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Since March of this year we have been struggling to empty out our second property and business that are 150 miles away from our homestead. We have been making over night trips once or twice a week, loading up our van and trailer and heading home to unpack, sort and put away. After a day or two of rest and tending to the needs of our farm we repeat the whole process. Needless to say we are tired and sore both mentally and physically. Now we have winter breathing down our necks, the house is almost empty and ready to go on the market and we will be turning our attention to the business we shut down. There are at least two months worth of work to be done on it if not more before we can get it on the market also, mainly emptying out and liquidating equipment.

DH and I are not spring chickens anymore. We are both in our 60s and attempting this undertaking on our own as all of our friends are either older than we are, in poor health or have work commitments.

We have one couple that has been friends of ours for 30 years, DH being friends with them before we even met. They are good people, but I am afraid they are 'city folk' and completely clueless as to what farm life is really all about.

This past week, we were at the second property and the wife brought over a container of soup for us to enjoy. She is a 'foodie' and is always coming up with something interesting for us to eat while we are there. Out of the clear blue she asked us what we were doing for Veteran's Day. We shrugged and said we hadn't thought about it at this point. At that point she announced that she and her husband wanted to come to the farm because it was the last chance they would have to visit us before the holidays, etc, and by the way we couldn't do any work while they were there. No kidding. Her exact words.

We have totes and boxes sitting around waiting to have a place found for their contents, a house that is clean enough for us considering the pace and demands that have been upon us but not clean enough for company. I would have to do a deep cleaning before their arrival and try to organize things. Right now the guest bed has a mountain of extra blankets and sheets on it that I've yet to find closet space for.

We are still gathering wood for the winter between trips to the second property and have a pile of logs to chain and run through the splitter along with wood that is still in the timber waiting to be dragged out and chained.

DH has a dirt bike in pieces in the shop that he has been working on in what little spare time he has. It's his 'unwind' project and he wants to get it running before winter sets in.

The thought of having to 'break' and entertain these friends is just a little more than I can handle at this time and I don't know how to approach this lady and tell her that next spring, maybe June would be a lot better for us than November. They have been so nice to us feeding us at least one meal while we are in their area. I hate to cause 'waves' in the friendship but frankly, I'm too tired to do more than I am already doing at this time and play hostess for them, and I truly think our friends are clueless as to what it takes to run a homestead in the winter or summer for that matter. I also don't know how to make her understand that even in June there will be farm tasks that we will have to tend to when they visit.

Yes, like I said, they are 'city people'.

So how do I handle this without wrecking a friendship? They retired three years ago to a home in the city with little upkeep. It's a true retirement where as ours was a change in focus from professional self employment to homesteading. We didn't quit working, we just changed our lifestyle and careers.
 

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Who cares if the house is a mess. I think it is wonderful that you have friends who want to visit. A very painful lesson we learned is that you need to take all the chances you can get to be with your friends and family because you absolutely never know when it will be the last time. Yes there will be work to do around the farm so it will not be a complete holiday but take a day or two to just relax. Of course if working on the dirt bike takes priority over a friendship then I guess you have answered your own question.
 

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"We would love to have you visit. Unfortunately, we are dealing with a lot of urgent projects right now. Putting those projects on hold to prepare for and enjoy your visit would put us in a precarious financial position. As much as we would love your visit, this just isn't a good time for us. June, when we've worked through these urgent projects, and will only have our regular farm responsibilities to worry about, would work much better, if you could fit a visit into your schedule at that time."

That is assuming that your friends aren't seeing something that you don't. Such as, you have been working yourselves half to death and really truly need to take a break. I have no idea if that is the case, but it might be worth considering before you tell your friends no.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
"We would love to have you visit. Unfortunately, we are dealing with a lot of urgent projects right now. Putting those projects on hold to prepare for and enjoy your visit would put us in a precarious financial position. As much as we would love your visit, this just isn't a good time for us. June, when we've worked through these urgent projects, and will only have our regular farm responsibilities to worry about, would work much better, if you could fit a visit into your schedule at that time."

