Early morning adventures

by Katie on March 12, 2010

Farming has a lot of them.
Just a couple nights ago, we had to take turns getting up three times during the night to change water on the alfalfa at our house, then both leave at 5:30am to start water on the wheat in another location.
As we were settling into bed, only to have the first alarm wake us in less than two hours, I told Brandon, “Right now is one of those times I don’t like farming that much.”
“Me either,” he groaned.
Now, of course we both enjoy what we do. We’ll get to that more next week. But I’m not about to suggest there aren’t a few times here and there where it just seems a little overwhelming.
Anyway, fast forward to last night. Brandon had left a bunch of big pipes (the only ones I can’t start) running on some wheat, and they had to be changed at 10:00, 2:00 and 6:00. This field is a good 20 minute drive from our house, which isn’t exactly the safest thing to be doing in the middle of the night, half asleep. So I offered to go with him. And he actually took me up on it for the 2am shift.
So we bundled up, because the desert is still freezing at night, and backed the truck around to head out. But when Brandon backed the truck up, it put one of our little fruit trees in the headlights.
In my sleepy voice, I said, “Hey, look at our tree,” because it was snapped over, nearly flat on the ground. “It wasn’t like that this afternoon.”
Brandon didn’t recall it being like that when he left around 10pm either.
Then we both just sat there, looking at the tree in the headlights, like it would give us the answer.
Finally, Brandon said, “Cows!”
He whipped the truck around to catch what should have been a pen full of cows in the headlights. But it was just a pen. With a giant hole in the fence gaping open.
So we set off through the neighborhood looking for our cows. At 2am. When we got to the road at the back of our pasture, a quarter-mile from where they should have been, we found the bull and four cows or so hanging out, very near our gate.
Surprisingly enough, they didn’t move a bit when Brandon slowly got out, walked over and opened the gate, and they all ran right into our pasture without any effort on our part to join what we thought was the rest of the cows. Which was nice, because on the other side of that road? Four giant hay fields stretching a half-mile to the next paved road. With no fences.
[Yeah, they’re not big on fences out here, Texas. I mean, back home, we would have five of them stretched across land like that. Just because we could.]
Anyway, it couldn’t have worked out better. We just had to go tie up a couple panels over the hole in the fence and get a couple of them out of our yard.
When we finished all that, I said, “Well, good thing we had to go irrigate at two in the morning. And good thing they broke my tree, I guess.”
But then five minutes later, “My tree! It was doing so good.”
And it was, y’all. You see, we just got irrigation for our yard last summer. Before that, we had to carry five-gallon buckets across the yard to water trees and plants. And after the wet winter we’ve had, our three remaining fruit trees (we had five when we got married) are looking the best I’ve ever seen them. And this one was full of tiny baby peaches.
Brandon took a final assessment before we finally headed out to irrigate. He returned to the truck to tell me, “If you want that tree to make it, you better start praying, because that’s about the only thing that can save it now. … Or you could try some duct tape tomorrow.”
Prayer. Duct tape. You know, all the essentials of life.

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