Day 22 Part 1 – Calving 2022 – Ummmm wow

A quick update. Power went out about 6pm last night. It was a tough night with the wind blowing so hard. I had long stretches of laying and wondering and worrying. It was very hard to keep myself calm. This morning we arose to a view that had Russ cussing immediately. We jumped into gear. I have been transplanted to the cowboy cottage where I have the fire going. Jill is home handling the sump pump hole which is filling as a result of the big rain that started yesterday off. We have some drainage issues to deal with. Jill s on hand to help Morgan with the heifers. Ron is busy doing all the various things he is so good at. Russ and Laurie are here dealing with the big herd. Last night had very few losses. Honestly I was expecting disaster. David is coming out soon and will be helping Ron with some feed and bedding hauling.

I wrote that last paragraph a few hours ago. I have been hosting humans for warm-ups and coffee and only a single calf. He is not doing very well. Russ is going to bring him 4 cc of Nuflor, maybe a touch of pneumonia. I think. We have had many moments that I have tried to grab pictures of. Until we have power restored, which sounds like a long way off yet, poles are broken in many places, I need to stay off my phone as much as possible.

Here are a few pictures of my day so far.

I came to the pasture first. Russ and Laurie were dealing with heifer issues at home. My job was to get the fire going. I was relieved to see the cows looking good. This moment is a “when the doctor is on the horizon” relief moment. Laurie pulling the trailer, Russ behind in the jeep.
Laurie getting the trailer backed up to the loading chute. There were 2 calves in it. Last night they got separated/lost from their Moms. We couldn’t figure it out. They came home and got bottles and shelter.
Russ and Laurie urging the calves towards the herd of Mama’s. I believe they have now both been claimed.
I discovered we had one mug at the cottage. Laurie drank from a cookie container.
Laurie posed for this picture, I told him he is a bigger rock star than Elton John. Amazing support.
David brought thermoses of coffee and Morgan brought cups from home. I was in business.
David got to bond with my calf while in the midst of his delivery of bales job. He cared for us amid the needs of his own family. Much appreciated….
My cold calf upon arrival.
Not perking up really……
Over and out from the cowboy cottage.

Carnduff for the Win

Sitting among the spectators in the Carnduff school gym on Tuesday night it was incredibly obvious that something very special was happening.  Three strands of story were coming together to create a sturdy net, catching our community in its fold.   It was the “Feel the Heat” challenge, the Carnduff Fire Department playing against the CEC Sr. Boys basketball team, as the evening unfolded it became clear that we all won just by having the chance to be there.

A post game picture of the teams.

The home team has a short history.  For the first time in 20 years the Carnduff school has put together a seniors boys basketball team.  With little experience, aside from a few members who have played with other teams, they came in as the underdogs in every league game.  With unswerving enthusiasm, growing skill and good sportsmanship they tackled each game, however there was not a game victory to be had.  This was the backstory for the home team part of the net being woven this night.

The guests on the court were men aged 19 to fifty something and one female firefighter.  They are the men and woman we call in some of our most vulnerable moments, and they rise to the task with resolve and skill every time.   They are a group who bring out deep feelings of gratitude and admiration from the community.  On this night they rose to the challenge put before them and showed up to the game with smiles, easy going spirits, hard running efforts and a few unforgettable fashion statements.

The third strand of the story was this moment in time we are living.  A community that has not had many opportunities to gather for fun in a long time was more than ready for what this night held.  A hearty mix of things that are good for the soul was being caught up in that net.  There was much laughter, delight, awe, and cheering that crossed team lines, all through the game.  It felt good……very good, with the only obvious downside being the possibility of some sore muscles come morning.  The audience that filled nearly every spare and safe spot in the gym had a great time.

So what happened?  The boys basketball team ended their season with the taste of victory.  They beat the firefighters, in a match that was never considered close in terms of score, but in terms of effort, the firemen really outdid themselves. 

What victory looks like.

There were so many things that people might be talking about or posting to social media as they do the replay of what we saw and heard at this inaugural “feel the heat” challenge.

There will be much amusement in recollecting the uniform of fire chief Clint Paton.  Decked out in a neon orange headband, black tights of some kind with knee length shorts overtop, neon orange socks and last but not least croc sandals, (in sports mode), he made a statement as soon as he entered the gym.  We all cheered when Clint sunk a basket. 

Those who love to see good basketball form will be delighting over the magic as Raf dribbled the ball, as if he was an elusive fly, always close but not stoppable, encountering every member of the firemans team within seconds it seemed, and moving right past them to get that ball one way or another into the key for CEC or the hands of a teammate . 

There is so much action and some definite smiles going on here as Raf deals with this ball.

In the crowd it was a remarkable night for a few reasons.  Its not very often that spectators in the stands at CEC are heard yelling out, “you got this Dad!”   That was the nature of much of the cheering and the signs seen.   Before the game one of the CEC basketball team was told by his father “pay attention, cause when the ol’ guys get tired they are going to start playing dirty and rough.”  It wasn’t far from the truth.  It was a more aggressive game than usual and rules became quite flexible as time went on.  In the last minute of the game the firemen had eight players on the court to CEC’s traditional 5.   No one was offended.  It was funny and seemed symbolic of their all in spirit for this game.  The crowd was privy to a very relaxed approach to the art of basketball.

Seven firefighters are seen playing in this shot!

Here a few other great moments caught on film…..

Jenn Meredith jumps high and gives the firefighters an awesome chance to get the play here.
There are alot of feet off the ground in this moment.
I think Barrett Paton should get an award for this moment.

Thinking back over what we experienced in the CEC gym on Tuesday night, it just doesn’t seem possible to say that anyone walked away having lost anything, we were all winners.