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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Moving Day

Yesterday I had to run into the farm store to pick up a hand crank gas pump, while I was out, I gave the phone to Large. Tell Daddy when Brian calls, I instructed him. 45 minutes later I returned, and surprised to see that husband was still home. Brian had indeed called, and Large said he was on his way out. That made no sense to me because the trailer was closer to Brian than it is to us. So I called him. Of course that wasn't what he said, and we were an hour behind schedule. We had to start late morning anyhow because of Brian and his physical therapy.

Husband took the bike and went to get Brian and then the trailer. This took almost 3 hours.

The day before, we had to make a chute for the cattle. Well there was some miscalculations as the cows had enough room to turn around. This was bad. Once we got them through the chute and to the trailer they bulked, then turned around and shoved husband out of the way.

I yelled at horse neighbor (who is back from Afghanistan for this week, and then gone again until May) if we could borrow him for a moment. He was up for an adventure. We then knocked out part of the fencing and quickly rearranged the chute. This time it worked. Husband scooped up X (pronounced Ten) and placed him in the trailer, hoping to lure in his mother Urth. That wasn't happening. After about 20 minutes of "clowning" around, ( Brian says that's what it looked like we were doing as he watched in the truck mirror) we were able to get Eddie and Urth as well as Courage into the trailer. Undies and Myrruil were another matter. They ran around the lagoon, avoiding us as much as possible. and no amount of treats was helping.

Our puppy Sprocket showed me that my training wasn't put to waste. I guess she had been waiting for this moment to show me that she was a good cattle dog. She managed to bring us Undies. I was shocked, and Sprocket got some good loving. She chased them through the lagoon and back to the barn where we could easily get Undies to the chute.

Undies was a problem. Not yet a full grown bull yet big enough and strong enough to make a point. He was not going into the trailer, or rather once in the trailer, he was going to get out of it. With Undies head in Husband crotch, my pushing the gate closed, husband's feet pushing against the gate, and Undies pushing against husband. It was a mess. And Undies wanted nothing to do with the cattle treats that Large tried to tempt him with. With a little help from the Horse Neighbors, we were finally able to get Undies locked into the trailer. You know what happened next? It started to rain.

We moved out as fast as we could, hoping to stay ahead of the rain. I had to stop at a gas station, as did Husband and Brian. 40 minutes out from our destination. It's a long straight road. That is one thing I am grateful for, because suddenly without much of a warning, I was in a frog strangler. A down pour. I had two options at the at point. I could barely see the road. I could pull over and wait for it to pass with the chance of the road disappearing, or I could continue through it. I continued on. The boys in the back seat nervously laughed about what we were doing. I would yell WWEEEE!!!! whenever we hydroplaned just so they wouldn't get to scared. There are no shoulders where I was, I needed to make it to the highway, where I could wait it out if needed. 20 minutes of knuckle white action later we found the highway, and I continued on. Too may cars to stop safely. I found our dirt road and relaxed a bit. However there was so much flooding across the roads, that I feared I wouldn't make it. I did. And as I turned into our driveway, slam brakes! Someone had placed huge round bales in the drive.

I sat there with the boys, waiting on husband. What were we going to do? The field was too wet to drive through without getting stuck, and these bales blocked our only access. Sometimes I feel there is a conspiracy to keep us from moving out there. The rain was still falling, but not a hard, when husband arrived. I stood in the pouring rain, while husband stayed nice and dry in the cab, and discussed what to do. I mentioned that the back 47 acres has a road access, we can walk the cows through there and into the alley, keeping them away from the alfalfa fields.

Sounds like a plan.

The boys had ran up ahead to the house, so I was forced to go find them while Brian and Husband went to look over the back 47. I found the boys at the creek. I had told them to stay away from there when it was raining. Of course they don't listen. and Large's friend that had come along didn't believe you could drown in 2 feet of water. I had to explain it wasn't the depth it was the current and flash flooding, besides you can drown in 2 inches of water. We decided to walk the alley to see how bad it was and meet Husband and the cows that way. I was almost to the end of it, which the water was knee high in some places, when I saw Brian's truck out on the road, heading back toward the drive way. I assumed that they had decided it was a no go.

I am not sure how to explain the amount of walking that has already taken place. I was drenched with rain, and covered in prairie swamp water to my thighs. The mud is thick, and holes come out of nowhere. My water proof boots where filled to the brim with water. I walked a least 3 miles like this.

