We are finally thawing out and catching back up from a crazy freeze. We spent over 10days below freezing with most days barely getting into the teens. I saw a lot of people up north making fun of us and all of the trouble that it caused us. I grew up in Colorado and I know how to handle the cold but the fact is that we rarely get many days below freezing let alone more then two in a row to have 10 was absolutely something that we aren’t prepared to handle. Add to that the two snow storms that dumped a fair amount of snow on us when we rarely get snow at all was pretty hard to deal with. Add on top of that the fact that many of us are calving our spring calver’s didn’t make anything better.
We prepared as much as we could for the upcoming storm but there is really only so much you can do. We got some more hay, I pulled out my trusty coveralls, tried to cover faucets and hydrants as much as we could, I went grocery shopping early and said a lot of prayers that our heifers could maybe decide to not have their calves till this was over.
Then the storm hit and it was just as hard as they promised. It was pretty depressing to look at the forcast on my phone to not have any days above freezing. We spent long days breaking ice, pitching ice out of the tanks so they would stay open for a little while longer and feeding extra. We were already physically spent and then the snow came and added just that much more work. Trudging through the snow to open gates and do the regular chores just added insult to injury and then digging the feed pickup out of the snow drifts because although it didn’t look like a good idea to plow through the snow drift we didn’t have any other option to get to that set of cows.
Looking back at it now although it was extremely hard and we were physically, mentally and emotionally stress I hope that what I take as a memory from this event is that we are so much stronger then what we think we are and that we have an amazing support system. Although our circle is small it sure is a great circle that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
I remember being in gym class and my teacher telling us that we could try just a little harder and thinking that I have nothing else in my tank. Well this past storm taught me that I am so much stronger then what I thought and if you just push a little harder you can do it. It was a workout of a lifetime breaking tanks and then pitching out the ice. I would break the ice and my hubby would scoop it out. Then you add in shoveling the truck out and lifting a calf into the truck to warm it up and hiking in the snow made all of the workouts and runs that I have finished seemed like easy work. We got slower as the days went by but we never gave up. We are both in pretty good shape, we eat healthy live a pretty physically demanding life even when it’s a normal day and I make it a point to workout on a regular basis. I think that this helped but more then anything I think that the fact was we couldn’t give up. No matter how nice it looked seeing friends that were cuddled up at home under lots of blankets and hot cocoa, we had animals that were depending on us to make sure their bellies were full and they access to water and doctoring those that needed help. So I hope the next time that I want to quit I remember that old gym teacher telling me to dig a little deeper and draw from this deep freeze that I probably can probably give it a little more.
While I saw some people poking fun of the hardship that we were facing I hope that I remember all of people that offered their help and checked up on us. I was so humbled by the people that reached out to see how we were doing and to see if they could do or send anything to help. You really see who your true friends and family are when you go through something tough by who reaches out. I can’t thank our neighbor enough for cooking us an amazing meal complete with a dessert one night. It was amazing how much a home cooked meal can warm you and lift your spirts. She did this while she was taking on more chores and had her plate more then full of things to do! She is pretty amazing and we are so blessed to have her in our lives!
I am pretty sure that this Artic blast is something that we remember for along time and I hope it is something that we don’t experience again. We were extremely lucky after hearing how much some of our friends lost from this storm. Although it was not a fun experience for us and I stick to my belief that Winter is horrible even firmer, I will take some positives from this and I bet come summer I will be pretty happy with the guns that I created from all the ice chopping!
Here’s to warmer weather and hopefully the worst of winter is in our rear view mirror for this year!