In the past couple weeks a few people have asked me how I like living in my new town of Sticksville. Even my grandparents have asked.
I am actually enjoying being up here. I'm enjoying the fresh air and the work. I didn't really enjoy my little shitscapade, even though I did laugh over it. I mean, the only alternative was to be pissed, but that really wouldn't have gotten me anywhere but deeper in shit. Um, literally.
It's cold here in the mornings. My first week on the ranch it was snowing and windy and just plain freezing. In some cases it was about 10 degrees, maybe a little cooler. Yeah. That's cold. More recently it's been a nice warm 20-something in the mornings. Still cold, but better than 5 degrees.
The thing is, that unless it's really bad weather, I'm walking to my job. It's about a block to my grandparents house. I love the feel of the cold air on my face, it helps wake me up. This morning I had snow flurries falling on me as I walked. I'm working outside. Yes, it's a damned dirty job and it's not easy. I admire my grandparents for having done this for 20 years. My grandfather has actually been doing it a lot longer - I mentioned in another post that my parents were married in the late 70s at the ranch at it's previous location.
Do I miss my co-workers? Yes. Do I miss my volunteer gigs? Most definitely.
Do my muscles hurt? Some of them, yes. Do I have a few bruises? Sure. Have I gotten myself stuck in cow mudshit and have to be rescued? But of course.
I'm not afraid of hard work. I enjoy working with animals. I enjoy being outdoors.
Every morning I wake up around 6am. I sit on the couch and read, or I'll check my email. I open the front blinds and I look out on my grandparents ranch. I'm on the ranch by 7:30, more than likely having walked there. It takes us about an hour to feed all the cows. Papa D and I take buckets of grain into the bulls. K takes grain to a cow that they are nursing back to health. A bucket of grain goes to the heifers. We then take a truck into where the Spring cows are (and we check for new calves - none yet, we're hoping the cows are waiting for better weather!). K and I haul hay off the truck in increments for the Spring herd. Papa D and I go to feed the Fall cows, while K feeds the full grown bulls that are kept in separate pens. After the Fall cows, I test the electric fence and then climb over a fence to put hay in the calf feeder for the Fall calves. Then I ride on the tractor with Papa D to feed hay to the young bulls.
Sunday morning, when I tested the fence in the Fall cows field, I didn't get a reading. I had to run up to the house to get K to help me figure out what the problem could be. Papa D was on the tractor loading hay onto the the trucks for the next day. She and I took one of the ATV's out and circled the pasture 3 times. We never could figure out what the cause of the problem was. But we made some cow mudshit go flying. Always a good tip on a ranch: "Keep your mouth shut." Even if you're the only one on the ATV, shit goes flying. Just sayin'. K had to jerry-rig the wires to make the fence work all the way around.
By the time we're done, I've worked up a sweat and I'm definitely ready for a nice HOT shower. And as in the case of Sunday, I got a bit muddy. Flying cow shit and all.
So, yes, I am enjoying it in Sticksville. The people I've come across have been friendly and have welcomed me to their town. I'm learning a lot, and I know I still have tons to learn. Will I be any good at any of it? Who knows for sure, but I'll give it a shot.
But I will take the job that allows me to see the sun rise every day. Well. Weather permitting, of course.