An Interesting 24 Hours

Sometimes being a ranch wife in the winter means its possible to stay put and days unfold within familiar walls and routines. I like that. Today was not one of those days. I would like to record and share the details of this different day, I enjoyed it too.

This 24 hours started last night around 10:30pm when I realized that I had missed the chance to visit with my friend Deb on her birthday. I had been working on writing a sermon and ordering gifts and I was like a dog with a bone with those things, I had neglected my friendship with Deb. Now here is a weird detail of our recent friendship. Deb brought a watermelon when she came for a visit in August. We had been having a really hard summer before her arrival and things got much better after her visit, so I decided that her watermelon, which never did get cut up, was in fact a lucky watermelon and I never could bring myself to throw it out even after its freshness had passed. It changed location eventually, and when it did it gained a costume, a tiger suit. Anyways it was holding strong as of yesterday, hanging out on our porch table. Well, I decided that yesterday night it was time to take it out to the dumpster and incorporate that action into Deb’s birthday celebration. I recorded a voice memo while standing beside the dumpster, sang Happy Birthday to Deb in the blowing blizzardy snow fall, recording the sound of the watermelon going into the dumpster and told Deb, and later Russell, “new year, new memories.” So, regular readers will have heard of the watermelon saga before, and this is the last chapter, it finally went out. I know all of this makes me incredibly weird, I prefer to think of it as quirky but honestly this stupid stuff is what makes life fun.

11pm – On my way out to the dumpster.

After a short night our entire family was up early and on the road to North Portal where I led a 9am worship service. The snow that had fallen overnight made that a hard trip but Russ drove our dually truck and we got there safely. This little town is about 85km to the west and south of us, it is right on the border with the United States. A very memorable embarrassing moment happened there for me that I cannot provide details on but will be part of our family lore for the entire rest of my life. So that was spicy.

As we approached the church we were the first ones to make tracks in the snow. Russ said, “grab a picture of this Kathy, thats a sign of a dedicated minister!”

The service went well, I was a bit flustered and had printed my sermon notes with way too small and crowded a print. I had to really concentrate to speak with my head up and keep my place in the sermon. There was great hospitality, Morgan just loved it that when he arrived he could grab a cup of coffee that had been brewing. It turned out there were people already there, they had made tracks in different snow than we did. As we pulled out of town afterwards it was rather a thrill to be so close to the customs buildings at the border. It has been so long since we have gone through customs. We made the drive from North Portal to Estevan in decent time, the roads were already alot better after snowplows had been down them. Russ dropped me at the church and then took the kids to the mall. We didn’t think it would be fair to ask them to do church twice in one day, the exact same service. Russ whipped back and slipped in a bit late. He was thrilled to be welcomed aloud and by name by several in the congregation. I had mentioned he would be slipping in late and why. I offered a sermon probing the connection between righteousness and compassion. I really enjoyed the preparation of it.

Russ took this picture of me in the pulpit in Estevan. I didn’t realize he had. It was kind’ve cool to see, like “oh, this is what I look like when doing my thing….hmmm.”

A trip to the mall followed where we met the kids at Peavey Mart. I think one of the cardinal rules of being a rancher is you never waste a trip to the big city by only doing one thing. We are in the market for a couple more gate panels so Peavey Mart was a must. Russell has been working on an ambitious re-organizing of our handling system within the pole shed. He really enjoys tinkering with our set-ups and scheming to make jobs go more efficiently and safely.

This was taken last week when Russ was trying to explain to me what his vision was for how these gates could be refigured.

Thinking we had a little more time than we actually did we went for lunch at Russell’s favorite place in Estevan and then hit the road. We had a bull sale to get to.

I was so happy to have the kids along. This shot between Estevan and Carnduff enroute home is pretty white outside the windows. It was snowing again.

The bull sale was held only about 12 miles south of our place so I dropped the boys off late to the sale, then took Jill home, changed my clothes, grabbed a farm cheque, grabbed some beer for the next thing we were heading to and I returned to the bull sale. By the time I got there Russ had bought 3 bulls and we had our quota. I got to watch the rest of the sale unfold. It was incredible how technology was used to make that sale work seamlessly in the midst of a very snowy winter Saskatchewan day. It was nice to see people I knew, including the owner of all the bulls. When we caught each others eyes during the sale we exchanged warm waves and smiles, I had already enjoyed these moments with a couple other people, but this is when Russell said to me, “Kathy, you have to stop waving at people, we are going to buy something we don’t want!” Sometimes I feel like deep down I am always going to be a city girl.

The Bayliss bull shoppers.
The man on the left is watching for bidders, the auctioneer is behind that desk, as is Wes the friend who is hosting the sale. There were several staff on laptops and phones monitoring online and telephone bids. The animal being bid on is seen on the screen, an identical screen is on the other side. We watched short video clips of the bulls and bred heifers filmed on a warmer day. If we had been there earlier we could have walked among the bull pens and had a good look at the animals for ourselves.

Once we paid our bill we headed out because we had a football party to get to. We joined our cousins the Connellys to watch the western final of the Canadian Football League. Our team was playing. We were late for the game but given that we are not huge football fanatics we probably got to see enough. We really enjoyed the relaxed time and the visiting, the only thing that could have made it better is if our team had won. It was very close. Dawson made a crusty cheezy baked dip that was hard to stay away from. All the snacks were good. The food at football parties is definitely a large part of the fun. We came home a couple hours ago and I decided that I would either write about all this or go to bed early. The writing won out. Tomorrow is slated to be a stay in my own four walls kind of day and i think I am going to enjoy that! Isn’t life something though? Every once in a while you get alot to digest, as if it were a six course dinner!