We've been in a serious drought back home for a couple of years. Yep, you heard me, I said a couple of years. When this mess all started, we had about 300 ewes or so and about 90 cows. And then the rain stopped. This means two things.
First, the grass in the pastures doesn't grow, so the cattle and sheep do not have enough to eat.
|Compare 2009 to 2012|
We needed rain to fix both of these problems. And so, we waited. And we prayed. And we bought hay. And my mom drove to pick up more feed. And we sold cows. And we waited. But the rain gauge remained dry. And my mom drove to pick up more feed. And we sold sheep. And a fire came. And we bought more hay. And we waited. And we prayed. But the rain gauge remained dry. So has been the pattern for the last two years.
The conversations keep getting harder. "I know all the cows had calves, but we have to cull 10 anyway." "We are just going to take the ewes from the lease land in the mountains straight to the sale barn instead of bringing them home." "We'll sell another bull because he's big and needs a lot of feed." "We've all got to pitch in to afford to buy this next load of hay." And most recently, the worst. "If it doesn't rain by June 15, we are going to have to sell the rest of the cows."
And then, on June 12, just in time, the rain came. Two inches, to be exact. That might not mean a lot to some people, but to us, it means that the cows and the sheep get to stay. That means we can plant the fields--full of the crops we need in order to make it through the winter. That means a smile on my dad's face.
To us, it means a reward for the waiting. An answer to the prayer. To us, it means everything.
* Linking up with Rural Thursdays.