Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Installment #6: The Stubborn Storage Trailer

We came up with a unique way to build our horse barn, we thought. We needed a weather-proof building for hay, tack and feed storage, and also an area to store our household goods as we made the transition from our city home to the country.

We would purchase and move in a 32-foot storage trailer, minus the wheels and underframe, and that would be the north wall of our barn. In other words, we would build and attach the barn to this trailer.

We purchased the trailer in Dallas and made arrangements with the yard owner to deliver it.

He talked to my husband to determine if he had to go by any D.O.T. check-points between there and our farm. Hmmmmmm, was this an omen??

About two hours later than the agreed delivery time, after dark, we get a call he is crawling along our farm-to-market road, not sure where to turn. So hubby takes his 1993 Dodge three-quarter ton truck to lead him the rest of the way to the farm.

I wait and watch as I see Hubby's Dodge turn down our gravel road followed by an old diesel 18-wheeler that probably should have been ground for scrap ten years ago.

I open the gait as the guy pulls the trailer into our acreage with a trail of diesel smoke and sounding like a 747 trying to taxi down the runway with a bad engine.

That was just the start of Murphy's visit to our farm that night.

We had a nice spot all staked out where we wanted the trailer, even well-covered with lime to discourage termite invasion of the wood floor that would sit on the bare earth. He carefully lined his trailer to drop the storage unit. It wouldn't budge off his flatbed.

In desperation the two men came up with a new game plan. They attached a big chain to Hubby's Dodge. I watched in horror as the three-quarter ton pick up and the 18-wheeler performed a tug of war over the storage trailer. Hubby's truck was jerked, pulled and yanked backwards like a tin can tied behind a car marked "just married" and leaving the church. The Dodge was smoking as bad as the big truck. The sky was so full of black dirt from Hubby's spinning wheels, we were all coughing.

"I'm calling the neighbors," I yelled. They owned a number of large tractors.

"No, not yet," Hubby said.


So I agonized some more until they finally stopped to re-assess the situation.

"The king pin lock is stuck on the flatbed," Hubby said to the driver.

Then Hubby didn't think calling the neighbors was such a bad idea.

It was 10 p.m. We made the call. The wife answered. She said her husband was asleep and she wasn't going to wake him. We pleaded. It was an emergency. She wouldn't budge. No help was coming.

The tug of war resumed. How the Dodge stayed in one piece, I'll never know. Finally, with my nerves shot and both men exhausted, the trailer gave and hit the ground with a mighty thud after midnight.

I could only hope the mighty thud shook those neighbors right out of their bed.

The stakes we had so meticiously measured and positioned were ground to dust and the trailer hit the ground where it chose. But it was on the ground--all that mattered at this point--after close to five hours of effort.

Installment #5: The House Next Door, a New Hope

A glint of hope!

After the destruction of our house trailer, we longingly looked at the house and acreage with which we shared the fence line. It had been for sale for two years at $125,000. Suddenly, it looked good to us, solid brick and had managed to stay in one piece through the storms that had destroyed Hubby's house-building effort and the house trailer. It had however been sold just before the trailer was destroyed to a man in his 80's. He was forever absentee. And the property had a realtor's "For Sale" sign on it the same high price.

We went to a farm loan company. The agent visited the property and told us he couldn't justify a loan over $85,000 as that is all the property was worth.

We decided to go around the realtor, whom we purposely never contacted to keep him and his commission out of the equation. We tracked down the owner's address and drove the some 120 miles to visit him.

He said he would consider our offer if the house did not sell before the realtor's contract ran out.
We gave him our number and recontacted him some three months later when the contract ran out, but he still wouldn't budge on the price. We resolved to keep in touch with him just in case he should change his mind.

Meanwhile, we had fixed the fences best we could and moved the horses to the farm. Our stable had gone up in price considerably.

We decided we needed to make lemonaid out of the lemon the last storm had handed us, the lemon being the ruined house trailer,. We stripped the aluminum siding off the old mobile home to build a horse barn.

And Hubby scheduled a week of vacation for the barn raising.

Some vacation that was going to be....