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40 Degrees Colder

Exactly a week ago the temp climbed to the mid 60’s. I wrote.... It is a warm windless beauty of a day. The kind of day perfect for fishing except it’s the middle of December and David has the truck. The last load of hay is being hauled as I write, and plans are to move the remaining cows home for the winter. It makes it much easier to feed them using the hay processor when they are on the farm in one big group.


The drive up S23 Hwy is an annual thing. Two bulls, 40 cow calf pairs reluctantly move on the highway for a mile to where we load them up into trailers for transport. It’s a bit of a spectacle, especially for people on the road who need to travel. It’s also a bit tense to be the sweep (or the last) making sure no one is left behind and the hollering and honking keeps the girls on the right trajectory and not run off to Chariton or Indianola. David leads, calling his reassuring “SKEWWWW”, as he sets a purposeful pace and turns them at exactly the right place to get them all into the loading area.


A sense of wonder and thankfulness always follows, as does some food and a few funny stories. As the adrenaline fades, the drive is savored sweetly and one of the events of former times, when cattle were moved high to low country or low to high planes each fall. These days our neighbors line their driveways and bring out their trucks to help with traffic and keep the girls from stomping on their gardens. If you are in the neighborhood, and like watching parades, you are welcome to join in!


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