When we first arrived the jobs were terrible. Karl, who is capable of gleaning good out of almost anything, learned a lot and survived them. He learned stonework from a master. He made chimney liners, working 12 hour days doing nothing but lifting and hauling. He cut cedars for the National Forest. He built timberframe with a large Amish Family.
Somewhere early on Karl met Bob, at first an employer for odd construction jobs but now a dear friend. Bob and others had odd jobs here and there, but eventually a 'real' job with the State of Missouri came to us. This job felt secure. There was insurance, and retirement, and deferred comp. It was not challenging to Karl in any way and even boring I am sure, but it supported us.
When we got the news that the State had laid off an entire tier of employees- a tier that included Karl- we were genuinely surprised. We had just bought a new car (because we had outgrown our car a year earlier). Karl had received nothing but praise at his work for 3 years, but the layoffs came from the top and there was nothing to be done. That was 6 months ago.
To be honest, for 6 months we have barely made it. We have never been so close to a paralyzing lack of funds. But I think it was good for us, or at least I can say that now. It made us think about our purpose here, and it made us brave in ways we did not have to be brave before.
We started to look seriously at our farm endeavors and make them pay for themselves. Instead of dabbling in selling eggs, we made a go at it, and it has been a huge success. Instead of being too timid to sell our pastured chicken, we jumped in feet first, again with huge success. We are still reaching out more and more and hope, no matter what sort of jobs come Karl's way, to keep all these systems in place as part of our livelihood.
Yesterday Karl accepted a job offer doing what he loves to do- solar and alternative energy systems. He got on well with his future boss and is very excited.
I am excited, too, for so many reasons. A job! Of course. But also because I can't wait to see Karl loving what he does to support us. He deserves that so much. It has been a long time coming.