It is the middle of April, typically we would be enjoying semi warm spring days. We would
have enjoyed some outdoor bike rides, walks/runs by now. Instead we are getting yet another
blizzard. This is the winter that won’t go away. This morning I read a post my niece
Katie shared. I cried. Katie was asking for prayers for farmers and ranchers in
South Dakota as they continue the spring calving/lambing season. One farmer
posted they were giving up, it was simply too dangerous to continue looking for new
born calves in the blizzard conditions. Most of these farmers care deeply about the
animals they raise, yes, it is their source of revenue, but there is a real connection
with nature when you are a cattleman/woman.
I was reminded of a particularly difficult winter when I was a young girl. I remember
my dad bundling up to walk to our “Other Place”, another acreage my parents owned
that was 5 miles away by road. As Mom wrapped a scarf around his face to protect
from the stinging wind we all watched, wondering what he would find. I remembered
being worried, but really unsure of the danger of what he was about encounter. Likely
we played a board game to keep our minds off of our dad being out there. I don’t recall
if we had electricity, but probably did not. When we received a phone call from the
Anderson’s we knew he made it there. He and Joe would go to help other neighbors
with their cattle. Several farmers lost countless stock cows and calves when the storm
was finally over.
Several things come to mind with this event. One the selfless act of helping each other
in a time of difficulty, even when it was personally life threatening. The sense of neighbor
helping neighbor was stronger than personal comfort and safety. And of course the love
and of stewardship for the animals. The entire community was saddened by the loss these
farmers felt for their herds. It was never easy.
As we wrap up the never ending winter of 2018, say a prayer for these families. The
work they do is hard, they feed us and help keep us clothed. They should be appreciated.
They are looking forward to the sunshine and joy will warmer temperatures bring them,
this year more than ever.
Wishing you safety and sunshine!