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New Roots

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New Roots

August 5, 2017      In Falls Bridge 9 Comments

Falls Bridge

This is the first Ross Family update / Next Ross family update

Fall, 2017

Micah and Janie Ross are both 21 years old.

Soundtrack: What A Wonderful World, by Sam Cooke.

With all their worldly possessions stuffed into their car, Micah and Janie Ross drove the hairpin turns and then rounded sweeping vistas, descending from Three Lakes, where they had just honeymooned in a tent.  They were watching for the small signpost that would read “Belle Falls Lane,” the address of their first home.  Micah had inherited  the farm from his father’s aunt and her husband. His great aunt and uncle had passed away without children, and since Micah’s parents had both died when he was in high school, the aunt and uncle had left the place to Micah. This fragile tendril reaching out to him from his family tree was a lifeline to him.  He was full of hope that the farm at Belle Falls Lane would be a place for he and Janie to call their own and put down new roots.

“If we get to the bridge, we’ve gone too far,” Janie said, poring over the map again. “It should be just on the left after Route 76 becomes Falls Bridge road.”

As they passed a general store and descended a hill, Micah pointed. “There it is!”

“Yep,” Janie said, smiling to herself at his child-like joyfulness.

The sun was starting to set as they pulled into the gravel drive.

Micah used the key mailed to them by the executor and they let themselves in.  Janie ran for the bathroom. Micah turned on lights, and noticing an old record player, put on an old Sam Cooke single, What a Wonderful World, and called to Janie.  When she heard the song, her heart melted, and soon she was in his arms, dancing around the musty living room.

After rummaging in the cooler for the last of the milk, and eating some cereal, Micah brought in their sleeping bags and they gratefully settled their tired selves in to the old iron bed in the master bedroom.

Micah wasn’t going to say anything to Janie about babies at this moment, because she was right. They should wait until they saved some money and had a steady income before starting a family. Six thousand dollars, she had said they needed before she would consider it. But even though he didn’t say it, Janie also knew that Micah was probably dreaming about trying for a baby.

The next morning, Janie got on the phone and called the high school, asking if they needed a coach or PE teacher. She figured they would desperately need income before any crops could possibly be ready to sell, and without a degree, she figured her sports accomplishments were her best bet at getting a job.

Janie had lettered in both volleyball and soccer, and she had a go-getter attitude. Deep down, she kind of wanted to be a lawyer, but since she’d not known anything about getting into college, and no one had helped her figure it out, she kept that dream to herself. Maybe one day she could go to night school, and definitely, her kids would have the opportunity to go to college. She would make sure of that.

She got in touch with the principal at the school, and she said to come in tomorrow and talk about coaching the girls’ teams.  All of them– a three quarters time job! Meanwhile, Janie helped Micah fertilize the greenhouse plots. They could always fix up the house once the crops were underway.

Micah had tackled the orchard first. Moles had run all through the roots and between the trees, and the trees were suffering from bug infestations.

Soon, Janie began working during the week, coaching, and going with the volleyball team to meets on Saturdays. She raised funds, and she substituted for extra cash.

Micah developed his own routine, working from early morning to mid-afternoon in the orchard and the greenhouse,

And then attacking needed repairs in the house after lunch, and sometimes, a nap. The plumbing was all ancient and prone to springing leaks just when he or Janie were exhausted and covered in dirt.

Soon, Micah thought it was a good time to make contact with potential buyers for the produce they soon hoped to harvest.  He made some calls and was put in touch with a regional buyer for an organic grocery store.

Ms. Gretchen Jayapalan was the buyer’s name. She arranged to meet with Micah and see their operation, to make sure it met the standards their choosy customers required for their produce.

When Ms. Jayapalan saw the evidence of bugs in the orchard, and realized Micah had been treating them with insecticide, she informed him that they didn’t meet the requirements for a supplier at this time. She suggested ladybug colonies as an alternative to the insecticide.

“Or, you could try talking to the trees, as well.  That helps their resistance to insects and disease.”

Micah forgot all tact. “Talk to the trees,” he sputtered.

When Janie smoothed it over with Ms. Jayapalan, Micah realized he had put his foot in his mouth.

“Ladybugs are expensive, but they are a great alternative,” the buyer explained to Janie.

Walking Ms. Jayapalan out to her vehicle, he let her know he appreciated the feedback, and would get back to her when they had corrected the issues.

The next day, he attacked the weeds with new relish.   He couldn’t afford to buy ladybugs for the whole orchard, but he was determined to have the perfect garden.

Janie’s teams were doing well; her girls volleyball team placed at regionals for the first time in over a decade, and she had recruited several girls for the soccer team who had a great work ethic.  She was sure that she would be able to raise more funding for girls’ sports, which meant a little more stipend for her as well.

Micah had been so obsessed with his pursuit of a perfect garden, that he hadn’t even thought about starting a family for weeks, and while it was nice not to be nagged about having a baby, Janie had noticed how serious he’d become. Janie found him collapsed on the bed at 7:30 pm one night, not even eating any supper.

“I think you need some fun,” she laughed. “All work, dull boy, you know…”

By the end of fall, Micah was much more content with the quality of his plants.  The greenhouse tomatoes were fetching a decent price from the regular supermarkets, especially since it was not tomato season.

Although he still longed to get that “perfect garden” credential from the organic market chain, their first crop looked to earn a couple thousand dollars.  Micah felt that he and Janie were going to make it at Belle Falls Lane.

