A few days ago, I rode with my man while he finished feeding the cows. He loads round bales onto the bale-buster, then drives out to the pasture and spreads it out so the cows can eat it. It was a cold day – single digits. And there was a strong wind. I’d guess 30-40 mph with much higher gusts on the high areas. That heated tractor cab is wonderful!
The bale-buster is a contraption that holds a round bale, then iron teeth on the bottom rotate, digging into the bale, and the hay spits out an opening in the bottom. When the bale is gone, Cliff raises the arms that are holding the extra bale, and it flips up and drops into the bale-buster. It throws a lot of dust when it is chomping up a hay bale, and the wind blew it over everything.
After we fed the cows, we took a bale to the horses. A soft evening light was settling over the landscape, making me forget my cold fingers. I snapped a few more pictures, between opening gates for my man.
By the way – ranch wives joke about having to open gates for their men, but truly? I don’t mind. Any time spent together is great!
Now it is nearly Christmas. The wind is howling outside as I type, there’s a fresh couple inches of snow on the ground. The gifts are wrapped and the cookies are made. Strains of holiday music fill the air.
It is not picture perfect, because we are a real family, we traipse snow in on our boots and the hearth around the wood stove is perpetually ash-sprinkled and messy. There are toys and cups sitting around my living room, because I was too tired to pick them up last night.
But the love of Jesus is here. Our love of each other grows stronger and purer each year. Our love for God is increasing, and we are working on our “peace on earth, goodwill to men”.
Dear ranch mama, don’t be discouraged if your house is not as holiday-ready as your neighbor’s. Don’t allow Satan to steal YOUR peace, this week. Reduce expectations, keep it simple, and love on your family. Take a few minutes here and there to slip away and pray. Of course you can pray ‘mentally’, but there is something about locking the bedroom door for two minutes and taking your attitude and trials to God in prayer.
May your home honor God and bless others this season. Starting with your own family.