Earlier this week, I asked readers to answer the question, “How much snow did you get over the weekend?” Some readers reported up to 6 in. of snow, while others had just under a half-inch of rain. Meanwhile, others asked, “what’s snow and rain?” It’s been so long since some of us have seen moisture with this drought, it’s hard to remember what a blizzard or downpour looks like anymore!
In Mitchell, SD, we received about 9.6 in. of snow, and while my husband, Tyler, and I were outside doing chores in the storm this weekend, we talked about its potential impact. We are just getting started with calving season, and it certainly takes a little more management to calve cows in a blizzard than on a mild, sunny winter day.
For some reason, the snow made me unbelievably chipper. I was all smiles and laughs as we trudged through the heavy, wet snow to get the cattle fed, roll out straw for bedding, chop out waterers and pen up heifers ready to calve. Meanwhile, Tyler seemed a little bit down.
“Don’t you like the snow?” I asked, deliriously happy, as I pictured that much-needed moisture soaking into the soil.
“Well sure, Mandy, I just don’t like the mud that follows,” he replied.
And, there lies the real point of this blog, perspective. Tyler is usually pretty upbeat, but there's no doubt about it, wet snow and mud can put a damper on anyone’s spirits while out doing chores and calving cows. I admit, I can sometimes fall into the trap of looking at the glass as half-empty, especially on days when things just don’t go right. I’ve learned that the cattle business has plenty of highs and lows and, instead of getting down about things, it’s important to keep looking up and thinking forward.
Instead of getting bummed about the snow and mud that plagues ranchers during calving season, picture the moisture helping your pastures to green up this spring. Instead of complaining about the high cost of feed, get in touch with your nutritionist and explore lower-cost options. Instead of criticizing politicians in Washington, D.C., pick up the phone and call your elected officials to let them know the challenges you are facing back home. Keep things in perspective and the day-to-day chores will seem a lot easier and more enjoyable, too.
How do you keep things in perspective when the going gets tough? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
As promised, today I announce the winners of the three, limited-edition western art prints signed and numbered by the artist. Congratulations to: Julie Feldhaus, Roger Huckfeldt and Amanda Emery. You all win a copy of “The Overseers,” by Jack Sorenson. Thanks to all who participated!