I had someone asked me if I lived alone. No I have a wife of many years. Paula and I have three children. The oldest our dau Jessie age 32 and her husband Dave live nearby. Jess works for the Post Office as a rural mail carrier.....and she is always good for "you know what happened to me today" Her visits last for hours and the conversation is non stop. Dave was in the Air Force and they were stationed in New Port News, VA and Florida. The Air Force had an early out program. Dave served three years, took the early out. His three remaining years were doubled to six years in the Air Guard. Dave took part in road building on the Mexican border (where he met the Border patrol), heavy equipment operator training in PA and other away from home assignments. In July. he was called to active Guard duty. AS of December, he is active duty in Afghanistan. His Guard unit is helping building 90 acres of airplane runway. He returns home next August. We all hope he returns safely. This last summer Dave applied for a National Security position with the Border Patrol. After reams of paperwork, several tests, physicals, interviews and an extensive background check he was offered a Border Patrol position. He accepted the position and his job will be waiting for him when he returns stateside. He and Jess are excited, he will have 14 weeks of school. Dave will be on the southern border for 6 months of on-the-job training and Jess can join him..After the training a permanent post there or on the northern borders.
Next is a son Darren age 25 has a quick mind and is a quick study. His mind is always in high gear. He fixes and builds computers. He rebuilds cars, does car repairs, he is always tinkering with something. There isn't much he can't do. He lives nearby and give us lots of help. A 'good' son. He is single, has a girlfriend of 4 years, works summers and is laid off in the winter. He watches a lot of news reports, so I ask him for the latest economy, war and political happenings. More long interesting conversations, he has a voice you can lsiten too for a long time. I told him he should do inspiration speeches at college graduation ceremonies.
Our third a son Derek age 22. He is talented in graphic arts. Three years ago he met a Australian gal on line. They talked by web cam for a year. Two summers ago she came here to visit. Bek (Rebecca) is great gal and she fix right into our family. Derek flew back with her and lived in Australia for 8 months. Last April they returned home, they got married in May and live with us. The plan was to stay here, but Bek missed her large family. She is the oldest of 6. They returned to Australia in November. Their plan is to get settled and established there for 5 years, then they will return stateside to live nearby. They plan later to have children so it will be nice to have them nearby.
I have an older son, from a previous marriage, that has disowned us, He has mental issues and refuses to join in. Seven years ago he and his then girlfriend Tracey became pregnant. Tracey had a beautiful daughter Vanessa. They had a volatile relationship. We had baby Nessie for weeks at a time........we became very attached. Nessie is our only grand child. They broke up. Tracey's mother raised Nessie for 2 years. And we continued to have Nessie every weekend. By the time Nessie was 2 Tracey began raising her. We maintain a close relationship with Tracey and have Nessie on weekends and during the summer. Tracey lives a 40 minute drive away. If Nessie is sick and can't attend school, Grandma Paula will get a call and drive to Fergus to bring Nessie home. Before this year..Nessie is now in Kindergarten-- we had Nessie 15-20 days a month. Her mommy's life is still not 'together' yet. Nessie is pure joy, she is a beauty, smart quick, intelligent beyond her 6 years and loves to come here. We are blessed I love my role as Grampy. Nessie, Grandma Paula and I are very close. She reminds me of when Jessie was little girl. They looked alike at that age so every once in a while I will slip and call Nessie - Jessie. Nessie has good grip on the way of the world, and we are committed to guide her through the pitfalls.........she desired to have a good happy life.
Oh my this got long, maybe I should stick to sheep and chicken topics, ah but I wanted to share my family with you.
Jerry Fletcher, Fergus Falls, MN
November 2011 I retired, sold my Shetland flock and moved to town.I live on the edge of Fergus Falls, pop 13,000. Its has been a great choice. My mother, sister, her family and my granddaughter live here. I have a garden shed that I converted into a chicken coop. Its also houses my granddaughter's pet Rabbit. My backyard will be flowers and shrubs.