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Monday, May 2, 2016

Take Two: A Smile in the Storm

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mother Nature certainly proved the point that she was in charge Sunday evening.

The sight from my front stoop wasn't pretty the next morning. Trees and massive stumps had been deposited in our lane as if they were nothing more than Lincoln Logs in the rushing river that once was our quiet and babbling creek.

Our cattle were momentarily "free range" as they roved around what once was a bean field, and now resembled a patch of six-inch deep slop.

To top it off, the bridge on our gravel, built just a few short years ago to withstand the 100-year flood, was littered with logs and missing its approaches as the water had easily swept over the railings, proving Mother Nature's power is beyond such things as planning and predictions.

However, from those startling sights, a series of spectacular stories emerged. One in particular brought a smile to my face and forced me to wipe away the tears and take a moment to appreciate how much had survived that scary situation.

After we corralled our cattle, we realized that one of the mother cows was missing her calf. The pair had been located in the pasture next to the creek, and we were all sure that the calf was gone for good. We were simply going to let the cow figure that fact out for herself, allowing her to wander around the farm until she accepted he was lost. Her sad cries brought tears to my eyes as she searched.

We spent most of the afternoon hauling the rest of the herd to high ground, one calf short, but still fortunate that so many of the cattle had headed to the one high spot that had become an island when the surge of water hit.

Around 3 p.m., as we were loading the last of the cows into the trailers, the unbelievable happened.

In rolled Tracy and Angie Stevenson's pick-up into the yard, with their son Trent in the truck bed holding a little red calf.

They knew that we were missing one, and during their drive to survey the damage, they saw the lucky little tyke wandering up a gravel approximately 1/2 mile upstream from the pasture the calf had come from.

Immediately, Dad threw the calf in the trailer and reunited the little tiger with his mom at the barn. There, he took in a fast and furious meal before being let out on the hill pasture, full of warm milk and running stride for stride with his mom.

That was the happy ending we all needed, the pick-me-up at the end of a long day, and the smile that reminded us to do a double take and recount everything we hadn't lost.

I have a plaque that sits on an old trunk in my room that reads, "Count the really good blessings twice." I think I might count this one three times.