Archive for September 6th, 2016

Bartering

Bartering is a big deal in rural Maine.  Mostly it’s because people around here live at subsistence level, meaning they make barely enough to live on and are pretty self-sufficient thanks to their huge summer garden and deer hunting season and the golden ability to repair whatever breaks, but with no additional money left for extras.  So if your car breaks down, you probably know how to get it running; but if you need to pay for the parts, and you’re short on cash, you might offer to split the logs from your parts guy’s  winter wood supply, or patch his roof. An organic farmer we know doesn’t have livestock, so she barters her home-grown vegetables for her neighbor’s goat milk.

Today our HVAC man came to replace a broken part in our heater (actually, our HVAC guy would say “paaht”).  We’ve known Pete since we first came to Maine.  His prices are fair, and he’s a genius at what he does.  But due to some surprise costly expenses from last month,  today’s bill was more money than we could come up with (local workmen don’t accept credit cards, and Pete is no exception).

Suddenly I remembered about our Ruger 10/22 – – a rifle that we had wanted to sell.  I decided I had nothing to lose:  “Hey, Pete, might you be interested in a rifle?”

Of course he was!

Everyone walked away happy.

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