That is assuming that your friends aren't seeing something that you don't. Such as, you have been working yourselves half to death and really truly need to take a break. I have no idea if that is the case, but it might be worth considering before you tell your friends no.
Good point C. Yes, we have stretched our endurance and with that thought in mind I forgot to mention that we planned to take a break the week of the 15th in order to enjoy a week of deer hunting in our timber. Before then we have at least two, maybe three trips back to the second property to make.

And no, emdeengee, nothing takes priority over the friendship other than the financial need to get the house on the market asap. She has seen my home messy before but not cluttered with moving boxes and totes. There is a difference.
 

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If I had a friend that didn't feel she could be honest with me that would hurt my feelings way more. Explain things to them and it should work out one way or another, either they will understand or they will take offense, if they take offense then maybe the aren't as good friends as you think. BUT, you have to weigh their friendship against wasted weekend, which is more important ???
I wouldn't take a lot of time to clean up before their visit b/c they should be coming to see you not your house and they will understand more if your house is in a disarray.
 

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Good point C. Yes, we have stretched our endurance and with that thought in mind I forgot to mention that we planned to take a break the week of the 15th in order to enjoy a week of deer hunting in our timber. Before then we have at least two, maybe three trips back to the second property to make.

And no, emdeengee, nothing takes priority over the friendship other than the financial need to get the house on the market asap. She has seen my home messy before but not cluttered with moving boxes and totes. There is a difference.
People can maneuver around moving boxes and totes or you can just move them into one area of the house for the time of the visit. As for the urgency of putting the house on the market. Will one or two days make such a difference since you will be at the farm anyways and not working on the house or business? It is fairly clear that you have some leisure plans that are your preference and thus of more interest to you so just tell your friends that you do not want them around at this time. Honesty is the best policy.
 

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I've probably lost the point of it all but why didn't they invite you to come visit at their home? I really don't get this let's invite ourselves option. Be glad you're not me because I'm blunt to a fault and would ask her if we could come visit at their house instead. If she said no, then I wouldn't feel bad saying the truth which is also No.
 

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I like the idea of going to their house instead if you need a place to unwind. It does sound like they are worried you are working yourself to death and might be happy to have you take a break at their place. But it also sounds like they haven't been able to see your new place. As your friends, they might just be happy to see this new crazy thing that makes you happy.

If they are good friends, an honest convo won't hurt and maybe they will decide to come and help you unpack or whatever else it is you need. And she will probably want to bring the people chow which could be a big help to you.

If they aren't good friends and you prefer your chores and hobbies over their visit, then you don't really have a worry. Tell them no politely and move on.
 

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I've probably lost the point of it all but why didn't they invite you to come visit at their home? I really don't get this let's invite ourselves option. Be glad you're not me because I'm blunt to a fault and would ask her if we could come visit at their house instead. If she said no, then I wouldn't feel bad saying the truth which is also No.
They have invited us to their home for meals several times and we have graciously accepted their hospitality.

I think it was the 'invite ourselves' part that I'm having problems with even after having mentioned at one point that we were looking forward to them visiting us once we had everything settled. This has been a HUGE undertaking that I don't think some responders fully understand. How many of you would want to stop and entertain company in the middle of moving? When the company was expecting you to bring moving to a screeching halt? How many of you ladies would want to do that when you are exhausted already and company is the last thing you want to deal with?

And to lay it on the line. We value this friendship. It's the timing we are having problems with and the basic, 'we are coming on the 11th' attitude 'stop what you are doing while we are there'. No offers to help us unpack or stack firewood while they visit. We are supposed to entertain them while they are here, which under normal circumstances we have done in the past BUT even during their last visit, we had blackberry plants arrive that needed planting. I invited the lady to come out and keep me company while I worked and she wound up helping me (I gave her a quart of berries this year as a thank you for her help) which I think she later resented. And yes, when we go to their house, I help with the meal and up until recently had even prepared and brought desert and a side dish or appetizer.

This is a working homestead, not a resort or hotel. There is always something that needs to be done and sometimes cannot be put off.

