Friday, March 10, 2006

Ranching Opportunity for Interested Homeschooling Family

Aloha Everyone:

I received an email from a gentlemen in Colorado. I do not know him, nor can I vouch for him. I am merely sharing his offer here with all of you.

I am writing because I thought you might be able to share information with some family who would benefit from it. Here’s the situation that might be an opportunity for some homeschooling family.
My home is in southwestern Colorado. I have a small farm/ranch sandwiched in between the Southern Ute Reservation and the San Juan National Forest right on the Piedra River. My kids are all grown now. They homeschooled (in part) and went to St. Columba School in Durango for most of the rest. They were raised doing ranch chores and playing outdoors with their own livestock and the freedom to roam miles and miles of open country around the ranch. We were very active in the 2 Durango parishes and involved in the small rural mostly Hispanic missions out of Immaculate Heart in Pagosa Springs. It was, for me, the ideal place to raise kids: we had no TV until they were nearly grown; their social circle was either family or neighbors or other children and adults from St. Columba’s. They learned farming and ranching skills and how to solve problems.

For the past few years I have worked in Maryland but hope someday to be back on the ranch after I retire. So here is where the opportunity comes in. Now the house sits vacant, weeds grow and I just go there to maintain the improvements. My cousin who lives nearby puts up a bit of hay from the meadowland. And occasionally my kids take their kids to fish in the river.

I suspect that somewhere out there is a hardy family who wants to garden, raise a little livestock, homeschool their kids, and insulate themselves a bit from some of the coarseness of the prevalent culture. We built an adobe house, erected a 40 x 60 barn, a lot of fencing, a big garden, etc. Let me say at the outset that this would not be for everybody. Ranch life takes a special kind of person. Winter snows and spring mud can make access difficult. Livestock ties you down. When something breaks, you have to figure out how to fix it. It’s a long way to town, especially in the winter. You have to get your coal and wood in before the cold weather comes… I could go on and on.

On the other hand, when I see what my kids (now 25-33 years old), can do –how they plan and work, how they help others (don’t get me started) – I am grateful that we were able to live there during their formative years. God has been very good to us!

But let me get back on track. Might there be folks in your circle or readers of your blog to whom this situation would be a blessing? If so, how could we connect with them? I would really appreciate your thoughts and ideas about how this (currently) idle resource could benefit some family.

Thank you.

Wishing you all God’s blessings for the new year,

Roger Candelaria
The following is a response to my inquiries:

Dear Esther,

Thank you for your email response. I would rent the entire 80 acres, barn, sheds, corral, kennels, chicken house, etc for $800 a month plus utilities. However, I would return up to $150 of that 800 during the following month to reimburse materials and supplies used the previous month for maintenance and conservation of the farm and buildings.

I will be there for some time the second half of March and would be glad to show an interested family around.

Thank you.

Roger Candelaria

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