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By Compiled from wire reports by staff / December 21, 2005



Honey, we have to talk

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Every day, somewhere in the world, a wife presents her husband with the need to come to a decision on some issue affecting their marriage. For instance, in Hedalen, Norway, Monica Aasli's spouse now must consider a radical change of lifestyle: that is, whether to become a farmer . Monica, you see, decided on impulse last week to sign up for the opportunity to win the farm of a local man who died without leaving heirs. Even so, in his will earlier this year, Gunnar Bergsrud specified that his estate should be passed to a young person in the town who was willing to commit to the agrarian life. If more than one expressed interest, the will said, the transfer should be decided by lot, with a local court conducting the drawing. In fact, 30 people came forward. "I'm stunned," Monica told reporters after learning that she'd won. "I never dreamed it would be me." As for her husband, his decision might be easier but for the fact that the Bergsrud house is not wired for electricity and doesn't have running water. On the other hand, the farm is considered a cultural treasure because of its setting - surrounded by acres of forest (which Monica now also owns) - and its venerable buildings. Oh, and then there's its estimated value: $150,000.

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