It was a gorgeous Sunday morning, the Heroin of our story, we will call her Phelan, was up early cooking pancakes for her young 'uns. With the coffee brewed, she woke her husband, reminding him that today was the day to bring that bull back to his home. With the husband up, the 3 boys filed into the kitchen, all complaining that they were starving to death. The youngest at the age of four, begging for coffee.
Bellies were made happy, and morning chores were completed. Phelan and her husband met their horse neighbors at the fence. The horse neighbors asked if they could have an hour with the trailer, and then it would be all their's. The couple was fine with that, they had to find a ball hitch. The squatter that was living with them, had gone AWOL for a week. He had their ball hitch on his truck, the only one they had that was the correct size for this trailer. Phelan headed across the way to ask the moving neighbors if they had one. He said he might, and went forth to search it out. ALAS! He was unable to find it. He apologized, and Phelan moved on. She found the horse neighbor in the road with his trailer, she asked him if they could borrow their ball, he gladly agreed.
The heroine's husband set forth in his attempt to remove the wrong sized ball hitch from their truck. Oil and fire was used, as well as a cheater pipe. It took time, a long time of pulling and squeezing as well as some Phelan grunting. Eventually the ball was removed and the horse neighbors' ball was in place. Now for the trailer lights had to be finagled and spliced together, before pulling the trailer into their yard to carry off a bull.
The bull loves his grain. The family was hopeful that he would follow the bucket right up. But no, it is never that easy when you live on the Neophyte homestead. He would never get all the way in. So a plan was hatched, as the family had no chute, he would have to be corralled some other way. Phelan suggested the large dog run, as he likes to hang out there sometimes. But her husband shot down the idea and went with a different approach. One that found Phelan in danger. The bull was penned between the field fence and the truck. The husband and wife tried to persuade the bull the enter the truck, but the bull happens to be part cat and found and escape route that wasn't a foot in width. Twice more this way was attempt, even the horse neighbors came over to join in the fun. Finally the horse neighbor husband suggested the dog run, and Phelan's husband agreed. The horse neighbor wife and Phelan looked at each other and sighed.
Phelan got the bull into the dog run, while the men backed the trailer up to the gate. 2 minutes later, the bull was secured in the trailer. The 2 hour ordeal could have been lessened if only a husband had indeed listened to his wife.
Children were rounded up, and thanks was given to neighbors. The family told the horse neighbors that they would return in 4 hours. And the family drove off. The Ford pick-up not too happy about towing. The family made it to the highway, and drove through the city, and made it to the other side before the truck suddenly lost oil pressure. The husband was aghast. The family pulled into a gas station, and while Phelan checked on the bull, the husband looked at the engine. A wire was lose, and the oil was fine. Back in the truck they went, and the oil gauge was working again. The family decided to take the highway known as Interstate 81, instead of the toll road.
The truck still wasn't happy, but continued to pull the trailer. The trip was going a little slower than it should have, and the children in the back of the cab made their discontent known. Suddenly the truck's engine began to sound like a helicopter. There was no shoulder on this highway to pull over. The family made a valiant effort to make it to the small town of South Haven, where there is only homes, nothing more. Unfortunately it was not to be, and they managed to pull into a drive of an old farmstead. The husband went to look at the engine, both from overhead and below, while Phelan checked on a very ticked off bull. Husband informed wife that a rod was knocking, they had either blown an oil pump or a cam. Either way, the truck was dead.
Phelan met the farm wife, who was generous. She was fine with us being in her drive, informing Phelan that she wouldn't have pulled over on that highway, too dangerous. She offered her phone, much to Phelan's relief. Unfortunately Phelan had no one's phone numbers with her. A costly oversight. She first called her mother to break into her email, and retrieve the bull owners number. It took time for the mother to figure out how to use this unfamiliar email system. But eventually the number was found. The bulls owner was called, it went straight to voice mail.
"Blessed Nation, this is Phelan. We are broke down 10 miles from you, 3 1/2 miles north of South Haven. We can't get the bull all the way there, call me at this number." And Phelan went outside to wait. After a while, it was beginning to get cool and dark. Three little boys complained about hunger, so another phone call was made to the husband's parents, who live 20 minutes out. They were on their way, but they couldn't pull the trailer. Phelan just wanted her kids taken care of. Another call was placed t the bull's owner, this too went straight to voice mail.
30 minutes passed before the parents of the husband arrived. Some discussion was made, and it was decided that the parents, Phelan and two boys would go to the bull owners home and retrieve her. They piled into the new Impala and off they went. Arriving at a pitch dark ranch house. They had given up on the bulls return. Phelan was greeted at the door by one of the children. Phelan asked for mommy, and heard, hold on. After a bit, the bull owner came out, and Phelan told her that she had been calling and what had happened. The bull owner told Phelan that the cell reception in that area was iffy. She would follow Phelan and family to where the bull was impatiently waiting.
Phelan borrowed her mother-in-laws cell phone and called her mother. "mom, mom, mom, mommy, oh mommy. Mother dearest!" No answer, the mother was gone and not just screening calls. Phelan had hoped to get her mother to email her good neighbor, so that he could go tell the horse neighbor what had happened, and to see if the horse neighbor would come down and get his trailer. That wasn't going to happen.
The bull owner got all her children into her vehicle, and the truck wouldn't start. Phelan's in-laws attempt to give her a jump, but the position that her two trucks were in, made it difficult. After a few try try agains, the bull owner's truck was started and they raced back to the house that the bull waited at.
It was a quick job changing over the trucks, and getting the bull back home. The phelan family stayed with the in-laws. And woke to a day of uncertainty. This truck was all they had besides a motorcycle. Stress was being felt. The husband's brother retrieved the trailer, and the father-in-law took Phelan and her kids back home. The horse neighbor was worried, not about his trailer, but for us. And as they work for the Sheriff's department, there had been a look out for any incidents that had Phelan's and her families names on them.
Everyone is now home, 24 hours later, safe. But only a motorcycle to go around in. A wrecker will be towing the truck, but after that, no one knows. Nothing is ever simple when you live on a Neophyte Homestead.