AMY KIRK: Bright spots on the ranchThere is nothing more mini-celebration worthy than remembering the frozen cowpie along my path from the car to the house and not tripping on it.
By: Amy Kirk, The Daily Republic
I recently read a book called The Book of Awesome, by Neil Pasricha about little things that delight us or when things happen in our favor. The book inspired me to think of my own little joys that happen on our ranch.
Those times when I remember the things that normally trip up my day, can bring on giddy country girl joy. There is nothing more mini-celebration worthy than remembering the frozen cowpie along my path from the car to the house and not tripping on it. Another instance of ranch woman elation regarding manure is not finding a single frozen cowpie barricading the shop doors that has to be chopped away before feeding cows with the bale bed pickup can commence. This occasion has a ripple effect of delight. I also don’t have to worry about frozen cowpie chips landing in my clean hair.
Sometimes forgetting is an even better treat. Getting to the barn and realizing that some of our feed chores have been lessened because we moved the bulls, delivered our butcher critter to have processed, sold some cull cows we’d been feeding until sale day, etc. Another delight of forgetfulness is when I begrudgingly go to retrieve my chore boots from the freezing cold porch and discover that I already brought them in; that’s a great feeling of toasty warmness.
Sorting is one of my favorite ranch jobs. Our cows sort off easily by running them along the barn wall towards the gate. I play this little mental game with myself to beat my record for getting the biggest bunch of cows sorted off at once without a calf or two snuck in the bunch. It’s so cool anytime I get over 10 cows streaming toward the gateman all at once and there’s no calf to stop up the flow.
Once our winter feeding routine starts we have to plug in our diesel bale bed pickup on cold mornings so it will start. I can get so lost in my day’s plans that I forget to unplug the extension cord. The wires can get separated from the plastic coating from being pulled on as I back out of the shop. That’s why it’s an ecstatic feeling when I remember to unplug the cord just in time.
I love experiencing the ultimate cow feeding moment. A full-fledged one is very rare to achieve but even if a partial one happens I feel a great day is in store. It starts off when I get all the twine strings cut the first time. It gets better when the strings aren’t frozen or stuck down and I don’t have to take my gloves off to dig them loose. That’s a treat in itself but it’s a feeling of unbelievable luck when they all come off in one easy pull, allowing me to coil them up neatly and wrap them in a tidy little bundle for the dumpster. It’s a beautiful act, especially when I achieve this feat before cows reach the pickup.
I could easily go on and share many more of my bright spots but I’m sure you have your own worth smiling over.
Put some happiness in your day and acknowledge them the next time one happens to you!
Amy Kirk and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth-generation cow/calf operation near Pringle. She blogs at ranchwifeslant.areavoices.com.