It never fails

by Katie on January 19, 2012

Brandon and I learned something yesterday afternoon.

Well, we learn something every day. But yesterday’s lesson was a bit on the inconvenient side.

I was out finishing up collecting soil samples from all our alfalfa fields, when I got a call.

When I answered, all I got was a, “Come to the shop.” That’s it. No, “Hi, Dear.” No explanation. No, “Are you busy?” Just come.

So I did. Fully expecting Brandon to be missing an arm or something from the urgency of the matter. When I arrived, however, he was on the phone, completely in tact might I add, so I picked up the bits and pieces from the end of the conversation I could hear.

Backing up a bit here, we both grew up showing Brahman cattle, and we just flat-out enjoy them. If we lived in Texas, all we’d raise is a bunch of Brahman-cross cattle. But, alas, we do not live in Texas. And Arizona seems to have a problem with our beloved hump-backed, floppy-eared cows. As of this summer, we’ve cut back to only two old Brahman cows though. Since these two were, like I said, old, we decided to order some heifer-sexed Brahman semen to significantly increase (90% as opposed to 50%) our chances of getting at least one last heifer calf out of each of them before they get put on the chopping block themselves. So we did. It arrived on Monday, and one of the cows was ready to breed Wednesday.

Now, back to the phone conversation…I knew Brandon was breeding cows that evening, and found out he had everything he needed locked up and had already finished a couple. But apparently, when Brandon pulled out the straw of sexed semen to thaw before loading it to breed, he found out it was much smaller than the regular semen we use. As in, would not fit in his AI gun. Meaning if we couldn’t figure out a solution within the next hour or so before dark hit, we would miss this entire cycle at getting the cow bred (and have wasted all the time/money we spent synchronizing her with the rest of them). A problem, indeed.

The guy he was talking to turned out to be the local AI guy, if you will, who services our semen tanks. He immediately suggested asking one of the closest dairies (both within ten miles) to borrow one of their guns, since they use sexed semen all the time.

As soon as Brandon hung up the phone, he looked up at me and said, “Which one do you want to go to to get this stuff?” Which is when I found out what my role was in this situation.

“Well, being as I’ve never met either of them, I don’t think it makes much difference to me,” I said, because it was the truth.

At that moment in time, I did give myself the ole’ once-over though. In one word, it was the definition of rough. My face had only been graced with moisturizer and mascara, both at 7am. Since I was only planning to collect soil samples, then finish mowing our yard at home, I had thrown on the pants I wore when we messed with cows over the weekend…so I’ll just let you guess what the dry splatters were on them. Topped off with washed-at-night and uncombed hair, and my grass and cow mess stained yard shoes.

Exactly the first impression anyone would want to leave upon meeting their dairyman neighbor for the first time, right?

And the thing is, I had changed into these grunge clothes from some decent ones I had been doing office work in when I left the house. I even second-thought my wardrobe, behind the premise of “It never fails, the only time I ever have to run to stores, into town, etc., is when I look like I don’t have a roof over my head.” In fact, I often joke to Brandon that all the people I meet for the first time like that, who have typically known him his entire life, probably leave going, “He had to go all the way to Texas to find that?”

Obviously, despite all the thought that went into it, I chose not to heed my own advice yesterday.

So there I stood, in the shop, staring at the cow residue on my pants, wondering which dairyman was going to receive the graciousness of my presence that fateful day, and perhaps leave our encounter pitying the plight of the poor farmer.

Of course, it was the one closer to our, ahem, Brandon’s age, who probably had a cute little wife at home taking care of his babies. Who he would surely be even more grateful for after meeting me that day.

Which is where I found my little golden nugget for the day and let that little piece of pride over my appearance go.

The way I see it, I helped a marriage yesterday. If that dairyman wasn’t already going to be thrilled to get home to his wife that evening, I certainly convinced him he needed to be.

You’re welcome, Dairyman’s Wife. Just doing my part.

 

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