Sunday, February 22, 2015

Snow Days Mean Something Very Different for Farmers

     Who doesn't love a snow day?  

     It's not that I don't love them, it just means more work In the snow, instead of cuddling on my warm, comfy sofa with my favorite worn in blanket.  There is no all day movie marathons with hot chocolate and cat naps.  It means getting out there in the frigid weather and wind that literally bites ya in the bum and anywhere else it can sneak in under your clothing.  Winter zaps my energy to a point that I move at the pace of a disabled slug.  Farm chores can consume the majority of my day during these cold days.  Eventually I limber up, but I'm entirely too slow for my thirty-nine year old mind. 

     Snow days means our work is doubled or tripled because we do
not just feed or check cows once a day.  If you are afraid your cows will drop a calf on the wet, frigid snow and it is only eight degrees outside with a windchill of negative four, then you check your momma cows many times a day.  Should a calf be born, then we scramble to ensure it has the best chance of surviving.  What a way to come into our world?  Those calves leave the heated, snug cocoon it's mother has grown for them only to be spit out, wet from birth, blasted with glacial temps and then prodded to stand up and start walking almost immediately.  

     Snow days for myself mean that I must take even more precautions than I already do because of my handicaps. The cold steals my energy, strength and seizes my body from bending.  Finding it difficult to walk steadily on a flat landscape and not trip is quadrupled when it comes to frozen uneven terrain. My brows furrowed & my lips curled in distaste upon viewing this scenery on one terribly cold day.  Making my way across this frozen tundra of hoof prints looked like a woman with a fused pelvis and bilaterally fused ankles, worst nightmare.   Finding the best spots to strategically place each foot was a challenge while carrying a five gallon bucket of feed for my little heifers, myself covered in layers of clothes while white flakes fell around me.  



     Snow falling so quickly that by the time I made it to the feed trough, said a good morning to the young females, turned around to walk back, I heard Mother Nature laughing her little bum off as I
stood in flat out bewilderment at my obstacle course ahead of me.  Lips parted in awe, eyes wide with disbelief I gazed at this.

  What I thought was my worst nightmare became my worst nightmare.  Cursing Mother Nature, incredulously, I asked with a voice that got louder with the more words I spat out, " Are You Poopin' Me Right Now? Really?" My eyes rolled to the back of my head like the symbols on a slot machine.  It was laborious enough hiking across that when I could actually see the deep, unyeilding prints in the earth, now I must ambulate across them blind?  Concluding there was not an alternative route, I Found the bird that frequently fly's around our farm the last four years, smiled a small sarcastic smile, took an irritated breath and meticulously made my way over the course a second time.  Many close calls ensued, but I did not fall once.  A balancing act worthy of a circus performer is how I envisioned I looked out in the field trying to through the red gate.  


     This is the silliness that happens almost daily in my life.  It exhausts me and exhilarates me all at the same time. I am sent a lesson each and every day with the absurdity of my situations. 



 What did I learn from a field of deep, frozen hoof prints?

I may fall, but giving up would be my greatest weakness because those challenges can lead to beautiful destinations. 
 That even though the road may look extremely rough to cross, I will always try just one more time to succeed