Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A White Christmas

I love white Christmases. Since I have only lived in Illinois, most Christmases during my lifetime have had some sort of white, thus my intense desire for at least a dusting of snow on or near Christmas. The only one that needed not to be white was the Christmas I got my hot pink Schwinn mountain bike (that I swore to my dad I would ride forever...see it now, since high school, in their basement).

Anyway, as we drove home, carefully, from my in-laws on Christmas Eve night, I was so excited! A perfectly heavy, white snow! As we made our way north and east, it kept coming, and had accumulated to nearly six inches! Whoo-hoo! The snow boots I got the girls would be perfect (Take that, Northerners!!)!

I noticed, however, the driver next to me (aka, Farmer Joe) was not as excited. Granted, he was driving on the sketchy roads, and Josie had been car sick earlier that day, and he did have many Christmas presents to set up when we got home, and it was 10:30 pm, but, still, I asked him what was wrong.


Snow? On Christmas Eve? That's the problem? Seriously...what a grinch.

No, he's a realist. Snow in the Midwest in December is inevitable, so Joe isn't a complainer about that, but snow and ice and cold, coupled with cattle make for a labor intensive next day.


And here I was happily humming Bing Crosby.

Anyway, Joe then explained that he and our hired man had winterized things, and although there would be extra work in the morning, it wouldn't be so bad. You see, livestock farmers have to prepare for all seasons. Winter is tricky, thus, one must be prepared. He has purebred cattle (they're more like pets) that are going to be calving soon, so he has had to prepare to move them to the calving barn (kind of like where Jesus was born). Then there's the issue of snow over grass or stalks. Although the cattle can root around and find some for sustenance, feeding the cattle hay (with a tractor, to multiple pastures), and some times multiple times a day, is a must. It's a busy time. I'm learning that on a working livestock farm, there is rarely a season that is NOT busy!

However, Joe had pre-fed some heifers, cut out water from ice, and readied the farm for snow after studying the weather for days on end.

He didn't prepare for Santa to bring him a flat tire on his chore tractor...the one that has a cab.

So, we switched our tune from White Christmas to Jingle Bells, and he went to work on his one horse open sleigh...aka, the tractor without a cab.

Oh what fun...

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