With Vaseline covering every inch of of my face even thou I have two hats on, a mask over that and pair of goggles on - I never take a chance that my skin will be exposed to the elements. I put on my five layers of clothing checking that they are dry and secured in place while I run through my head the shortest routes to get the work done before Jack Frost bites my nose off... This dance is done every three hours now until this bitter cold releases it grip from the farm and I can trust that my sweet one's will be safe. I must admit as I was struggling to get those heavy snow boots on I had visions of sitting on the couch drinking a hot rum drink and having my fingers sliding over some incredible fiber blend while I listened to the familiar soundtrack from one of many horrors movies that I love so much but instead I am listening to the crunching snow under my frozen snow boots as I carry hot water to my waiting charges who are shivering in this never ending bone chilling storm. I remind myself that they depend on me and that this will pass and soon we all will be outside again without having our teeth chattering and our body trembling... Last night at the 2 am watering those sweet faces where so glad to see me and eagerly drank the warm water with sugar in it. Even those boys who never let me touch them came close and pressed against my leg as if to say "Mom, thanks for being here".. I had to remind myself "NO CRYING Grace, it will freeze to your face and cause all sorts of problems". I felt so warm inside because I knew that they understood I will be there for them NO MATTER WHAT!!!
It is often hard to explain to folks that I feel it is a privilege to do what I do and now that it is just me at the farm I never can let them down - NO MATTER WHAT - NO MATTER HOW COLD. I have not seen a good nights sleep long before this storm - baby watch you know, but with this weather there just is no option to lay down and sleeping because that could cost someone their life or limbs. In the back of my mind I am always running through emergency plans in case the power goes out, or if a baby shows up in this bitter cold or God forbid something worse happens. I guess to some folks that would seem like some form of mental illness but around here we have been through horrible times and it always pays to be ready as best you can. Things Happen (around here I use the term Shit Happens) but I try to have some sort of plan lined up.
Now just so we are all clear - I am NOT WHINING - nor am I thinking there are not thousands of others out there caring and working in the bitter cold to make sure their sweet one's are safe and sound. I am sharing my story with you so the next time you think that living in the country, off the land and raising animals sounds like a dream - remember it is not always sunshine, birds singing and skipping in the pasture. However for this old gal even the bitter cold marches at 2 am is an honor to do because this is my passion - it may not be your cup of tea. Oh tea, now that sounds good...
So soon the weather will turn and it will be warmer. I will get to wash off the Vaseline and put on some clean smelling clothing and fix my hair. For now the Funny Farm is in survival mode and unlike the TV show I can not be voted off and we all pitch in for the greater good not some five minutes of fame and hype - My Motto is always NO MATTER WHAT!