Gentleman Farmer

Eric writes:



I was a rich man. I had a 10 acre farm with access to the 10 acres next door. We raised horses ranging from a very intelligent reining horse to a wary give-away that nobody wanted. I was part owner in seven airplanes. We had the money to take a plane and go where ever we wanted when we wanted. I had a great home inspection business that was bringing in plenty of money to afford the lifestyle we had become accustomed to. My wife had a new car and I drove a new truck. Life was good. I was truly blessed. I was enjoying building stalls in the barn and putting up fences for the horse boarding business we were getting ready to start.

Winter was always slow in my business so I would save up several thousand dollars in my checking account to carry me through the winter. At the end of February, business would always pick up and go crazy all summer long. But the spring of 2007 was different. The rush only lasted about a month. Then the phone stopped ringing all together. All of a sudden, there was no money to make the mortgage payment. Car payments started falling behind. We were scrambling to find money to buy hay for the horses.

Guy, Eric, Chris and Linn in 2008; one of the good days

Guy, Eric, Chris and Linn in 2008; one of the good days.

Things kept getting worse. At the end of summer, my father died. We buried him Labor Day weekend. Three days later, my brother was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Three weeks later, my son Joel died from an undiagnosed cancerous tumor in his brain. Then a couple of months later, our friend Jim died, then Grandma Lucy. The cars were repossessed, the farm went into foreclosure. I lost my business. I found a job that paid $10 an hour. I became so depressed that I lost that job, too. Because of the way I was fired, there were no unemployment checks.

I had no income. I went seven months with no income what so ever. When my wife realized that our lifestyle would never come back, she left. I was alone, with no job and no place to live.

— Eric H