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The Midwest Cattleman · February 25, 2021 · P4
                                                                                        A PRAYER FOR RANCHERS
                                         handle to Montana’s Missouri
                                         Breaks was not a short trip in                           THIS WINTER
                                         a comfortable car during the                                  By Amanda Radke
                                         best of conditions, but it had       As  I  write  this  blog  post,
                                         to be a grueling one in an old                                          I  pray  for  calving  to  go
                                         truck, pulling a trailer, driving   it’s a bone-chilling -20°F in  smoothly.
                                                                            South Dakota.  We, like so
                                         right straight into the coldest                                         I pray for the power to stay
                                         December on record.   ‘Pa-Pete’    many others, have begun our  on and the furnace to keep
                                         drove a two-wheel-drive pickup     calving season, so  keeping  a  up.
                                                                            watchful eye on the cattle has
                                         with  ‘stock-racks’ and hauled     been a 24/7, round-the-clock         I pray for your safety.
                                         two horses the fifteen hundred     effort.                              I pray for your health.
                                         miles.   After driving for days,     Much like what my family           I pray for your strength.
                                         he slid down into those ‘breaks’   is experiencing, I see the fa-       I pray for your families.
                                         with twenty inches of new snow                                          I pray for your marriage.
         With well over half of the                                         tigue  in  our  entire  ranching     I pray for your children.
      country in the “icebox” as I write   and minus 20 degrees.  As he got   community. In recent conver-       I pray for your elderly par-
                                         out of the truck he said, “Son,
      this and many as far south as      you don’t need a four-wheel        sations I’ve had with industry  ents.
      South  Texas  going into their     drive.  You need a helicopter!”    peers, I see the worry in your       I pray for your rural com-
      third or fourth night with-           ‘Grandpa Floyd’ arrived a few   eyes, the fear in your voices,  munities.
      out electricity, which for many    hours later with me and the rest   and the sadness at where our         I pray for peace in your
      means ‘no heat’, I couldn’t help   of the family.  I’m sure that my   country is headed and how  hearts and minds as you bat-
      but be reminded of a night my      two grandfathers were no doubt     you might fit into the chang- tle the things outside of your
      two grandfathers spent togeth-     exhausted after their trip.  They   ing dynamics where food,  control.
      er well over a half a century      were a long way from home.  I’m    fiber and energy are taken           And I hope you’ll send the
      ago, in December of 1964.  It’s a   certain they were both also in a   for granted and blue-collar  same prayer my way.
      night I’m sure they would have     bit of shock at their children’s   jobs aren’t valued.                  From the weather, to the
      liked to have forgotten.           new ‘winter wonderland’ home.        And yet, you keep pushing  markets, to the change in
         Pete Carmichael and Floyd                                          forward.  You keep showing  political winds, the writing
      Henson both grew up on farms       It had been quite some time        up each day. You keep work- on the wall is very clear —
                                         since either had used an out-
      in  Oklahoma,  not  that  many     house and I doubt if either one    ing hard for your family, your  we will face hard days.  We
      miles  from  one  another,  but    had ever used one at twenty-be-    multi-generational  farm and  will face challenges. But we
      I don’t believe they had ever      low!  They both stayed exactly     ranch, your children’s future.  won’t face these things alone.
      met until just before my par-      one night.                         You  keep  leaning  on  your  We’ll stand firmly together
      ents  were  married.    Although      The old house was built with-   faith that things will work  in strength and fortitude. We
      very different, both loved a lit-  out much insulation and the        out.                              won’t let a friend, neighbor,
      tle  ‘knee-slapping’ humor and     small ‘shed’ (bedroom) that was      You wonder if it will be  or family member struggle
      drama when it came to telling      literally tacked onto the east     enough.  If  you  are  enough.  alone.
      stories.  This story, however, was   side of the house had none at    If you did enough. If you’re         I pray for you today. I have
      different.  I’m convinced both     all and it was exposed to the      ready for what’s to come.         faith we will overcome this
      would refer to it as  ‘the night   wind on three sides. There were      And in your fear, worry and  storm. Stay well and stay
      they almost froze to death’.   Nei-  three layers- tar paper, wood    fatigue, you’re cold, so cold.  safe, my friends.
      ther of these men were prone to    slats, and plaster. In some plac-  And tired, so, so tired.
      using profanity, but on this sub-  es there was no plaster.  I know     Today, I pray for the weary     Amanda Radke:
      ject, they might have made an      because it was my room for four    cattlemen and women.              Ag Speaker, BEEF Blogger,
      exception.  It was a story that    out of nine winters.   It was in     I pray for the waterers to      Western Gifts – See Aman-
      didn’t come up often, but when     this room that my two grandfa-     work.                             da’s work on AmandaRadke.
      it did, there was no ‘knee-slap-   thers spent that cold December       I pray for the tractor to       com.
      ping’- only a bit of shaking of the   night together.  There is no tell-  start.                        Reprinted by permission.
      head (the slow kind) and then,     ing how far the mercury dived        I pray for the windbreaks
      out of nowhere, a ‘shudder’ - no   before morning and the wind        to stand strong.        
      matter what the present tem-       blew all night.  There was only      I pray for the barns to have
      perature might be.                 one bed.  It wasn’t a large bed    enough space for the need.
         The trip from the Texas pan-    and as they settled in neither

                                         of them was willing to take up
                                         more than their fair share of the                                             ®
                                         space.  As the story goes, it was
                                         my Grandpa Floyd who spoke
                                         up first.  “Pete!” he said, “If you
                                         don’t move over here some, we’re
                                         both going to freeze to death!”
                                            Well, they didn’t freeze to
                                         death, and the next morning
                                         they could hardly wait to head
                                         back south.  Over the next sev-     Hammer
                                                                             shown with
                                         eral years they visited us from     optional NitroGrit ™
                                         time to time there north of Lew-    Carbide.
                                         istown.  It was always great to
                                         see them.  It was always in the
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