This is one of those weeks when I sat down to write my weekly thoughts and I struggled for something to say. So I started looking for inspiration by ticking off the things happening at home. The strange weather is number one – bitter cold followed by unseasonable warming. And, of course, there is the calving season getting started.
So I started out to write about calving season, but only got as far as opining that I don’t know how those hardy folks in the Dakotas and Minnesota manage calving season this time of year. “I don’t think I’m tough enough to do that,” I thought. And that’s when it hit me.
I think calving season is a great microcosm of life in general. When times get tough and it’s -30°F. and things are going in the wrong direction, you don’t pick up and head south; you buckle down and work harder. You simply do what has to be done.
Sleeping through that 3 a.m. heifer check isn’t an option when a newborn on a sheet of ice will be a popsicle in another two hours.
The truth is that the work is worth it if the victories are worth it. There’s nothing like the sight of cows and young calves frolicking on the first green grass of spring. And, if one celebrates the victories of the job, the workload becomes minimal.
There’s also no substitute for preparation. Cows in good rig, proper genetics, ample bedding and correct facilities all combine to make those -40°F wind chill nights a minor inconvenience. But if you fail to prepare, those cold nights can be really tough.
I guess the moral is to do what you love; if you love it, it’s easy.