Life’s greatest blessing

Farm Forum

As we age, we farm folk sometimes have really big dreams about our workload getting done magically. You know what I mean; life gets tough, a body gets weary, and then we pause for a moment and sit in our recliners to collect our thoughts. Our pauses soon extend to a short nap resulting in having a refreshing daydream. Ah-h-h! Those daydreams are the best.

For instance, I have dreamt of a magical cowboy genie appearing out of nowhere and working all of our cattle and hubby and I not having to lift a finger. Or, another favorite dream of mine is to come in from a hard day’s work and being greeted by a table chuck full of delectable tasting food which I didn’t have to prepare. Or, a third really outstanding daydream would be coming into the house and finding some caring soul had swooped in and cleaned the entire kitchen with not a dirty dish in sight.

May miracles never cease; but all three of these daydreams came true this fall, and the story goes like this…

It is what it is

Working cattle in the fall has become one of those dreaded jobs of the season. I was not looking forward to it this year due to feeling a little under the weather. I had lost my snap, crackle and pop. Life was finding me spending more and more time in the recliner and enjoying my wonderful daydreams.

Well, daydreams or not, the job is what it is and must get done. I got out of my recliner, took a deep breath, and started the process. My part of the job always entails lining up chutes, tubs, corrals, medicine, weigh scale, and organizing the outfit. Since our outfit has grown smaller each year, the organizing doesn’t take much brain power. We are an outfit of four and the number four includes me. Ya get the point. Maybe if we stretched it—we were an outfit of 3 men and a weak kneed female. (Durn! But, I hate admitting that fact.)

There’s power in the blood

Hubby was worried about this manpower problem and sneakily set some things in motion without conferring with me. He called up the troops and voilà —“Life became Good!”

What happened? Well, he visited with our eldest daughter, and she conferred with our next daughter, who conferred with our next daughter, who conferred with our son. Three of our four kids physically came home and helped wrangle the outfit. The fourth child lent support via her cell phone with encouragement and advice. And then of special note, two of our high school aged grandchildren eagerly joined in and helped sort and work the cattle.

It was wonderful! What a vitamin pill for Gramps and Grandma, but our poor cows didn’t know what hit them. The old cattle expression of “there’s power in the blood” certainly fit the Green Outfit this year. With this large crew, the job was done in short order and before you knew it, we were gathered around the old kitchen table relating tales of past cow adventures.

Favorite cow stories

Not only did the kids arrive with horse trailers and their favorite dune buggies (that’s what I call their ATVs), but they also brought loads of food and even contacted their Auntie Reva to come and supervise the kitchen and add her homemade bread and delicious salads to the smorgasbord. Talk about taking a load off of me. I felt like I was dreaming, but I knew I wasn’t because the noise level was pretty high.

Naturally, each one of our kids had to relate a favorite cow story starting with the “Old Red 11” story proceeding to Jim’s favorite “Porkchop” cow story and then onto the tales of Amy’s “Merit” and “Ugly” stories. Brian had to bring up his “P4 Laura” and Anne Jo had to remind us about her “Miss Piggy” and “Nalie.” Vicki, of course, regaled about her “Sioux Falls” and “Fawn” cows, and so the fun continued.

These were each great cows for different reasons at our farmstead. And their stories never get old, but just produce louder laughter and more memories each time the stories are told. That’s what I call great family fun time. It’s the sharing of these past times that we so treasure as a family unit. What a joy.

Life’s greatest blessing

All good things must end and so our kids had to depart for their own homes. After the last horse trailer left the yard that day and the dust had finally settled, Gramps and I spent a restful evening relaxing in our recliners and ruminating about the day’s activities. Pure contentment with a thanks giving atmosphere reigned at the old Rancho Grande that night.

We were so thankful for the good help, the wonderful food, and the cattle being worked. But above everything else, hubby and I were most thankful for the love of our family. It is indeed life’s greatest blessing.

Jane Green and her husband, Jim, live near Clark. Contact Jane for some public speaking, to order one of her books, or to register your comments. E-mail her at: