Keeping the Farm


I know a few other people in Michigan who are in the same boat as I. I have a couple of friends who are struggling, and we just kind of whisper amongst ourselves because it’s not PC to whine publicly — even if we feel like screaming. Here are some facts about my particular situation:

1) I stayed married for 7 years longer than I wanted to, so I wouldn’t have to sell my horses.

2) The marriage finally ended and I kept the house because I didn’t want to have to sell my horses. Honestly, there is more sentimental value attached to the barn, which was built specifically for Clifford and Trudy.

3) I have not worked outside of the home since 1989.

4) The economy in Michigan is the worst — or perhaps second worst — in the nation.

Nobody in Michigan is hiring. I mean, nobody! I’ve been duped already by a pyramid scheme but continue to search for avenues of income. I’ve been trying to use my gifts, thinking this has to be the right way to go, and meanwhile, quite frankly, I’m trying not to panic.

I have had so many people tell me my life would be simpler if I would just let the horses go. I just have to laugh. Those are people who can’t possibly relate.

I know that in a struggling economy, the arts are the first thing to go, but I just have to believe that I’ll be able to take care of us, and we will be okay. There’s a reason for everything. So to other artists and writers out there, take heart! You’re not alone. Stay true to your gifts, and do good work, and the answers will come to you.

“The universal law states ‘create or disintegrate.’ Therefore, you are either growing or dying — there is no staying the same.” — James Arthur Ray

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About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
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6 Responses to Keeping the Farm

  1. Eirene says:

    Nancy, I can understand your situation. Would it be feasible for you to take in an equine boarder (or two) to help make ends meet? Or with the horse biz in the toilet, so to speak, is anyone even able to afford to have a horse and board it out, any more?

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  2. Eirene says:

    Or – would it be feasible to take in a lady roommate in your house, possibly with her own horse as a boarder in the barn? Desperate times call for desperate measures – but getting rid of the horses is not an option 🙂 You gotta do what you gotta do.

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  3. Nancy says:

    Yes, that has crossed my mind! I actually talked to a couple of people about boarding here. The last one which seemed most serious didn’t follow through. Aside from horse biz being in the toilet, my house is so far out of the way on the back roads, that it’s not convenient for anyone. This is GREAT for me. But I’m so remote, that virtually everyone who tries to find me gets lost. This is also a problem with roommates. Kristi and I were just talking about this the other day — she being a realtor knows a few people in my situation, horse owners struggling to keep the farm. Iffen I were more aggressive I’m sure I’d find someone to move in. And if I were a better business person, I’da probably figured out how to sell a million copies of CLIFFORD by now! I often feel like I am right on the brink of figuring things out.

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  4. Eirene says:

    Well, when you figure everything out, let ME know . . . you know, the ideal situation would be for you to take in one or two boarders that are retired horses whose (rich) owners just want them to live out the rest of their days lazing around. The owners would write the checks but hardly ever pop in. That way the remoteness of your place would not be an issue.

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  5. Nancy – I hear you. These are difficult times, no doubt. Hang in there and just keep throwing those balls up in the air – One of them will provide an answer. James Arthur Ray – maybe you should ask him what he would do. Seriously.

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  6. Nancy says:

    Thank you Victoria! Throwing balls in the air is a really good way to put it. I never thought about asking Mr. Ray what he thinks. That’s a good suggestion. Maybe I will!

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