Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thursday Thinking - A Great Day to Have a Bad Day

Oh man.  You missed it.  We had a catastrophe wreck rodeo circus.  We got three calves.  Calvin spent all day Saturday getting the hot-wire strung and then on Monday the three calves came.  We stood and watched them and waited until the calves nosed the hot-wire, got shocked, and bellowed.  We assumed, wrongly, that they’d leave the fence alone after a jolt or two.  However, within a half an hour two calves busted through the wires and ran and ran and ran (and we couldn't catch them because we weren't the gingerbread man . . . funny how those storybook lines pop into your head randomly when you don't need them).  Argh.  I was still in my dress from work when the calves got loose.  My job was to stay behind to guard the lone calf still in the pasture while Calvin went to find the other two running through the fields.  Mind you, the hot-wire was down so there was no way to really keep him cornered.  I just hoped.  Hope is not enough.  It takes electricity and barbed wire too.  Finally calf number 3 out ran me and now all three were roaming free.  And roam they did.  They easily went a few miles in a short time.  Calvin called a friend who came to help round them up on his four wheeler. 

It was a zoo.  Calves were running everywhere.  Calvin ran through the canal twice trying to outrun them.  Even with the shortcut he lost.  Another friend came to help as did a couple of men from the feedlot down the road.  As I was running from one end of the pasture to the other I thought, "At least the lilacs smell good and it's sunny.  It's a great day to have a bad day."  

After a few hours we got two of the calves back in the pasture and Calvin went right to work at putting up a third hot wire with plans to put in a barbed wire fence the next day.  The two calves were pooped and settled down, so my job of keeping them calm and cornered while Calvin went to town for fencing supplies, was finally easy.  And enjoyable.  I sat on the grass, pulled up my dress, sunned my legs, read a book, and took a few pictures.  

(I took this picture out in the pasture before the debacle)

After the third hot-wire was up and the calves had touched it several times and were leaving it alone, we went looking for calf number 3.  No luck.  He was last seen by the canal two miles down the road, but no one knew whether he was headed north or south, which was critical information.  We couldn't find him anywhere.

Even with all wires hot (and they were hot.  Calvin and I both got shocked hard enough that it made us fall flat—he to his butt and me to my knees.), Calvin was too nervous to leave the calves without a barbed wire fence through the night, so he slept in the pickup watching them. 

In the meantime we just kept praying that we’d find the lose calf.  Calvin and I were both embarrassed that we hadn’t put up a better fence to begin with; we both knew better than to put new calves in a hot-wire for the first time.  Funny how you forgot those kinds of things though (. . . until the minute it happens and then you suddenly remember).  I hoped the Lord would answer our prayer like he did the lady who lost the coin between the cracks of the floor.  I knew it was our negligence that caused the calf’s loss, but $400 is a lot of money to lose in five minutes when you aren't gambling, and I hoped the Lord would help us recover it.  Calvin prayed that the calf would make it back to Roylance’s (our friends and neighbors we bought it from).  I asked him why he asked for that and he said it was easier to answer that prayer than it was to get it back in our pasture.  He had a point, a valid one, and much more practical than mine which was that it would come begging back and get himself back in with the other two (which would mean the fence still wouldn't hold).

The next day Calvin put in a barbed wire fence in addition to the hot-wire.  After teaching, I came home and helped him finish it.  The two calves finally accepted their new home and were content.  We both still felt a bit sick about the lost calf, mostly Calvin worried it would get out on the highway and cause an accident while I am lesser and was sad about losing the money.  There was no way to find it – too many fields, too many coulees, too many calves down at the big feedlot.

That evening Brent Roylance called and said the calf had come back to their place and was in the pen with some heifers.  It was a great answer to prayers, and I've tried to say as many in gratitude as I did in begging.

Next week we get our pigs.


Melinda said...

Those eggs are so beautiful! I have never seen such blue eggs!

All of the pictures are beautiful. The flowers are gorgeous.

What a story! I have no knowledge of calves and what to do with them (grew up in Southern CA) so I would have thought what you did was good.

I am so glad your prayers were answered and you found the lost calf. I think my kids would be in heaven at your house. All those animals.

Susan said...

Oh my! Cows and pigs!! That's quite an undertaking!

Lucy said...

I love your perspective. Cows are so much trouble and I’ve seen plenty of grown men do all sorts of tricks and antics to get them to go certain ways. I’m glad you got barbed wire. I’m glad you got to sun your legs. I’m really glad you got your calf back.

Tiffany Fackrell said...

oh man this story brought so so many memories of childhood back trying to get the cows back in the pens. One night I remember all of the men were gone to like priesthood or something, i don't remember but they were gone. so the job was left up to my mom, me, my sister, and Grandma to chase the cows back in the pen. I remember it was dark and we were in our jammies but had no time to change. mom was trying to drive tractors for baracades and it was a crazy time!!! Chasing cows back into fences was a huge part of my childhood, but i woudln't change it for anything!

Levi said...

In high school Homer, Will, and I stumbled on the same situation, helping someone else catch calves. Now we have the mother's perspective. It is amazing how far they will run.

Jill said...

What a story! It sounds hilarious really, but how wonderful to have your prayers answered so beautifully!

I love your photos and am glad you got to sit in the field to sun your legs, read and take photos...that's totally my kind of moment.

Grace said...

I've been meaning to post and tell you how much I loved this blog and the pictures! You have such a good eye. Those eggs are beautiful! I love your, I mean our, house in the spring! :)

michelle said...

oh my goodness. This could not be further outside my field of experience! But it certainly did make for some entertaining reading.

I love your photos! Those eggs are phenomenal.

Deidra said...

My home screen on my iPod says "it's a great day to have a great day" so I see it a ton each day. I love the perspective that it was a good day to have a bad day. They come, so you might as well find the sun and smell the lilacs!

I saw Mitch at the wedding yesterday. He said he caused lots of trouble in Seminary. :)

That egg picture is beautiful. Did you doctor it?

Becky said...

Oh my goodness!!! The story is hilarious and touching all at the same time :)

But the pictures? They are stunning, downright stunning. Great job.

Love the calves...reminds me of when we had some when I was growing up. Pigs next?!