Back to the Hobby Farm

I was stuck in Maiden Rock with no job and little hope of finding one. What little money I had in the bank was quickly running out.

R offered to let me stay at the farm for a while. “I haven’t decided whether or not to sell it, and it would be good to have someone there to keep an eye on things.” He’d recently bought a place in Grantsburg, WI, and was busy with that and a long, hour-each-way commute to St Paul for work.

When people ask me if living with someone is a good thing to do, I often refer them to my relationship with R. We lived together for thirteen years. During that time, he finished college and got a degree, and was promoted at work several times, with the expected increase in salary. I stayed on the farm, taking care of the property and animals. After we split, I got zilch. Nada. ZIP.

If we’d married, I would have received something for the years we spent together. Was what I’d done any less important than what he had? I think not, considering my efforts allowed him to get that degree and focus on work. In more bitter moments, I felt I got screwed, but I don’t hold grudges, the past is past, and R has been generous with me ever since, so it all worked out. 

I wouldn’t do it again though. The relationship would have to be more equitable in case of a breakup, and don’t nearly all couples break up? Take care of yourself. Don’t trust in the goodness of your partner. In a split, that goodness flies out the window. R and I didn’t talk for a year after I left, and then it was strained for a few more.

I accepted his offer immediately. He even helped me move, which was a big deal, because I had a used washer and dryer I wasn’t giving up, and I knew the farm had none.

Once resettled, I immediately set up interviews in Hudson and St Paul. I was determined to be on my own within six months. I despise being dependent on anyone, and this was the third damn time in the last couple of years! I was determined to turn my life around once and for all.

It was spring, then summer, and the countryside was beautiful. It had been twelve years since I’d been at the farm. I revisited all my favorite places.


Apple River in Somerset, WI


St Croix Trail View, WI


River in Star Prairie, WI. It runs right through town.


A kid with his fish at Bass Lake, WI. Not much of a fish. Heh.

The next photo is a manip, of course. It’s a picture of the boathouse at Bass Lake. I was told someone committed suicide in that boathouse, which gave me chills. It was only later I decided to add R’s lawn dragon to the photo. In Somerset, WI, there was a bar called the Loch Ness Lounge. R always thought I should have tried to sell this to them. 😉 They have since gone out of business.

Admit it! This almost looks real. 🙂


A printout of the photo hangs on my bedroom wall. I enjoy looking at it. 🙂

Have a good week!


About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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10 Responses to Back to the Hobby Farm

  1. Helena Stone says:

    I’m enjoying your life-story; thank you for sharing it. And I adore the Loch Ness picture. Yes, it could almost be real. 🙂

  2. Lindsaysf says:

    I remember that picture of the dragon! Magical!
    The whole question of a live-in relationship is a big one. It relates to something I’ve found a amazingly hard: differing assumptions & expectations – first, knowing one has them and second, communication them.

    • Fenraven says:

      It worked well enough… until we split. The breakup was nasty, as they often are. I just wanted out. It was only years later, as I noticed how well he prospered because he kept the farm and everything on it, that I felt resentment over how things fell out. Sale of the farm allowed him to buy a better place, and all those promotions and raises at work let him acquire even more property.

      Me? I lived in a shitty trailer for years, then a series of cheap apartments. I struggled. But ya know? I did okay in the end, though I will never live as well as he does. We took different paths, but I have no complaints. I stayed true to myself through it all. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished with so much less than he had.

  3. Jaycee Edward says:

    This isn’t the end of the story is it??? I’m quite enjoying this ‘series’.

  4. diannegray says:

    It’s amazing what we find when we look back over our life. I’m really enjoying reading about yours – we are who we are now because of these times xxx

    • Fenraven says:

      I am stronger because of what I went through, but I’m also much more aware of how vulnerable I am to forces I have no control over. I can’t do anything when the economy tanks, except survive. Easier said than done, but I’m still here. 🙂

  5. Aniko says:

    I love the dragon lake photo! We have laws governing de facto relationships here that are very similar to those for married couples, so partners aren’t left with nothing after years of a committed, live-in relationship.

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