Farm Bureau is not Free

Beware of the Word “free”.  Free advice.  A Free meal to listen to the pitch for the condo. A Free puppy. Winning a free car (taxes are only $10,000). Free, complimentary hotel breakfast. Free friend labor. Free usually comes with a cost.

A few years ago, my wife and I were offered a “free” hot tub from one of her coworkers. All we had to do was “simply pick it up”. The message was “the hot tub works great but is being underutilized”. Another weak moment…we needed a hot tub like a kick in the head.

The “simply pick it up” process was immediately complicated…multiple personalities of our family/friend helpers, the borrowing of a trailer and equipment, logistics, and hot tube size challenges. I recall many hands moving the giant, awkward monolith off a deck, through narrow fence gates, onto an undersized trailer, through  flower gardens (by rolling it like a snowball) to its new home… the back patio of the Rohrer compound.

The electrician was about $650 to wire the hot tub to 220 electric. Products for proper water pH, mold and mildew prevention, and sanitary enjoyment of the water were not free.

Winter hit in 2013 and the hot tub malfunctioned…$200 for a repair to keep the water hot and circulating. Freezing water in the pipes and pumps – bad.  We were able to enjoy a few spa sessions (when the weather was not too hot or too freezing cold or the mosquitos were not swarming and when the water was properly balanced).

Winter of 2014…hot tub was on the fritz again…pd $200 for repair.   Bitter cold followed and the repair must have been of the “temporary variety”…discovered the system failed. Pipes popped and burst. We gave up.

Since that time, the hot tube has sat on our patio, an eye sore, slowly degrading. We have been afraid to lift the cover for fear of what might be lurking in the tub’s stagnate water.  Gophers, mice, ants, and creepy crawlies “developed” the hot tub space into their housing complex. What to do?

The answer came via a hillbilly YouTube video. We watched a guy take a large chainsaw and “quarter” his hot tube. Very destructive but looked simple (also beware of free videos). After 2 years of scheming on how to pawn the thing off on someone else, we finally took a sawzall to the hot tube. We cut and pried, sawed and hacked, creating a massive pile and mess of pipes, plywood, fiberglass, panels. It cost us a weekend, 5 cutting blades, and resulted in aggravating fiberglass in the skin of the arms and back pain.

Now, the hot tub pile is awaiting a dumpster for deliver to its new landfill home. Free is rarely free.

Your Cook County Farm Bureau is NOT like a free hot tub…you pay your membership dues into this organization and you receive true value in the form of membership benefits, lobbying, educational services, discounts, agricultural marketing, assistance with local issues, and so much more. If you want to donate to the Foundation or PAC, have at it. There are no hidden costs. You can see the membership, use it, gain from it…fair trade. 

The Farm Bureau is organized and directed by volunteer leaders from throughout the Cook County area.  These individuals’ labor and effort is not free either…they pour their time, knowledge, money, and passion in to their responsibilities and beliefs during the year to provide the very best County Farm Bureau possible to serve you, the member today and for tomorrow.

We deliver valuable programs, discounts, services, education and communications for members throughout the year but it is up to you, the member, to take full advantage of all the organization can provide...we look forward to serving you!

And BTW - I have this 3 year old dog… house broken, loves kids, will play fetch forever…FREE…call me!