Special person is missed very much

I had planned for the following to run with my column in last week’s edition, but I think I was too long-winded:
It’s been a year now since we lost a very special person in our circle of friends. He was taken too soon, too sudden, and too young.
I miss him asking “How is Karma?” I miss him telling me the mill gossip. I miss seeing his excitement for calving, weaning, preg. checking, and hauling cattle.
I wish he could have been at his son’s wedding. I wish he could have held his grandchild. I wish he would have been able to retire and live his dream of being a full-time farmer.
I am thankful for all the good times and memories we all have of you, Gary.
I was very pleased and honoured to be asked to do Gary’s eulogy last year, but I have not yet been able to take my envelope with my words and pictures out of my truck. I have been carrying it above my visor for a year now.
There hasn’t been a day that you haven’t been thought of—and missed.
• • •
I was supposed to head off to Thunder Bay this past week to check out Thunder Oak Cheese, but for some reason my gut instinct told me to stay at home.
I have a hard time leaving work when we are still struggling to get seed in the ground.
It turned out that the tractor broke down, so we had to quit seeding anyway. But I always have trouble leaving home and it turned out that I came home to a dead calf! I would have been very upset to come home to these things, so it was likely better to stay home.
Thankfully, John Deere fixed out tractor for the next day but I have no idea what happened to my very nice, big heifer calf (it never happens to the scruffy-looking ones; usually only the ones that are doing well and on you keeper list).
Just one of those things. And as Dr. Cannon used to remind me (when I was feeling sorry for myself), “If you are going to have livestock, you are going to have dead-stock!”
• • •
My cows are happy! We spent the entire day Saturday sorting, finishing vaccinating, and hauling them to pasture.
Grandpa had picked up Madison for the cow hauling weekend on Friday (she has done this now for three years). She told me a few times “my cow is Darma and we are not hauling her anywhere, and we cannot chase her and I don’t want her in the bush!”
Darma is at home.
About 10 million questions and five trips over to pasture in Blackhawk, we had this task completed. It was a long day. I think I’m getting older because this task used to seem simple, but I was beat at the end of the day.
We always have to try and hurry hauling cattle at this time of the year since I have a Phoebe that nests in the goose neck of the trailer–every year. The baby birds had just hatched earlier this week and I would think it was a pretty long day for them.
But mom and dad Phoebe were back in the trailer as soon as we parked it.
Some years we have had only eggs; another large baby birds and we were worried about them falling out. And one year, I didn’t unhook the truck from the trailer and my cat got them.
• • •
Sunday morning we ended up taking Ms. Madison down to Stratton to visit a baby fawn that had be rescued from a dog dragging it off. It was adorable.
I am amazed that any of these little creatures ever survive as they are so darn small.
I know we have too many deer, but it would take an awful miserable person that wouldn’t want to help a little creature like this.
• • •
Madison also enjoyed helping my boyfriend/partner check the minnow traps. She had a couple of minnows in a little dish at her house.
When Clayton asked her where they were, she replied, “My minnows died and we flushed them and now they are in the Rainy River.”
• • •
So we know that Madison had a fun weekend. She was suppose to go to her last swimming lesson Sunday morning, but she didn’t want to and was able to convince her parents that she wasn’t going.
Then later on Sunday, she asked us to call her mom and dad and tell them that she didn’t want to go back to Fort Frances . . . but she did!

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