Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Joys of a Winter's Morn

Waking up in the country on a snowy morning is picturesque. The freshly fallen snow on the road is pristine, as no cars have marred its fresh blanket. The wind is howling, but blowing small drifts against our out buildings, giving the appearance of a painting that should be on the front of a Christmas card.

However, looks can be deceiving. As Joe bundled up for this morning's chores, I know he was thinking about the difficulties that lie ahead. Thankfully, our cattle are in good spots to get out of the wind, but the hope, with these sub-zero temperatures, is that water will be available, or at least easy to extract from beneath a crust of ice. Chores this morning will be more difficult, not just because of the slick road covered in ice and dusted with snow, but for the simple fact that the basic needs of all living things on a day like today: food, shelter, and water, will have to be checked, double checked and secured.

I take for granted that Joe just does his job without any complaining, regardless of the extreme heat or cold. While I get to choose today whether or not to step foot outside today, Joe has to go out. He has to not only sit in a cold truck, slip and slide to his different pasture ground to check cattle, but has to get out of the warm truck, brave the 50 MPH winds and make sure that our livelihood--read, our cattle--are faring this awful weather.

Weather is merely an inconvenience to me, loading up kids in car seats with coats is not fun. Dragging all the kids to our unattached garage without anyone being knocked over by the wind or falling on the slick sidewalk is a true Christmas miracle. However, while weather is inconvenient for Joe as a livestock farmer, it could be potentially deadly for our animals, and, therefore, detrimental for our business.

But, because Joe comes from a long line of hardy folks, hard workers, and people who always prepare for the worst, he's out there, with a good attitude, making sure that everything and every being is safe, fed, and has water.

Meanwhile...I'm in my jammies, enjoying my coffee and watching cable TV, debating on whether or not currently I should walk on the treadmill or wait until this afternoon. Decisions, decisions.

Thank goodness, for the sake of our operation, that I'm not the farmer!!


  1. This post hits me close to home! Are you in Iowa? I was going to help Bart chore the baby turkeys this morning, since it takes several hours when they're just 2 days old, but he MADE my 2 year old and I stay in from the cold. And that's after he was up at 4:30 yesterday and came in from the poults at 11:30 last night. Farmers are amazing!

  2. We're in west central Illinois, and have been spared in a lot of the weather related issues thus far. Today, not so much! Hope you stay warm!

  3. I just told my husband, "I'm glad we temped the cattle LAST Sunday!" Mind you I froze my parts off then, but spending two and a half hours out in the lot today would have been brutal!

    Just to make life fun, we just returned from a weekend in Indy for the Indiana Farm Bureau State Convention. While I headed further up US 41 to get our girls, Steve and his dad were out trying to get the frozen conveyors to work so we could feed our cows. We have new feeders, about 60 600-pounders, and 40 almost ready to go to market cows.

    Great post and I am a new follower. Thanks Katie for the share!