I'm just hoping to find a polite and sincere way of delaying the visit until June of next year.
 

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Well, they're of the age they've been round the block a time or two.

Just tell them that this fall stinks, and you'd simply LOVE it if they come in the spring when everything is lovely and you're ready to totally enjoy them and spend the time they deserve.

I really don't believe they'd take it badly.

Mon
 

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Since March of this year we have been struggling to empty out our second property and business that are 150 miles away from our homestead. We have been making over night trips once or twice a week, loading up our van and trailer and heading home to unpack, sort and put away. After a day or two of rest and tending to the needs of our farm we repeat the whole process. Needless to say we are tired and sore both mentally and physically. Now we have winter breathing down our necks, the house is almost empty and ready to go on the market and we will be turning our attention to the business we shut down. There are at least two months worth of work to be done on it if not more before we can get it on the market also, mainly emptying out and liquidating equipment.

DH and I are not spring chickens anymore. We are both in our 60s and attempting this undertaking on our own as all of our friends are either older than we are, in poor health or have work commitments.

We have one couple that has been friends of ours for 30 years, DH being friends with them before we even met. They are good people, but I am afraid they are 'city folk' and completely clueless as to what farm life is really all about.

This past week, we were at the second property and the wife brought over a container of soup for us to enjoy. She is a 'foodie' and is always coming up with something interesting for us to eat while we are there. Out of the clear blue she asked us what we were doing for Veteran's Day. We shrugged and said we hadn't thought about it at this point. At that point she announced that she and her husband wanted to come to the farm because it was the last chance they would have to visit us before the holidays, etc, and by the way we couldn't do any work while they were there. No kidding. Her exact words.

We have totes and boxes sitting around waiting to have a place found for their contents, a house that is clean enough for us considering the pace and demands that have been upon us but not clean enough for company. I would have to do a deep cleaning before their arrival and try to organize things. Right now the guest bed has a mountain of extra blankets and sheets on it that I've yet to find closet space for.

We are still gathering wood for the winter between trips to the second property and have a pile of logs to chain and run through the splitter along with wood that is still in the timber waiting to be dragged out and chained.

DH has a dirt bike in pieces in the shop that he has been working on in what little spare time he has. It's his 'unwind' project and he wants to get it running before winter sets in.

The thought of having to 'break' and entertain these friends is just a little more than I can handle at this time and I don't know how to approach this lady and tell her that next spring, maybe June would be a lot better for us than November. They have been so nice to us feeding us at least one meal while we are in their area. I hate to cause 'waves' in the friendship but frankly, I'm too tired to do more than I am already doing at this time and play hostess for them, and I truly think our friends are clueless as to what it takes to run a homestead in the winter or summer for that matter. I also don't know how to make her understand that even in June there will be farm tasks that we will have to tend to when they visit.

Yes, like I said, they are 'city people'.

So how do I handle this without wrecking a friendship? They retired three years ago to a home in the city with little upkeep. It's a true retirement where as ours was a change in focus from professional self employment to homesteading. We didn't quit working, we just changed our lifestyle and careers.
...............Instead of waiting to list your property till it's completely ready , I'd choose a relator , interview them , and possible see what they think is the minimum condition to possibly show it 'early' ! Maybe you could price it a little under market and see If someone wants to make a deal ! Given the distance , age , and travel time connected with having to constantly worry with continually moving your possessions to your new home you might just have an auction then deal with what's left . I don't have an answer for your friends offer . , fordy
 

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I have had this happen many times, I am not comfortable with my house a mess and even more so if people drop by. I had to tell friends that I just cant have company at the house now but if they would like to meet in town for dinner that would be nice. And I have told folks I dont have an open bed and they would have to stay in a motel. Boy that changed their minds fast. People like to come to the country but are very unaware of the amount of things we do in a day. I would for sure tell them in no way would jobs around the place stop for the visit but they are more than welcome to bring old clothes and lend a hand, that also stops people from visiting. I wold just say sorry wed cant have guest right now too much going on but we could do lunch in town.
 

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They have invited us to their home for meals several times and we have graciously accepted their hospitality.

