I'm very happy Cliff and I have this beautiful place above the Missouri River. I'm thrilled that he has his shop, and that I have a place to milk my cow.
The dwellings we have here, though, don't impress me. Even if we had two mansions here they wouldn't impress me, because I'm not the kind of person who cares much about houses.
A house, in many ways, is an albatross around one's neck.
So I'm living in a well-used mobile home and happy as a clam. We have the old two-story house where Cliff's sister is staying for now. She's done a lot of much-needed cosmetic surgery on the inside of the house.
See, Cliff and I are not fixer-uppers. We tend to let a house fall down around our heads. We both hate remodeling and home do-it-yourself projects with a passion. As for hiring it done, when we look at what it would cost, we tend to shrug the whole project off and go out and buy tractors or cows with that money.
That's why, if the time comes when we need to leave this place behind, we won't be purchasing another home.
It took Cliff awhile to convince me that renting is the way for old folks to go, but he got the job done.
If you're renting and something goes wrong, the landlord fixes it.
If you're renting a home, there's no real estate tax, no homeowner's insurance. Those two, added together, come to $2,700 annually for us. If we were just one county closer to Kansas City, I doubt if we could afford to live on this place. My sister lives in a very well-kept but modest home in Kansas City, North, built in the sixties; she pays four times the taxes we do. I don't know how she manages on a fixed income. Don't get me wrong, she doesn't complain. The only reason I know how much she pays in taxes is because I asked her.
So if the day comes we have to move to town, it will be a sad day. But I'll be smiling through my tears, because the upkeep, taxes, and insurance will be somebody else's problem.