Just who is this Vern guy anyway? And what’s the point to this blog?
Well… I’m that Vern guy. My name is Vern Six. Yes, that really is my last name.
First a little about me… my career began early in life. Fresh out of high school, I briefly went to work with my dad’s construction business. I hated that kind of work but what’s a snot nosed kid supposed to do? Since then I have overseen many construction projects including homes, amusement parks, office buildings, etc.
I’m a proud United States Army veteran. While in the Army, I received extensive training, and was certified as an expert in, personal and wilderness survival skills. I have continued to hone my skills since leaving the Army in 1989 and frequently spend time training others in these important skills.
In the Army, is where I got my start in computers. I was the Senior Information Management Officer for the PATRIOT Missile Department of the United States Army Air Defense Artillery School at Fort Bliss. This is the single largest Military School in any branch of the armed forces.
Once I left the Army, I continued as an independent freelance computer programmer in the civilian world for most of the past 30 years or so. I have toured the globe extensively working for; speaking to and consulting with companies such as CNN, ABC, Southwest Airlines, Enron, Raytheon, Rand Corporation, Travelers Insurance, The State of Texas, Aetna Insurance, Arco International Oil & Gas, the Republican National Committee, Associates Bancorp and Xerox, helping them with their computer needs and thwarting internet security attacks.
In 2007, my wife and I set out in our RV to volunteer and see the great places in the USA. We spent a couple years living out of our RV while volunteering for the State of Montana, the State of Nevada and building Catholic Christian radio stations in the Pacific Northwest. After which, we moved to Guatemala to serve as full time missionaries there for a little less than a year and a half.
Life in the RV and life in a third world country like Guatemala, has taught us many things about being self sufficient. We have learned a lot about purifying our own water; 12 volt and propane appliances; small system repairs; solar energy systems and much more It also taught us great deal about what it means to live with less “stuff”.
Since returning from Guatemala in 2011, we have been living in rural America. First, we bought 30 acres of raw land in Missouri and lived there for about a year. Missouri was great, but it wasn’t Texas and we longed to return home to the Lone Star State. We returned to Texas in 2012 and started looking for land. We found six acres of raw land and closed on the purchase in May 2013. Since that time, we have been building our dream environment here.
Drawing on skills learned while in the Army; time spent working alongside my dad; and time learning new tasks in the RV and in Guatemala, have made this final life project much more enjoyable. Our “Six Acres” was just raw land when we first bought it. We had electricity installed with nearly a quarter mile of underground wiring. We also had to invest in bringing water service to our property and installed nearly three-quarters of a mile of underground water pipe throughout our Six Acres.
We live a very simple life. My son, Marc, and I first built a small cabin (12×32) for Ranae and I to live in while we continue to build. In the past two years, we have added a small office building for me and a larger building that is divided into an office for Ranae as well as a store room. Most recently we have also extended the small cabin and it’s now 12×52.
We have learned a lot about hiring workers while here in the country and it has really impacted our plans for building the main house, but that’s okay… we’ll get it done when the timing is right I suppose.
Several folks have commented about how they like our lifestyle and our commitment to being debt free. Ranae and I made the choice not to incur any more debt. I work as a freelance computer programmer by day (and some nights!) to be able to continue to pay for our projects here. It’s simple… we pay cash as we go. Credit is not something we want to use. We have a mortgage on the raw land, but nothing else.
A lot of people think this is a cool way to live but admit they couldn’t do it. That’s okay. It certainly isn’t the lifestyle most people would enjoy, but this lifestyle has been a blessing to Ranae and me. The best part is, when it’s paid for in advance, I never have to worry about losing a job and therefore losing my possessions.
This blog is about our lifestyle and how I see the world. It will be a blog about good old-fashioned skills and beliefs. This blog will NOT be a place to discuss politics or controversial topics. Well… if you consider Christianity controversial, then I guess this blog will be controversial, but other than that, I will try to keep away from controversial topics and just show a little about our lifestyle and how we use our skills to enjoy life.
I hope you stick around and enjoy what I write. I’m always open to suggestions about what topics interest you.