The Beginning of the End
‘That’s it,’ I said to Jeff. ‘I’m out.’
‘I’m out too,’ Jeff said glumly. ‘This isn’t what we signed up for.’
After almost seven years of pretending to be farmers, you would have thought we’d have got our shit together. But I was feeling just as out of my depth as I had the day we’d moved in to one hundred acres of vineyards and olive groves with our dream of opening boutique accommodation. Back then, I’d pondered just how big one hundred acres was, but that was only after signing the contract for the purchase of ‘Block Eight’ (a name we’d once been determined to change).
Though to most people we might have looked successful, in reality we were constantly worrying where our next bit of income would be coming from, praying that it’d arrive before our next bill did. Day to day, we were barely scraping through and it felt like Jeff was checking the bank balance as often as I checked myself on the scales – every few minutes. And only one of those numbers was steadily on the rise.
We weren’t being greedy. I’d have been happy to win second prize in a beauty contest the next go around the board, but instead the card I was being dealt was ‘Assessed for street repairs’.
Enough was enough. I told Jeff I would give Shelly, the local real estate agent, a call and ask her to come and chat to us about putting Block Eight on the market. She’d been the one to sell us the property in the beginning, and we’d stayed in touch with her over the years.
‘Good, because I’m so ready,’ Jeff said and opened up the laptop to begin searching for a new property to buy. You know, with that million dollars in cash we had buried in an old barrel beneath the olive tree in row twenty eight.