Okay, so I live in North Dakota, I know it is winter AND I know it gets cold in a North Dakota winter. But I have become a wimp!!
|The forecast on the morning of Wednesday, January 30, 2013|
It is the time of year when we need to start checking our cattle more closely. You see, it is calving time (or will be within the next week or so). At this time of year we try to check the calving herd every four hours or so. It is a little early for this yet, but the weather has taken a turn for the worse and sometimes those calves start dropping! Christopher checked the heifers (cows who are expecting their first calf) around midnight. He knew we were still awake so he called to ask if I would check between 2-3 because one of the heifers was acting odd. "Sure," I told him and set the alarm.
Well, you need to know that I have been quite spoiled these last couple of years. Our sons are here full time so I don't need to go out to help with chores and repairs very often. It has always been my job to check the cows in the middle of the night during calving season, but I just was not ready for it yet. Because I haven't been going out to help with the outdoor side of our business, I have not gotten my nice warm boots out of their summer hibernation. I've yet to purchase a nice warm pair of gloves for the season. AND, I certainly had not prepared myself mentally for all of this! Oh, and to top it all off, the weatherman reports that tonight is the coldest night we have had in two years. GREAT and I am going out into this.
I think most people are like me. Getting up in the middle of the night, getting dressed and going out in minus 50 degree (F) wind chill is not your idea of a good time. It is hard to wake up and focus ... until you open the door!! WOW! Talk about take your breath away. (Now remember, I have not gathered my winter work gear.)
Without my long johns, coveralls, warm boots and gloves, I am in for trouble. I borrow someone's gloves since they lay by the door (the ribbing around the wrist is still damp from sweat). I slip on my coat (without a working zipper for years) and snap it closed best it will do. I put on my old sneakers (remember, my warm boots are still hibernating and, lucky for me, there is hardly any snow) and stocking cap. Off I go - first to the pickup to find the flashlight. The pen of cattle that I need to check are in our yard so the dogs and I go walk around them to see if anything is calving. (Oh the wind is COLD.) We wander around each group of girls as they are snuggled in their little groups to keep warm. (My legs are freezing.) Wander. Wander (don't trip on frozen cowpies). Good, everything looks okay. We head back to the house. (My legs and face are stinging from the cold.) Into the house. (I can't see a thing, dumb glasses fog up.) Dogs are happy - so am I. Now, do I go straight back to bed and snuggle my COLD body up to hubby to get warm (and risk waking him)? Nope. I need to find the charger to get that flashlight charged again. Dang, where did I put that thing after last calving season? Found it. Need something to drink ... ahhh, a nice glass of chocolate milk. Better write about this experience. (Here I am.)
Life on the ranch. It is the best even if it is the coldest night in two years and I am not ready to go out into it at 2:30 AM. Best place/job in the world.
Now, off to bed.