Banks and I have been making our rounds everyday after school checking on the cows as we prepare for our calving season to get underway.
Just checking on the cows.
No babies on the ground yet, but we’re getting close.
Look, Mama, it’s Bob!
I was convinced we’d have at least one on Friday or Saturday since we had some weather moving in.
We had a mix of snow and ice early Saturday morning.
It was enough to make things pretty slick.
Add in the wind and it also feels pretty cold.
But still no calves.
No calves here, yo!
This all made me wonder how much longer it’d be cold before it would start warming up.
With all of the Super Bowl hoopla, I had forgotten it was Groundhog Day, but when the game became a blow-out I started surfing the web.
According to news reports obviously overshadowed by The Game, Punxsutawney Phil–you know the furry weather “forecaster”– apparently saw his shadow this year.
That’s right, SAW his shadow.
That means there’s six more weeks of winter to look forward to in 2014.
We haven’t even started calving yet.
We haven’t even started calving yet!
Being the teacher, I like a good snow day (or two or three or four), but being the wife of a farmer I have to remember that it’s a lot easier for everyone around here when the cows calve in warmer weather.
That’s a calf in the front seat of the truck in 2011.
That’s a calf in the office bathroom a few winters ago.
My friend Kelly, a rancher in New Mexico, posted on her Facebook page, “Tomorrow is groundhog hunting day…”
I’m assuming she’s not done calving either.
You better watch out, Phil.
You see, around these parts we go beyond just hunting groundhogs.
We actually have groundhog feeds.
One of the local churches in Inman hosts an annual “Groundhog Feed” every year–regardless of what Phil sees or doesn’t see.
This is St. Peter’s United Church of Christ’s 72nd annual Groundhog Feed.
Grilling Up Groundhog!
It’s a great fundraiser for the church to support their local mission projects.
People come from all over and pay $10 a person to eat all the sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, rolls, pickles, apple sauce, pie, and German sausage they want.
Oh, that kind of ground hog.
There’s a lunch rush from 11am until 1pm and it starts up again at 4pm until they run out of food.
People line up out the door.
Once you pay you are sent to the church’s basement and wait until the seats are filled.
An escort gives a brief talk on the process of seating and eating and then everyone is escorted upstairs into the dining hall where long tables fill the room.
You stay in line until your group reaches its tables and then begin filling the seats in a nice, orderly fashion.
Filling in the seats at St. Peter’s.
The meal is served family style, which means you never know who you’ll sit next to or across from, but it’s guaranteed you’ll meet someone new and see old faces, too.
What type of pie would you like?
Besides, the meal is worth every penny.
Last year we sat with some teenagers from out of state.
Did they say we were eating groundhog tonight?!?
They were visiting their grandparents in Inman. Their grandfather was too ill to go to the feed, but they experienced the tradition for him.
This year we sat with some folks from around town.
Tradition: It’s one of the beauties of small-town America.
Pass the sauerkraut, please.
Although eating ground hog won’t speed up winter or calving this year, it is always a nice way to spend a cold evening with folks.
Besides, we’ll be busy soon enough with calves.
Let’s just hope it’s nice and warm when they start arriving.