Last year in mid-summer, I purchased a couple of tickets to see country singer Connie Smith. I'm sure I paid $30 or $40 each for those tickets, but I like Connie, and Cliff REALLY likes her. We record the Marty Stuart Show on RFDTV (Marty Stuart is Connie's husband) and Cliff fast-forwards all of the show except for Connie's song. I think the show at Truman Lake Opry was scheduled for last November, but Connie was sick and couldn't make it. So they rescheduled her for April 11.
I totally forgot the show. Well, I knew it was coming up at some point, but I forgot when it was until the middle of last week, when I happened to notice where I had written it on the calendar. I rejoiced, because the tickets were paid for and we weren't doing anything else. I knew I would have to milk the cow a couple of hours early before we went, but that's no big deal.
Unfortunately, when the time came, the cows were nowhere to be found. I walked back to "the point" and called, but got no answering "moo" from Grace. I told Cliff I'd just have to milk her when we got home at 11 o'clock.
I have been telling Cliff and the grandson for days that I thought the cows had been getting out and then following Gracie back home at milking time. That might sound like a strange thing to happen, but I can think of at least four or five times I've had cows have do this; one of the times was when Cliff was in the hospital with his gall bladder fiasco. Arick assured me there couldn't possibly be a fence down because he had been "all over" looking for mushrooms the other day. Cliff insinuated I was a worry-wort, just like my mother. In the old days, I would have walked the fence myself, but that is SO painful with my knees the way they are, so I just hoped for the best. Let me say right here that I don't care how much it hurts me, if I suspect the cows are getting out again, I WILL walk the fence... if I have to crawl. It would have saved us a lot of grief if I had done that this time, and we wouldn't have missed Connie Smith.
We got as far as Higginsville, less than twenty miles from home, when my cell phone vibrated. I don't know how the ringer got turned off, but it only vibrated, which I wouldn't have known if my purse hadn't been laying in my lap. It was a neighbor down the road. "Do you have Jersey cows?" John asked.
Well, nobody else around here is crazy enough to keep Jersey cows, so I knew the news wasn't going to be good. John informed me that he had just gotten three cows off 224 highway. Those cows had to have gone on a good little jaunt to end up at John's house, because they got out the back somehow, followed the Old Mine Road to 224, and were probably heading home by way of the highway because it was milking time.
So much for our seeing Connie Smith. Maybe she will make another appearance someday.
I would love to tell you all the details of our cattle roundup, but it would take more time than I want to spend. John had gotten them off the highway and was attempting to get them to his barn, right alongside the road, when they decided to go exploring in another direction where a neighbor's cows were grazing. Thank goodness Grace is a pet and is sort of halter-broke, because with John's help we fashioned a halter out of a rope, I led Grace to the barn, and with some encouragement from Cliff and John, the bull and Penny followed. The barn sits on a slope, so in order for the cows to get into the cattle trailer, they had to make a two-foot jump. This doesn't come naturally to cows, and the first attempt to load them was unsuccessful because the stubborn bull was in front. Cliff jacked up the front end of the trailer so the rear would be lower for the cows to climb into; the cows rearranged themselves so long-legged Grace was in front, and she stepped up into the trailer followed by the other two. Of course, when they all headed toward the back of the trailer, it went down on that end and it was impossible to hook it back up to the pickup. It was a "Murphy's Law" sort of day. Cliff got so frustrated that I seriously thought he was going to have a heart attack.
Cliff went to the house and got a handy-man jack, which saved the day, and we came home with our three cows, who are safely locked in the big lot for now with a bale of hay to eat. It's raining, but the rain is supposed to let up by noon. So after church I guess Cliff and I will go find out where the cows have been escaping and see what it will take to fix the fence.
It sure would have been a lot more fun to see Connie Smith, but you probably know by now that one of my favorite quotes is "man plans, God laughs".
The good thing about having a blog is that when things go wrong, I have a place to vent. And sometimes the worst happenings turn into the best blog entries.
One thing I forgot to mention: We SO appreciate John's help. He and his wife were hosting a family get-together with children and grandchildren (one son and his family live in Iowa, so they don't have that many family gatherings where everybody is in attendance). I will never forget his willingness to drop out of their activities for an hour or so and come to our rescue.