In July of the year 2000, I actually went to work. Now, we live in the country and I don't drive, so it's always been difficult to find a job, although I've had several: The trick is finding someone to ride with first, then putting in an application where the potential ride works. Kohl's Distribution Center opened in the spring of 2000, starting with a skeleton staff of "associates". (What ever happened to employees? Now everybody's an associate.)
My ex-daughter-in-law, Kat, went to work at the D.C., and when they needed more people, it was time for me to go to work. Kohl's bribed their employees with a gift certificate for each person they recommended who ended up getting hired. A neighbor across the road went to work there the same time I did, so I had my transportation to work.
Now we actually had enough money to buy Cliff more toys for his shop; not only that, we went and bought a John Deere tractor, the first almost-new tractor he's ever had.
At this point I really wanted to see Cliff get everything he needed or wanted. You see, he'd gone all the years we were raising a family with hardly any funds to spend on himself. He'd always had a decent vehicle and a tractor or two, but for the most part when he got his paycheck, it was gone. Now it was just the two of us and I was working, so I intended to make up for lost time. I actually had to insist he buy the John Deere; he just didn't seem to feel as though he deserved it. It was the same with power washers, air compressors, and other things we bought. He always thought it was too expensive, or that he should wait till later; I always pushed him in the direction of getting it. I still do that, even with small items; we'll be at Walmart and he'll be eyeing something he needs, and he'll say, "Twenty-five dollars is too much for that; I can do without it," and I'll say, "Now Cliff, you know you're going to be at home needing that and you'll kick yourself for not buying it."
He's learned over the years that I'm right about that, and he'll go ahead and get it, but he'll gripe all the way home about how much he paid for it.
Back to the shop, the 38' by 40' shop that looked so huge when it was first built. Cliff had it full in no time, and wished he'd made it ten feet deeper.
In April of 2006, he decided to add a lean-to on the side of the shop, a place where he could park tractors and lawn mowers so they would be out of the way. Our son-in-law was working at a lumber yard at the time, and sometimes a buyer wouldn't take all his stuff, or the lumber yard would be shipped twice as much stuff as they were supposed to have; they'd price these things at a cheap price, just to get them out of the way. Kevin would pass the savings on to us, so Cliff really didn't have to spend a lot adding the wing.
(To be continued)