the louvers.
We sipped our tea. I opened the planning book. “Let me read you the list I made.” When I write lists, I always like to include stuff that is already done, so I don’t feel too hopeless. We started with the page titled “Stuff to Purchase”, then went to the list of Things to Prepare at Largo. My accomplishments were checked off. His main list, and the source of his anxiety, was the list of Things To Do in Milan. Reading the accomplishments calmed him down. We started adding details, like what to pack on the truck. Brooms, and mops, and beds, and blankets, and welding equipment, and buckets. A cart, some hoses. We talked about what to do if it was pouring rain when the volunteers show up (clean the building). He made some popcorn for the road and set out for the next installment of this adventure.
If ever you get scared and anxious, make a list. It helps.