Ugggh! Those words tasted like bile bubbling up the back of my throat when I opened the nice little white envelope from some lady in Austin offering to buy our farm.
I wonder what she is willing to invest?
I think of all the evenings I couldn’t stand up straight after grubbing and dragging mesquite trees all day, hands aching with poison from mesquite thorns. I think of the evenings my eyelashes stuck together with backsplash from painting all day. The days I spend working on someone else’s animals all day just to come home and attend to our own in the dark of night. The endless circles on a back-wrenching, bouncing tractor trying to whack back summer weeds or coax winter grains to grow. Flat tires and broken pins and blades and axels, leaking hydraulics and another damn tire-maybe she could invest in these, because they certainly cut into our grocery budget….
I’m terrified of heights; I wonder if she would like to “invest” in the days Jeff and I roofed these buildings?
We fought ten years of drought on this place, trying to be good stewards of the animals in our care, most of whose bones are buried on this place, but because of the natural cycle of their lives, not because we failed to provide for them. I don’t recollect anyone offering to invest in their feed.
When the drought ended, it ended in floods. And tornados. Perhaps she would like to invest an evening laying over her child in an iron bath tub while a tornado tore this house apart? Or the hours of sweat and blood it took to rebuild it over the following two years?
Every room in this house was created by the three of us, every structure built with our hands. I wonder what that investment is worth? To me it’s worth more than life itself. My life is invested here.
My ancestors settled this country when they came here with Stephen F. Austin, and in all four cardinal directions, my neighbors are my friends and family. I have rescued their cows off the highway in the dark at two AM. We have weathered storms and droughts and fires and tragedy together, funerals and weddings and births. They have appeared out of nowhere every time we needed them most and helped to set the things right that life had left in disarray. I have educated their children and they have educated mine. When I die, they will be the people to throw dirt over my bones. These are not just the people with property in proximity: we are all invested in each other. I wonder what she would invest into their lives?
While I am sure a good real estate investor would pay their ad valorem taxes, there is a little more that our children need here. I wonder if she will bake for the Athletic Booster bake sale to buy our athletes new uniforms, or lead a 4-H group or sponsor an animal for an FFA kid? Maybe she could invest her time substituting at the school or helping a teacher with the expense and work of decorating and supplying a classroom?
I guess what angers me the most about some twat from Austin offering to buy our home is the social and political contradictions our state capitol has engaged in. Its population has embraced socialism as an ideology to assuage its guilt from engaging in the worst of capitalist greed. They decry the tragedy of environmental destruction but hesitate not one instant to seize natural resources to exploit for themselves.
It seems you can’t turn on the news these days without hearing some silly story about something some urbanite has found to be offended about. A boy that wanted to be a girl but was actually a boy was offended by accidentally being referred to as a boy or some other absurdity. You would think that in a society that takes such pleasure at discovering new ways to be offended, it might occur to them that offering to make someone’s home an “investment property “ might be offensive, but I suppose arrogance and greed reign supreme.
I know, unless some drastic event changes our course, this type will eventually buy up all our lands and cover them with spec houses. They have already come for the minerals. Next they will buy “investment properties “ to capture our water rights and direct them to urban centers. Golf courses and swimming pools will abound, but our crops and animals will perish of thirst.
Each year a few more of our kids are stolen by crime and drugs. We have to lock our doors now, where that was once unheard of. There are so many unfamiliar faces in town, but for now we have been able to open our arms to these new country dwellers and show them how our gentle rural community exists. One day the canker of urban sprawl will envelope us, but not today.
In the meantime, Austin doesn’t quite have what it takes to “invest” here. Tomorrow I will get up and milk the cow and feed the chickens, then make sure ten ranch horses can play their role in feeding beef to an ungrateful urban world. Friday I will spend cooking for our sick and raising money for our 4-H children’s education. Right now, this is MY investment property and these people and animals are MY life’s investment.
It’s God’s right to judge and not mine, but I can still hope that He sees fit to sentence a certain type of investor to a brief and scabious existence.
No, you fool. You cannot buy this farm from us. We are already quite invested here. My family explained that to Santa Anna and we can ‘splain it to you!