Today’s topic is: “What do you love the most about your job?”
My job has a lot of variety. Most of the time, I am a mother. Part of the time, I am a wife. Occasionally I am a cook and a cleaner and a laundress and an organizer. Yet yesterday morning, I was a cattle herder, in the rain.
Just before 11am, our neighbor called me and said there were cows in her front yard. Our cows. Well, not ours officially; they belong to a farmer in Owatonna and are just visiting our wooded backyard for the summer. But they certainly weren’t supposed to be on the neighbor’s lawn! So I rushed to tell my husband, who went up to the shop to turn off the electric fence. Then I threw on my raincoat and Wellies and ran outside into the drizzle.
Sure enough, three of the eight had found their way across the fence where it had been lowered by a fallen box elder tree. With arms spread wide and while murmuring encouraging phrases, we ran all over the place and eventually got them back on the right side of the fence.
Next, my husband got his chainsaw and began taking down the fallen tree. It was tricky because it had landed on both sides of the fence and a good portion of it was still way up high. Thankfully, he has mad skills with a chainsaw and knew just where to cut so it didn’t fall down and squish him, or me, or the fence, or any of the cows.
But the cows thought that all that lush greenery he was trimming off looked like a nice lunch, so they kept trying to move in and nibble at the trimmed branches. It was my job to haul leafy branches away from the scene, to get the cows out of his way and away from the danger of additional falling tree parts. Thankfully, dragging a leafy branch is a great way to get a herd of cows to follow you.
Once the tree was safely down and off the fence and the cattle were secured on the proper side of the once-again-electrified fence, I walked the perimeter to check that there were no other fallen trees. On my way past the future site of my writer’s retreat/guest house, I saw my first hydrangea bloom! I can’t wait to be sitting on my tiny porch someday and see all their beautiful flowers!
When I got back to the house, I dried off and checked in on the girls. I found them in the living room, where my 3-year-old was in the process of changing my 2-year-old’s poopy diaper. (Thankfully, it wasn’t as disgusting as it could have been.) After a few extra minutes of cleaning up, everyone got dressed again, and I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch.
Never a dull moment when you have cows and preschoolers. Gotta love this job!
~ Phoebe DeCook