Like so many others involved with Alpacas, we were city folks who made the journey to Green Acres. However, our route to country life was a little different than most.
When Joan’s Dad passed it started a whole new experience for our family. We were not comfortable with Mom living alone. Joan and I did not want to see her in some little condo or become a guest in our house. We owned a typical city house with a 3 car garage which hadn’t seen a car since we started a home-based business several years ago. We needed more room for our business and a home that would accommodate the 3 of us, so the search began. Not being able to find anything which would work in town, we set our sights on the country. We found a beautiful home with a separate office building, along with 5 acres of land.
Now what to do with the acreage? We didn’t have a clue. I knew for sure that Joan was never going to raise anything that we would have to kill. That was a given. We needed something to keep the grass down, but horses or goats or sheep, all seemed like a large expense with no foreseeable return on your investment. Our search ended with the amazing creatures called Alpacas. I had seen an ad on TV a couple of times and was intrigued by the idea. And like the typical husband had not done anything about it. Joan on the other hand, secretly researched alpacas for months before saying anything to either of us. She visited every alpaca website she could find, gathering as much info as possible, before presenting her case. So when she first mentioned it at least I didn’t say “What on God’s Green Earth is an Alpaca”? Mom, however, was sure that Joan had lost her mind. Joan was confident, she had done her research, and had already made an appointment to see our first alpaca.
When we arrived Donna invited us in and began answering our questions. After several minutes, Donna turned to Mom and asked her what she thought. Mom was emphatic, “I am not feeding them, I am not babysitting them, I am not cleaning up after them. If they want to do this fine, but count me out!!” Well, that didn’t phase Donna at all. She finished answering our questions and then invited us out to the pasture to see her alpacas. For Joan it was "love at first sight". Mom was still sure that she wanted no part of this. I was on the fence at this time, after all I have to live with both women.
I began looking into the tax and investment aspects of this type of venture. What I found was much more appealing than our current 401K investments. At the same time Joan was dragging Mom to a few more ranches. Mom saw some of the weaving and spinning of the fiber and started to show some interest. Then the 3 of us visited one ranch, and it was all over for Mom. Mom saw one, Good As Gold is her name, and immediately fell in love. From that point forward it was a done deal. Time for me to get off the fence and start building some fences.
Mom and Joan both felt strongly about this one particular female. But we realized that we really didn’t know much about these animals and could certainly use some help. Joan mentioned to Donna that Mom had fallen in love with “Gold”. To my surprise Donna volunteered to go with us to see this girl and give us her opinion. I couldn’t believe it. Instead of trying to steer us away from a competing ranch she was willing to go with us. The next week the 4 of us were off to Grass Valley to see Good As Gold. Donna was excited, first at the turn around with Mom and then with her ability to pick out such a good quality female. She confirmed Mom’s choice and during the course of the visit spotted a maiden, Our Angelita, calling our attention to her. Well, this threatened to foul up the works. I had thought this through, and had come up with a logical plan. I wanted to buy 3 females. Different ages, 3 different colors, and 3 separate bloodlines. Donna had already given us a proposal which met my criteria. So we held a tribal council that evening, and yep you guessed it, I was out voted. They, I mean we, decided that we would indeed buy the 3 females that I wanted and we would buy the other 2 as well. Joan contacted both ranches to have them start the paperwork. I immediately turned my attention to fencing the property to get ready for our new adventure. Now, I have asked Joan several times just where her original idea came from. Joan is always thinking ahead. She had been considering just what to do when it was time to quit our current business, and how to continue to earn an income. She firmly believes that somehow Dad had pointed her towards Alpacas. That sounds a little like the Twilight Zone to me, and I’m not sure I’m buying the "Crossing Over" bit. But I’m not taking the blame for this so I’ll go along with it.