Sometimes we have to make decisions that are difficult. Yet circumstances indicate we need to make those decisions, tough as they may be in several ways.
Our good friends Kenny and Margaret Ann Brown struggled this past year with making one of those difficult decisions. They lived on a small farm just north of Mecca on state Route 46. It had been home to them for 56 years. It is the farm where Kenny grew up and has been in his family for 100 years, so it has many fond memories for him as well as Margaret Ann.
But situations change that meant making difficult decisions. Both Margaret Ann and Kenny had some health problems that made it difficult for them to do the necessary jobs around the home and farm buildings. For several years, they had rented their land to local farmers and didn't have that responsibility.
Their farm home was probably 150 years old, and they had remodeled it over the years to make it comfortable. The problem was that their garage was some distance from the house. Some years ago they had installed a ramp down to the driveway, but it still was not easy, especially for Margaret Ann, to get down to the car when they wanted to go to the store or doctor.
Snow had to be plowed out of driveways in the winter. While they had a good tractor to do this, their son Stan, who lives nearby, had to come over to do the plowing. With a large lawn to mow, that was more summer work that Kenny did until recently.
Considering everything, they started looking at moving to a retirement home. Good friends living in Licking County had recently made that decision, and that prompted the Browns to more seriously consider such a move.
In early January, they visited Lake Vista in Cortland and liked the facility. So, difficult as it was for them, they put their name in for an apartment when one became available. In early October, they were notified that one was now available and they could move in early November.
So more decisions must be made quickly. With 56 years of accumulation, they knew they needed to have an auction. Kenny and son Stan were collectors of antique tools and equipment, and they had a lot of tools, both mechanical and wood-working, to sell. Their antique tractors and some other equipment they sold earlier.
On Nov. 20, they sold all the tools, equipment and some antiques. It was a nice day, and about 500 people came out for the sale. It was not an easy day for Kenny to see his tools and equipment leave the farm.
Tomorrow, they will auction the household furnishings neither they nor their family want, along with the farm. Most farm auctions subdivide the land and sell it in parcels, then sell everything together. Whichever way brings the most money is the way it will sell.
It will be another difficult day for both Margaret Ann and Kenny to see their home of 56 years go to others. Since Kenny grew up on the farm, he will experience an emotional loss as the property sells. Their daughter Sue and husband Bill had purchased Margaret Ann's family farm down in Adams County some years ago. Son Stan and family are comfortably settled in a nice home in Mecca. So neither one were interested in moving back to the family farm
On the bright side, they are comfortably settled at Lake Vista and enjoying all the conveniences of a new home. They feel more secure with less responsibility and someone else to do all the maintenance and readily available help in case of health problems.
Once tomorrow is over and they do not have the responsibility of the farm, they will be able to relax and enjoy their new home even more.
So it has been a difficult transition for them, but they recognized the need to make the decision and made it after much deliberation. At times, many of us have to make these decisions for health concerns, loss of a spouse or other reasons.
Parker is an independent writer for the Tribune and grew up in Trumbull County.