Gameplay Notes:

  • Janie’s preferred hobby is sports, and she rolled a want to get a job in the athletic career, so I let her start with it. Her lifetime goal is to be a lawyer. She got her first three promotions very quickly.  She has a want to earn $6000, and then I am hoping she’ll roll a baby want.  Family is her secondary aspiration.
  • Micah had a persistent baby want from day one until after he failed to get a perfect review from the garden club. Then he didn’t get another baby want, which was surprising. I locked the perfect garden want and will try again soon.

I made the portraits for Janie & Micah’s home after playing their update, but I’m so excited about them, thought I’d post a picture here:

I also replaced those freaky badgers in the kitchen with another scenic view of the farm. 🙂



9 Comments so far:

  1. Carla says:

    Yay, finally getting a chance to read and comment!

    Janie and Micah are so young – they’ve got tons of time for babies! I guess Micah is a family sim? Funny how the garden club failure erased his baby want, like he decided focusing on the farm should be his number one priority right now. Seeing he wants to make a living off the farm, it makes sense that he’d want it to be a stable source of income before having kids.

    Do you think you’ll keep Janie in her coaching job or send her to law school one day? Or will she even require law school, in your game?

    I had to think for a minute about what you meant by “freaky badgers”! That weird painting that came with Pets or something? Yeah…I never use that either.

    • I was so excited to see your comment and hear your feedback! You’re right, they are so young they don’t need to rush to have kids and they’ll most likely end up with a big family unless Janie really doesn’t want several. Since she married Micah, who is a family sim, at such a young age, I thought of her as also valuing family a lot and wanting family being a high priority for her, so I chose Family as her secondary when she had enough points.

      I kind of figured on Janie running the store once they have a produce market of their own, which is why I made her a fortune sim. But I didn’t know she had the lifetime want to be a lawyer when I made them, so I am open to whatever happens. Your question about law school made me think about the possibility of her going to school if I had a base ‘hood (or downtown) uni, but I think I also have a Sims 2 night school career (probably from Pru) somewhere in my files. Falls Bridge could use a lawyer, and, yes, she’d have to get the education to go into that career in my game.

      The Stodgy Badger Family Portrait is, I think, the item I was referring to as freaky. I decorated the house how I envisioned it being left by Micah’s great aunt and husband, and it was kind of a nod to an old house we stayed in one time that had a really scary old Daguerreotype portrait on the wall overlooking the bed. It was a picture of two young children (so placement over a double bed in the master bedroom was odd to me just for that reason) but it looked just like a picture out of a horror movie. We had been told at length by the older lady who was allowing us to use the house for a few months while visiting the U.S, that nothing must be moved, and she had specifically told us that picture was of the prior owner as a child and must not be moved.

      But anyway, after I made the picture of the farm I took the freaky badger portrait down and put mine up instead. It kind of made me feel like if I’d been able to move that other picture. My husband and I got a lot of laughs out of that whole situation though. We had three young children at the time and I remember we did box up some of the glass and china on display even though we were instructed not to.

      Carla, thanks for commenting!

    • Carla- my WordPress is acting a little weird and not letting me reply at the bottom of posts. When I cut and pasted a comment made there I lost the first few sentences of the reply so if you read the reply on a feed it might give you the odd cut-off one. The corrected comment is posted.

  2. maisie says:

    I could tell that Micah’s focus on a baby was diminished after the failed deal with the garden club. I love how you wrote that!! In fact, I love all the ways you are running this farm! I struggle to sell the produce that the McCarthy farm gets, and having a buyer is such a great idea! I really like how he failed with the garden club, man they are super difficult! I haven’t tried since Myra London was in her thirties.

    I like that Janie is coaching, she seems to enjoy it and being doing really well! Like Carla said, they have plenty of time for children. Their farm and house (all gorgeous btw) require enough attention right now! They’ll be way less stressed once they get that into shape.

    • Maisie, glad you enjoyed reading about how Micah and Janie are making a living from the farm. Inheriting it, of course, is a huge step up, but I kind of pictured one of those scenic farms that are passed down in a family and find a niche to be able to exist as a small farm, because that’s what I felt inspired to play. I figure to make it as a small farm they’d need some kind of high price buyer. As I was telling Carla, I planned for them to have a produce stand (like your McCarthy’s) because I love the idea of the other sims in the ‘hood being able to buy their excellent produce, so I’m glad you mentioned the difficulties you’ve had doing that. For now I just used “sell produce” to have them sell to grocery stores, and their produce isn’t the highest quality yet. Given what you said about the difficulties with the McCarthy’s produce business and Janie’s want to be a lawyer, maybe I’ll just let sims buy their fresh local produce through Monique’s computer and supposedly from Raine Hodson’s general store. I might have a seasonal stand though, occasionally, for Janie and Micah’s farm, but not a full-fledged shop. I appreciate your comments and hearing your perspective especially on Janie.

      • maisie says:

        I haven’t finished the McCarthy stand completely. They’re a wip as funds aren’t the largest there. Previously my sims bought through Myra’s Farmers Market, and that always worked great.

        They’re getting a cameo in the October update and I’m intending to get their farm ready for the visit. I wouldn’t give up with stand, it’s just more work required that they might need to hire a farmhand. I know the McCarthys will need to do that once everything is up and running smoothly. Just hard on the energy bar to farm, sell, and still have a social life! Probably pretty realistic actually.

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