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.
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!