Once back to the drive, Brian was alone. Husband and the cows were already walking out there, somewhere. The boys and I grabbed the round water tank, and the hoses and proceeded to roll it to all the way back to the windmill. It fell a few times, and was slow going as tightness was developing in my lower calves.

Husband tells it like this. When they pulled up, the cows that were in the 47 came over to see what was happening. Husband and Brian sat for a bit, allowing our cattle to calm down and the other cows to lose interest. Once that was accomplished, they allowed the cows out and into the 47 acres. It is thick with trees, and all but Eddie had never seen trees like this. The water was high, mud thick and tree branches and holes hid themselves in the colored water. The cows agreed with Husband that following the fence was the easiest route to take. Husband says he was slightly over waist deep in water for some time. Managing all the while to keep the 5 cows in line. (we didn't have room in the trailer for Myrruial). He claims he heard us talking and was relieved when he thought help was coming. However that was the same time I saw the truck and headed back. Husband wasn't happy with me about that. I did try to explain myself, but he wasn't in the mood to listen.

We made it back to the windmill with our tank, and I sent the boys ahead to see if they could find husband and help him. He was half way down the alley way by that time. So we lined up to keep them out of the alfalfa fields as they came through. The boys broke ranks and the cows found the alfalfa. (Don't worry mother, you can't even tell they were in it, we checked) Husband ended up grabbing Eddie by the horns and pulling her into the pen. while the boys scared up Undies and Urth and chased them into the pen where X was waiting.

I dealt easily enough with Courage once everyone was out of the way.

We couldn't get water pumping. Luckily the field was full of water, with water collecting in various places. The fence on one side was bent over, in half. Not sure how that happened, so we went to work fixing that. That's when the boys disappeared. At one point Medium came walking by. I told him to tell everyone we were getting ready to leave. An hour passed and the world was starting to go dark, nocturnal animals could be heard preparing for a night out. I had to go find the boys. I headed for the creek thinking that's where they would be. FLASH FLOOD! The creek was replaced by a small river and the boys were now where to be found. I teared up thinking the worst, and started screaming for them. After 5 minutes I heard them. Large was yelling that they were up by the house.

I couldn't help but to scold them out of my own fearfulness. The ride home was dry and uneventful. The boys slept until the thunder woke them. Up ahead we saw a tower of a storm. It was both scary and awe inspiring. Luckily enough it was too far south of us.

Sometimes I wish things would go easier for us. But if it did, what would I write about?


Phelan said...

Long, wasn't it?

Georgia Peach said...

Whew, what a story! Feel like I should apologize for laughing at it, though. I got worried at that flash flood part - shesh that was scary just to read about. Glad everyone is ok. Still wondering who put the bales of hay in your drive. Probably gremlins...I blame them.

small farm girl said...

You make my adventures seem calm. I'm so glad you blog. lol

Phelan said...

The bales are our alfalfa. The fields are leased by one of the neighbors, and was placed there to keep out of the water. But really, they know we are moving back in, so they could have found another sport to put it.

Lamb said...

Sorry, but I giggled a bit because I could see this in my, slogging through the rain, uncooperative cattle, kids wandering hither and yon, your boots full of water, hair bedraggled and plastered to your head and finally finding the kids and them giving you that genuine "Gee, Mom, what are you all upset about?" look!
Have a hot cup of tea and demand that they all beg mercy the rest of the day...including hubby!

fullfreezer said...

You give a new meaning to "Adventures in Moving" or should that be "Adventures in Moooving". Congrats on a job well done- even if it didn't go as planned.
And boys- yeah, they're a whole other adventure.

KF-in-Georgia said...

I think maybe the cows were cooperative there at the end because they knew you'd had enough.

Can you send me your mailing address? I have a helmet liner for Horse Neighbor. You can PM me from BookCrossing:

FancyHorse said...

Wow, what an ordeal! This is a day you'll never forget, I'm glad things turned out ok in the end.

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

soooo... I'm guessing you did not pick those sand plums as planned? LOL. Just kidding. Had to jest after all that. You poor thing.
The hay bales...ever find out who dunnit?!

Bob from Athens said...

Sounds like you have all the ingredients for a short story for readers digest. You could title it " mis-adventures of moving cows, murphy strikes again"

Katidids said...

One of those days that is funny a year from now. What a eventful day.
We have a creek like that behind the house and always have to watch/remind the kids of the danger

The Fool said...

My goodness. All in a day, eh? I like Sprocket. He's after my heart. I also love the term "frog strangler" - that's the first I've heard that one. I think I'll pocket it for later use. This makes for quite the adventure, Phelan. Thanks for sharing.

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