The past couple of years we’ve been pretty lucky in not having over dramatic winters, so I assumed this year would feel the same. This winter, however, has made it a little confusing. One week it will be a high of 12 degrees with a negative windchill and the next it’s sunny and 50. This week, unfortunately, called for snow and ice!
During the winter my husband patiently awaits for spring to arrive so he can start planting. Which makes these cold winter months primarily dedicated to his cattle. One cold snowy morning I decided to venture out with him to help with chores. Granted, my only contribution would be to open and close the gates, but hey it got me out of the house so I was willing to go.
First thing we had to do was head to the barn and load up some alfalfa square bales. I felt terrible as I sat in the warm truck while he threw 8 bales in the back. Alfalfa bales are by no means light, so in my defense I wouldn’t have been much help. With the bales loaded up, we head to our first stop which is the Kent place. Now, in my area most farmers will name their fields, CRP, pasture ground etc. after people’s last names or location. Some of the names will come from the previous owners last name, others are named after what the first homesteaders would call it, but mainly it’s the name your dad, grandpa, great-grandpa, great-great grandpa have always called it.
As we arrive, there is already a few cows balling because of hunger, but most of them are hunkered under the shed trying to stay out of the cold. The little calves are so cute, some are covered in white from the snow while others are covered in the white from their mothers milk. Dollie girl, a heifer calf we bottled fed last summer, is one of the first ones to greet us. As the husband starts unloading bales, she already starts eating some of the bales that are still in the back of the truck. After getting these cows fed, the husband has to break ice so the cows can get something to drink. This process takes FOREVER! I could easily help with this task but he doesn’t trust me with an axe…and neither do I lol.
Finally, we are finished with the Kent place so now, it’s on to the North place. These names can get pretty creative haha. I do know this farm name was past down from his grandpa, why they call it The North Place, I don’t know. My dislike for this place is only during the winter. It’s a beautiful lush green pasture in the springtime. But the reason for my dislike, is because the only way the cows get water is out of the pond. At the Kent place, the cows get their water from a cattle tank, but here you have to chop the ice on the pond. My anxiety levels rise as I watch my husband test out the weight of the ice. You only hope the ice is thick enough, but some spots are hit and miss. I always think, what if he would fall in, would I be strong enough to pull him out? He is literally a foot taller than me! But, it isn’t enough that you have to worry about slipping or falling in the ice, you now have to use an axe to break it. Can you imagine chopping ice, with an axe, in freezing degree weather, while trying not slip and cut your leg off or falling into the ice? Try watching your loved one do it while you sit in the warm truck freaking out. I could be making a bigger deal out of it than it is but it scares the heck out of me every time. But by the good grace of God he has always gotten the job done safe and sound.
Since the weather hasn’t been too crazy, he hasn’t had to chop ice that often, but I’m hoping spring comes fast. I’m tired of this cold wet weather. I’m ready for some green grass and sunshine!
Stay Warm Everyone!