Imagine having spent a pleasant evening having some steaks with some friends after building a fence around the yard to keep the latest canine addition to the farm in a confined area.
Imagine then going bowling with said friends and enjoying each other’s company while attempting not to break any fingernails but still hit SOME pins while also paying attention to the Oklahoma State – Kansas State football game on the television.
Then imagine saying goodbye to your friends and driving home in the dark with your husband to catch the rest of the football game and as you are driving down the road within the speed limit, a police car speeds past you with its lights on.
You make a comment like, “I wonder who he’s going after,” and then continue to have a nice pleasant conversation.
Then imagine the police cruiser turns down the road that you live on and you begin to wonder what’s happening in the neighborhood (my neighborhood is about an eight mile square).
Then imagine the cruiser’s lights and brake lights come on right in front of your drive, he proceeds to pull into your drive, shine his spotlight in your yard, orchard, pasture and outbuildings, and you immediately get “that” feeling in the pit of your stomach as you really begin to wonder what the heck is going on.
Yeah, that was my Saturday night.
In a matter of ten seconds I had about one hundred possible scenarios that ran through my mind when I realized that, YES, a sheriff’s cruiser—with lights a’glowing–was parked in our drive and shining his spotlight all around our property.
Was there a fire?
Was there a gas leak?
Was someone breaking in?
Was Swirls the Cat all right?
Did Swirls accidentally dial 9-1-1?
Had someone broken in and now stuck in the house?
Was there a fugitive holed up in the house?
Did the new dog get out and start a fire?
Was Buddy the Bad Dog holding the new dog hostage?
See what I mean? I tend to have these thoughts.
We soon discovered, however, that the dogs were behaving themselves, there was not an axe murderer on the lam, Swirls was fast asleep on the couch, and there was no fire.
When I looked closely to where the sheriff’s deputy was spotlighting I could see a lot of eyes glowing. That’s normal since our pasture starts just on the other side of our apple orchard and the cattle hang out there on occasion. But when I really looked I realized that all of those glowing eyes were on black cows that were on the wrong side of the fence. And after looking even closer I realized those weren’t even our cattle.
Over the next few minutes the deputy was making phone calls to see who had cattle out. We had multiple vehicles pull into our driveway and tell us that they almost hit the beasts. We had other vehicles slow down to see what all the commotion was about. It was a circus!
Luckily, we found out where the cattle belonged. The problem was that by the time we figured out where the 12 cows were supposed to be, they had decided that it would make more sense to tear down our electric fence and join our herd. Awesome!
Fence them in—we’ll deal with them in the morning!
So after Adam got the fence back up, we went over to our neighbor’s house and discovered another sheriff’s deputy driving his cruiser through the field pushing more rogue cattle towards a holding pen.
Now, imagine chasing black cattle in the dark because the moon is small and there are no streetlights to be found within a 10-mile radius. This was not an easy task. It was quite frustrating and you’re completely wound up because the cattle are completely wound up.
Which might explain why Adam and I totally missed experiencing the Great Quake of 2011 Saturday night.
Sunday morning we rounded up the neighbor cattle that were mingling with our herd.
Thanks in part to the Pavlovian conditioning that was conducted this summer, our cattle still come running whenever they hear the four-wheeler or the mule in the pastures because they know eating range cubes is in their future.
And sure enough, with Dwight driving the mule, me ridding shotgun, and Adam on the four-wheeler, we became the Pied Piper leading our cattle—with promise of range cubes– to the working pens. The neighbor cattle joined in, too. It was the smoothest round-up I’ve ever been a part of.
Maybe I should train these cattle to sort themselves next.
In other news from the farm…
It rained Monday—which was great because we haven’t had a lot of that stuff in a while. The guys left early—like 4 am early—and drove to Tulsa to watch some calves sell so I had the house to myself Monday night. The time change makes it get dark quickly in the evenings, but I’m not complaining.
As I was driving to Bible study Monday night, I missed my turnoff and decided to turn down a dirt road to correct my mistake. Unfortunately, what I thought would be an easy correction ended up turning into a big, muddy mess.
I missed Bible study because of it.
My mother-in-law had to come rescue me because of it.
When the guys got home after a very long day they had to deal with it.
And now I get to drive my mother-in-law’s vehicle on Tuesday because of it.
Which leads me to my first item on this year’s Christmas wish list that I came up with while sitting in the car thinking about it: I would like a tank. That’s right, a tank. A tank that runs on tracks so I don’t have to deal with this mess again.
Whenever it even looks like it’s going to rain, I’ll just rev up my tank and plow through anything Mother Nature or the dirt roads want to throw my way. It might take me a bit longer to get to where I’m going, but by golly I’ll get there!!
While dealing with being stuck in the mud and beginning my Christmas wish list, I apparently missed another earthquake.
I wouldn’t have known about it but my sister called me to let me know she’d felt the Monday night quake. They were also under tornado warnings Monday night where she lives. I think she was caught off guard by two things threatening them at one. I know I would’ve been.
What do I do?? Earthquake—go outside.
No wait, there’s a tornado—go back inside!
Thus completes the full circle of chaos that has been part of our lives the last 48 hours. Let’s hope the rest of the week is calm and Oklahoma stops shaking and Swirls the Cat gets motivated to move off the couch.