Monday, October 10, 2011

A Prayer Answered... by Mr. Murphy

Well, it had to happen. Some day, they said, it will rain again in Texas. Personally, I counted on it being sometime after Dec 21, 2012.

But I was wrong. Sunday morning, it finally turned loose in Medina County. By noon, we had received about three inches of much needed rain. Only one problem... I still had to move a bunch of cattle to market with Dad and my sister. Oh well, just like the Post Office... neither rain, nor sleet... blah blah blah... Cowboys moving cattle.

So, Sunday morning, we waited for the lightning to stop and my Uncle Ron came over from Devine to help us. Dad and I had penned all the cattle on Saturday night, so we just needed to sort and ship on Sunday. Easier said than done in the rain. But, it needed to happen. So I slapped on the mud boots, put a couple of towel and dry shirt in the truck, and down we went to the pens.

Slipping and sliding, thanking God for rain and Four Wheel Drive. After spending about an hour separating cows from calves, and keeper from shippers, we got the first load on the truck and headed to Hondo. Dropped off the load, had one cow that went "down" in the trailer (but fortunately got back up because you can't sell a "down" cow) and back to Yancey we head. So far, so good.

Get back in the pasture to the pens, and load up the second run... and then our good friend Mr. Murphy (and his Law) show up. Three inches of rain on parched ground means one thing... MUD. And what happens when you put a fully loaded cattle trailer and truck in the mud?

Approximately 18,000 pounds of going nowhere fast, that's what happens! STUCK.

Damn. Well, that's why we have the McCormick.

I walked the 3/4 mile back to the house, grabbed the tractor and the tow chain, and headed back south. 2 years ago there was ZERO chance I made the walk. I'd send Dad. Well, now its easy. Head back to the pens in the tractor, and pull out the truck.

Off to Hondo for round two.

Easy drop off, and back to Yancey to collect the last half load of cows and then we need to go to Blackcreek to sort those cattle and collect another half a trailer for the load. Of course, you can see this coming... and its the reason I left the tractor at the pens. STUCK again. Almost twice. But with a little help from my uncle, we get the truck back to the chute, load up the cows. BANG MY HEAD ON THE DOOR TO THE TRAILER! ***DIRTY WORDS HERE*** Still got a bump on the head today.

Loaded up, hit the gas. Nothing. Check the 4WD. Engaged. Low gear. Check. Mud? Yeah, more mud. Stuck again. Well, pull out with the tractor and off to Blackcreek. Easy in to Blackcreek, there haven't been 3 trips on the ground yet.

Get our cows separated, and load the mammas. Head to Hondo for round three. And Mr. Murphy shows up again. Turn onto 30th St in Hondo, and blow a tire on the trailer. Now, I don't know if you have ever tried to change a tire on a fully loaded cattle trailer, but I have, AND IT AIN'T ANY FUN. Well, we catch a break. Butter Crane, owner of the Union Livestock Auction happened to be driving by with a half full trailer (longer than ours.) He offers to haul the cows for us the last couple of miles. Middle of the road trailer swap? Sure... why not?

After almost breaking a cow's leg by getting caught between trailers (a little good luck here) we send Butter on his way and I get the trailer up on blocks and change the tire. ***Best practice here: If hauling a double axle trailer, have a collection of 4x4 and 2x6 boards in your trailer and you can drive up on the blocks alleviating the need for a jack.***

Hey, since we are at it, and its going to be a tight load for 14 calves and a mamma cow in our trailer, why don't we get Butter to haul our last load. Well, and it saves me an hour of driving and I can get home earlier. Sure... I am sure he will charge us something, but it was worth it. Get the last load on his trailer, send him to town, and head back to Yancey to collect the pup and head back to Austin.

Final count? 24 cows, 2 bulls, and 15 calves. Should be a nice check, but I would have liked to keep the calves a little longer. Unfortunately, the rain was about 2 months late and I am out of grass and down to 19 hay bales with no line of sight to getting any more hay. Gotta ship em.

Finally got home at 10PM last night, exhausted, and headed straight to bed. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

We'll see what the week holds... I know I have a dinner Tuesday night, a happy hour on Wednesday, and optometrist appointment on Thursday.

Friday night, Brandon Jenkins , the Red Dirt legend, will be at Hanover's in Pflugerville. Saturday is Temi's birthday party, and Sunday will be two years of dating Jina so we are going to go have a nice dinner at Parkside in downtown Austin. You will have to wait until then for food porn!

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