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Cows in the Gazebo

April 28, 2009

Some days, it seems like farm life is one catastrophe after another.  Today was one of those days. Heavy rains last night led to our creek overflowing. This happens more often than not, but the dike my father-in-law, Stanley, built years ago usually saves the flood waters from coming too close to the sheds and house. Last night, the dike broke. As luck (or bad luck) would have it, Stanley had driven me and the kids back home after dinner together. (V. is traveling.) We barely made it, and there was no going back to his home in town. The water was rising too fast.

I went to bed, but he stayed up — and then became a superhero for our family. He managed to move the horse and load our bucket calves into the trailer. I finally woke up to help. The other, older calves had been out in the pasture, which was now completely flooded. He managed to open the gate for those who made it back up to the shed, but couldn’t see how many there were. We had to now turn our attention to the flooding basement and our flooded red barn photo studio. It was a long night of moving animals, furniture and photo files.

Before going in, we shined the vehicle light back toward the pond area and sheds. We saw three calves in and near the gazebo. A funny sight, even for the flood-weary. Then, the power went out and we headed back to bed. We thought for sure most of the calves had drowned. We woke to “mooing” from some very unhappy calves. All of them had survived. It was almost like God plucked them from the flood waters and placed them outside our front porch.

The kids jumpstarted their school day helping round up and feed cows. V. had some emergency water in the basement, so we were able to make bottles.

A long day followed, trying to get the kids to school , the animals settled and start some clean-up. I love farm life, but days like today are really a test. Thankfully, farming is as much about families as it is about tractors. And, I’ve got a great one.

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