If we had to do what we do all alone, we would perish. Our ranch would fail. We would fight more battles than we already do, among our animals, with each other, with our property. We are good at many things, masters of a few, I make bread and buns I am very proud of. When Russell rides a horse I say he is like “poetry in motion”, he wears his heart on his sleeve like none other. Morgan is a witty and courageous cowboy. Jillian has hands on animal and equipment skills, many skills. Ron is capable of so many kinds of repairs, although its fence repair at the top of his list these days. These are things we excel at. And we also struggle. There is so much we can’t do. We are so needful of others. I really suck at yardwork and paperwork. Russell is not naturally handy. Morgan has not had the chance to get past the beginner stage on lots of maintenance skills. Jill has her mind on things other than the ranch. Gina is more and more shifting away from the ranch which means we are one skilled person short. We do what we do well and behind the scenes there is also a bit of chaos, things left undone, ragged edges, things needing fixing and we look at all this and feel embarassment, feel overwhelm, wonder how to tackle what needs done and then make calls and texts inviting help. Its so humbling and at the same time kindv’e exciting and rewarding. The people coming together moments create good feelings. This past weekend was a vivid case of our need creating many, many memorable moments.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch there were arrivals happening. Calves just kept being born but more importantly family from Saskatoon and Regina arrived to help Russ on the ranch, not because Jill and I were gone, but its just how things lined up. It was our Regina cousin Jen who supplied me with most of the pictures in this post.
Russell’s sister Tammy knew that Jill and I were away and called to offer to make supper for Morgan and Russ. When she learned that there were six to feed she didn’t hesitate to generously provide a hot and nourishing meal. This charged up the crew for the night ahead which was an important project.
For most of the weekend Russ and I were surrounded by others and didn’t have time to text anything other than the bare essentials. I have screenshots here of our texting. Cows who have freshly calved and talk of rain. Thats basically it.
I am fiercely independent and have a real challenge to delegate and ask for help. I don’t like to bother people. It feels terrible to be needy. ( A whole blog post about this is almost ready for the Tenderlands series.) But the bottom line……
This post is to share what happened at the ranch on Monday. I have made “the cavalry” the theme because it was a day where several things went wrong and four times help arrived. It is unbelievable how much my feelings shift when we go from a place of struggling to cope with a moment or circumstance to tackling it together with someone who has the power to help.
The first part of our day involved the vet Marcel coming to do a c-section. He gave me permission to take pictures of his work and to use them in the blog. So this is a warning that about 15 of the pictures in this post are of this surgical process to get a too large calf removed from a cow. I had never seen it done before and wasn’t sure I wanted to stay and watch. I kind’ve made myself and I am glad I did. It was really interesting.
Things were made complicated at this point in the day by an equipment problem that emerged. It was not urgent exactly but Russ called his cousin at Fast Trucking for a consult. By the end of the day Fast Trucking had been out twice, to assess and then deal with the issue we had. With their expertise what we thought was a big deal turned out to be not too big at all. That was episode two of the Cavalry arrival in our day.
It is now Wednesday morning and I am about to hit the publish button on this post that I have poked away at as time has permitted over the last 24 hours. As I sit here pondering this day we lived I cannot help but notice there are some seriously deep threads that could be looked at much more closely. One of those threads is about the instinct to help another, it is just so major. I see this as holy, as something God has put in the human heart. So when we are helped by another I see it as a sign, God is at work. To be in so much need and to have help come, even when it is help like Marcel’s which will have a bill attached to it, its still an experience of being provided for and deep gratitude seems the only fitting response (and paying the bill of course….lol). When the help comes as a gift, such as Laurie and Dawson’s hours and Tate’s moments with us, it just feels like love. God knows we all need that. One other deeper thread to notice is just how much suffering has resulted in the last year because we have not been free to be each others calvary arrival. There are so many that have had to struggle through all manner of difficult things with a bare minimum of help because of the need to distance. I hope the experiences of this pandemic can remind us just how very much we mean to one another and guide us in good directions going forward.