I think it was the 'invite ourselves' part that I'm having problems with even after having mentioned at one point that we were looking forward to them visiting us once we had everything settled. This has been a HUGE undertaking that I don't think some responders fully understand. How many of you would want to stop and entertain company in the middle of moving? When the company was expecting you to bring moving to a screeching halt? How many of you ladies would want to do that when you are exhausted already and company is the last thing you want to deal with?

And to lay it on the line. We value this friendship. It's the timing we are having problems with and the basic, 'we are coming on the 11th' attitude 'stop what you are doing while we are there'. No offers to help us unpack or stack firewood while they visit. We are supposed to entertain them while they are here, which under normal circumstances we have done in the past BUT even during their last visit, we had blackberry plants arrive that needed planting. I invited the lady to come out and keep me company while I worked and she wound up helping me (I gave her a quart of berries this year as a thank you for her help) which I think she later resented. And yes, when we go to their house, I help with the meal and up until recently had even prepared and brought desert and a side dish or appetizer.

This is a working homestead, not a resort or hotel. There is always something that needs to be done and sometimes cannot be put off.

I'm just hoping to find a polite and sincere way of delaying the visit until June of next year.
Well, it's obvious to US that now is not a good time and you'd prefer them not to come, but, if you feel this strongly, you have to find a way to tell them the truth so it will be obvious to THEM.

If the friendship is strong, it'll survive.
 

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It seems there are at least three responses:
1 - say yes - do what you need to do to your house to be comfortable, visit with them, make some nice memories and restart when they leave
2 - say no - tell them it would be lovely and you feel awful, but the timing just doesn't work and then schedule a new date
3 - say yes but - tell them it would be lovely if they wanted to visit, but you simply must continue to get certain things done. Decide for yourselves what needs to be done while they visit and what can wait and then go forward.

If you think you would lose a 30+ year friendship over one visit - something seems maybe a little bit hinky anyway.
 

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and then there's the fourth response of a real friend isn't the one that comes to bail you out of jail; she's the one sitting in the cell next to you. Or in your case she's the one working beside you to help you get moved and doesn't require painting pretty pictures. She puts your needs above her own when that's warranted and for good reason.
 

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Be honest. Tell her that you love her, love her food, enjoy their company but you simply cannot take a day off right now. At that time you can either make plans for spring or even invite them to come for a weekend at your new home. A real friend will understand. If she seems hurt or insistent then tell her that you can't devote entire day but you could squeeze in a few hours for dinner. Set up a table somewhere if you have too
 
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As usual, I guess I am the Odd Man Out... Free slave labor for a weekend? Someone to talk with while I do _______! Someone to hunt out back with DH!

I see that as a welcome gift and would love it! If they're that close of friends, they will understand the mess, and will pitch in! If she is a Foodie - task her with meals!

I must be missing the My-House-Is-A-Wreck gene, too. If you invite yourself over, or drop by unannounced, it is all fair. I may be in my chones when you show up, or in the middle of a project, or whatever... LOL!
 

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I don't think this couple is being selfish at all to ask to spend some time with you. She's taken the time to cook for you at least one meal, probably her way of trying to relieve some of your burden.

It sounds to me like you're working yourself to death and these folks really care about you and want a true friendship. Is a day or so too much to ask to unwind and enjoy their company? True blue friends are so very hard to come by, and you're not getting any younger.

The work will *always* be there. It doesn't matter how much you accomplish, there will always be something else to do. That's why it's so important to MAKE time for friends, to MAKE time to unwind and relax.

I know this is a stressful time for you by what you've shared, but ya know what? The bike will still be there, the farm will still have chores, there will ALWAYS be something that needs to be done before winter. . .and you are half killing yourselves trying to get it all done. Please, tell yourself it's okay to have some fun, to take a rest, to take time out for friends before the rush of the holidays. And while you're at it, count it a blessing you have friends who care so much about you. Most people don't have time for others, much less time to cook for them while they are so busy and stressed.

Hugs to you, and enjoy your friends while you are all alive to share each other's company.
 
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