After a couple of months holding down the couch, and a couple more in physical therapy, the doctors finally released me to return to work. Saturday morning, I showed up at the large corporate retail store where I have been working, ready to start my first day back at work. It took a little time, but they did manage to decide where they wanted me working for the time being, though I still don't have an actual schedule.
With my leave of absence properly applied for and approved, my employer was required to hold my position for up to twelve weeks. Unfortunately, I was off much longer than twelve weeks. My position has, as is standard procedure, been opened and filled, leaving me with a job at the company, but not the SAME job. What this means in the real world of the vast here and now is simple. I am working again, but at a lower wage, at least until I can transfer back into a higher level position.
Four months off work, especially in the summer, could have been a wonderful and productive event here on Dave's farm, had I been able to work during that time. As it turned out, very little work was accomplished here on the farm (at least until the past couple of weeks). At this point, I am back at the corporate grind at a lower pay scale, which leaves little time (especially with the shorter days of fall and winter) or money to make progress on the farm.
At the end of the day, I must honestly say that I am truly grateful to be physically able to work again. The situation could have ended much less favorably. My time off work has been quite an ordeal, but it is now time to start moving forward again, working to pay the bills and building toward mine and Anna's self sufficient life together, a life eventually free from the need for a paycheck from the corporate world.