Trudgery, Drudgery

I am fairly worn out considering that I am supposed to be retired.

I have been helping a friend with his farm and in doing so (for various reasons) it has taken lots of my spare cash. Yes I’ll be paid back but not right away. I have been a go-between parties consisting of the renter, the owner, the farm management company taking over and the Lessor. The farm got into disrepair and rather than try to save the remaining crops it was decided to remove them and start anew with a plan to make it easy to manage. This means crops in rows which a tractor can mow between. The current renter (who was getting a tremendous deal) is moving to make way for renters who work for the farm management company. The cottage had a ‘renter’ who is also moving. Renter is really a misnomer as he was let in by the last management guy and allowed to stay as long as he did some work around the farm. The work never really covered any reasonable rent we would have charged and once COVID restrictions eased, it was decided to move everyone out.

So now the current house renter owes some back rent and utilities but has caught up fairly well, but he is still thousands in arrears. There also is a large cost to clearing the farm and getting the house ready for the new workers. Their rent will come to me to pay the above outlay I have but it will take over a year before I am caught up.

That farm was supposed to be inspected this month and although it is not in the shape the Lessor wants, major work has been done towards getting the planting done and the farm where it should be. The Lessor should be happy enough.

Meanwhile I need to get my own farm in shape as I am not fully planted and should be. A number of trees died and have not been replaced and the fruit trees in the orchard are not fully planted either. However, I am also turning my farming operations over to the same company to manage my own farm. On both farms, they will be responsible for planting, fertilizing, pruning and picking the crops. In return they will report yields which I report to the Lessor. The management company will get to keep most/all of the crop in payment for their management. If I want some of the crop, I can work that out with them. They probably will remove most of the fruit trees to plant more coffee. It is somewhat of a shame however it is their choice what they plant and produce. I am just happy not to have to do too much work anymore. I say ‘too much’ because at this point, I have a tractor on the farm and they don’t. That may allow me to trade weed cutting for some coffee to sell. I will retain part of the land for my own use and we currently have some crops and vegetables growing which we will farm.

I think 20 years of designing and building up a coffee and fruit farm was enough, considering that I was retired the whole time.

I am also hosting and doing some work with the website for a coffee group I helped form, the Kona Coffee Farmers Association. Along with that website, I host and help with perhaps 10 or 15 other sites, giving them inexpensive hosting services.

Also I am a member of the Board of Directors for the non-profit Destination Kona Coast. Our group meets the cruise ships arriving at the Kona pier and provide information and insight about things to see and do. Oh yes, and where the closest bathroom is! We just had our first cruise ship in 2 years a week ago and although some businesses are still closed, I think the passengers still enjoyed the experience here.

I have been a backup welcome guide at the Painted Church in Honaunau. When the other guide is unavailable, I chat with guests and ensure that they know the cautions about entering the church. It is not ‘dangerous’, rather it was hand painted and that paint is 120 years old. We cannot touch it up and have to ensure people do not touch the paint. Also the church, an active Catholic Church in fact, requires hand sanitizing, facial masks and appropriate dress to enter.

I have lots of repairs to do on my own house and after the recent remodeling am getting a lot of the stuff to the transfer station.

So yes, I am retired and working harder now than before. Luckily the weather is nice. As the song says:

I’m going where the sun keeps shining
Through the pouring rain
Going where the weather suits my clothes
Banking off of the northeast winds
Sailing on a summer breeze
And skipping over the ocean like a stone