Better Is One Day

Some days here fit the image that often comes to mind when folks think of farm life–serene, beautiful, peaceful days. And some don’t.

Yesterday morning we were up at 4:30 to prepare for market.  We had a couple of young does we needed to cull due to foot problems, and yesterday was the day of the goat auction at our local livestock market.  So after Cherie and I loaded one of our farm vehicles (a 12 year old Honda Pilot) with the farmer’s market items and she set off for the market in the dark, I went out into the mud and cold rain to wrestle goats. After loading our cage into the bed of our truck, I caught, tagged and loaded the goats. Just before leaving for the stock market I noticed that we had failed to load one of the crates of produce into the Pilot. So I put it in the cab of the truck and sent a Cherie a text message, saying I’d bring it after dropping off the goats.

I was first in line to unload at the stock market. As we were unloading the goats one of the workers said, “That one has the sh-ts.” Sigh. An inopportune time to contract diarrhea. But I couldn’t take them back home at that point. So I left her, knowing that it would appear she was sick and drive down the price she would bring at the sale.

After unloading the goats I changed clothes in the bathroom at the stock market and joined Cherie at the farmer’s market. Thanks to a cold hard rain, there weren’t many customers. Nevertheless, our local followers came through as they have all year and we very nearly sold out.

IMG_8390

Once the farmer’s market was over, I went back to the livestock market, just in time for the sale of our goats. They sold for about 1/2 of what I had expected, but under the circumstances I couldn’t complain.

Finally back home around 2 for a late lunch and a nap before more garden and goat work in the rain.

As I reflected on the day, I realized it wasn’t the kind of day likely to attract a person to farming.

Nevertheless I call it a good day. As I was tromping around in the mud and muck I thought, “Better is one day in these courts, than a thousand elsewhere.”

Advertisements

19 comments on “Better Is One Day

  1. shoreacres says:

    I laughed at the double-think required when I bumped up against “stock market.” Of course you didn’t mean Wall Street, but that’s the first thing that came to mind. Now I have to figure out why I’ve never heard that phrase applied to the place where you sell animals. I don’t know if there’s another phrase used around here, or if I haven’t been hanging around the sale barns enough. Interesting.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      When I was growing up we always called it the stock market. Nowadays I’d say about half of the people around here call it the stock market and half call it the livestock market.

      Like

  2. avwalters says:

    Sometimes they’re stockyards, but I prefer the double entendre.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      I was curious about the origin of the term “stock market” so I looked it up on the online etymology dictionary. Here’s the entry:

      “place where securities are bought and sold,” 1809, from stock (n.2) + market. The original Stock Market (mid-14c.) was a fish and meat market in the City of London on or near the later site of Mansion House, so called perhaps because it occupied the site of a former stocks. Stock exchange is attested from 1773.

      But I wonder if they aren’t missing the obvious. “Stock” is just a shortened form of “livestock.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. DM says:

    Bill I was thinking about you just this morning as I looked @ my attempt @ growing Mandan Bride Indian corn. Almost complete crop failure this season. I thought two myself, in spite of the dismal results, there was something nurturing to my soul harvesting something I’d grown myself, then I though of you leaving that rat race legal job you had…to intentionally shift gears and learn how to farm the ground. What a radical radical life change! Took a lot of courage, humility (as you experience the learning curve of growing things) God bless you as you work the soil and raise animals for the Glory of God. DM

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bill says:

      Aww, thanks DM. I appreciate the kind words and sentiments.

      I’ve grown accustomed to having crop failures. In fact I just came in from harvesting a handful of purple hull peas out of a garden that should be producing hundreds of pounds every couple of days. Our deer have been well fed this year. But for every failed garden it seems we’ve been fortunate to have another one producing a great crop. It’s disappointing (as you know) to have so much effort wasted, but you’re right that even when crops fail there’s something deeply satisfying about the work.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. BeeHappee says:

    I think it was the goats who were having a bad day.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Yes, their day was much worse than mine. But that was part of what made my day unpleasant. We really intensely dislike having to cull goats. These were does that I planned to keep. One had even graduated to her own number and name. But sadly they kept getting foot infections. We treated them both twice with antibiotics (something we don’t like to do) but the infections returned. They were miserable and we knew we couldn’t keep those genetics in the herd. The poor things were shivering when I unloaded them at the market. One of the workers there said they must be cold, but I knew that wasn’t the reason. They were scared. A sad day for me as well as them, but days like that come with this life.

      Like

      • BeeHappee says:

        Bill, sorry if this question makes no sense or you already answered some place earlier. Why did you guys chose to breed goats? I was recently talking to someone and they were saying how goats were the most difficult to take care of (in Illinois climate) on a diversified animal farm. It made me think of your goats.

        Like

      • Bill says:

        We got into by something of an accident. A friend gave us a couple of kids, who he said had not been bred. In the winter of 2008 they both kidded. We’ve since reduced the herd size, but by last year we had over 70 goats. 🙂 We love raising goats. They’re wonderful creatures. Boers (our breed) often have trouble kidding. That’s the only time of year they are much trouble for us. We do have some issues with internal parasites in the summer. We lost 2 goats to that this summer, but it has been worse in the past. Foot rot is another problem you can have with goats, but it has never been an issue for us until this year. That’s the reason we culled the two young does. All in all I think goats are wonderful additions to a farm like ours. From what I understand, they’re less trouble that sheep.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I am reminded of the old Peace Corps ad we used in recruiting. Is the glass half full or half empty? You are definitely a half full type of person Bill. Or possibly flowing over the top. 🙂 –Curt

    Like

    • Bill says:

      I don’t want to be a Pollyanna, but at the same time I don’t want to be one of those people who spend their life expecting the worst and always seeing the negative in everything they look at. I’m not always successful at it, but I try to keep a positive attitude. After all, even a relatively crummy day is filled with reasons to be joyful. Even on days like that, my glass runneth over. 🙂

      Like

  6. Joanna says:

    Awww blessings, you seem to have our rain. We have had so little that the ponds are drying up again this year. Difference is there is enough moisture in the air to moisten the plants and so everywhere is still amazingly green. Makes me think of how creation was watered, even without rain. Seems to work here.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      We had a very dry summer. By late September we were in a full-fledged drought. I’ve never irrigated in September before, but I was doing it this year. Then we got the rain we wanted, and more. It’s been raining for about a week now and hasn’t stopped yet. We’re a soggy mess. But down in South Carolina today they’re shattering records and experiencing once in a thousand year flooding. So compared to that we’re doing great. And it will stop raining eventually and the pastures should be in great shape now going into the winter. A few weeks ago they were brown and dead, and I expected to have to buy a lot of hay. Now I’m optimistic that we won’t need any more.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joanna says:

        Still no rain here and our pond is too low to take water from it. Having said that, we are now definitely heading into the first of winter’s blasts. Low temperatures, below freezing and maybe even a little snow before the end of the week

        Like

  7. That is how many of my days go, it seems! As Scarlett would say, “Tomorrow is another day.”

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s