We had quite a frustrating day on back on the 6th. One of those times where I just started to question what it is I am doing here. This is an unfortunate phenomenon. In reality, I am convinced that God authorized our move to Batson. It was so incredibly clear at the time. The main indicator was that the story of Abraham leaving Ur kept coming up independently. But now, it can be different. Now that we are here and there is little money and our home site is being turned into an oilfield and we can’t pen cows because we only have one working horse and one untrained cow dog, it is a different story. Saturday was one of those days.
On Friday night, we saw some cows in the Old Field, so we tolled them in with cubes. We led them to our newly constructed trap, but the calves would not go through the gate. However, the mommas to these calves did. A little calf will not have any trouble getting through a barbed wire fence, even a good one, so I decided to leave them there overnight and let the calves work their way in. The next morning, we were very pleased to see that the two untagged calves were in there! Easy, right? Well, not so much. All the cows went from the trap in to the Calf Patch, but all four calves balked at the muddy hole they had to go through at the gate. I gently got around them and managed to ease in three of them, but the one calf left just wouldn’t see the way in. She eventually got around me, went through the fences out into the Old Field. The rest of the morning was spent trying to catch that one calf. I even got him cornered next to the pens. I tackled him, wrestled, him, but couldn’t get his legs out from underneath him. That and the mud helped him get away. [Excuse the fact that the calf tends to change sex in the story. The general rule is that if a calf is out grazing in the field it can be a girl, but if you are wrestling it “she” becomes a “he”.] By this time, I was enraged. I couldn’t wrestle a tiny little calf, something I had done countless times in the past, and I couldn’t rope it because I couldn’t get close enough on foot. I had had enough. We reset the trap, hoping that he would come in and we tagged the other one.
I would like to say that this scene was an isolated incident, but frustrations like this are a part of ranching with no money. Here’s what was different this time. We went home, ate, and calmed down. Anna’s devotional had been about being thankful in all things. We made an effort to do that. We tagged the one calf that we did get into the pens. We went and fixed a hole in the fence that we had discovered. It occurred to me that because we made an effort to change our attitudes and to be truly grateful for the things that had gone right, we were able to see the truth of the day. That truth was that we did some valuable fence repair. We tagged half of the calves that we had in the trap, I took a ride on Scout, and I worked with Silver. This, in reality was a good day. One of the things that made it good was that because we purposed to be thankful, we could see the good. May God continue to make it easier for us to do this.