When I arrive the room feels somber. I’m not sure what I walked in on but I can tell it feels heavy. The discussion is about our only bank in town “temporarily closing” due to staffing issues at a nearby branch. There was little to no notice or communication so when people stopped by the bank they were greeted with a locked door and a sign describing the “temporary” closure.In my head as I write this I’m using air quotes over the word “temporary”. It reeks of writing on the wall. That it won’t be temporary at all.
The unkind way we talk to ourselves is finding its voice inside my head. “You stupid woman” is a phrase I’m thinking about telling myself. I should know better! I live in the country and while not at the elevation I’m currently at I’m not an idiot but my inner voice is ABOUT to tell me I am. What happens instead is I’m offered a road flare while another woman steps in and is calling to find lodging just in case I end up needing to stay the night. My server in between her customers keeps checking the weather report and has more bad news. My best route out of here is reporting 100% chance of snow, 12-18 more inches! I want to give myself a good lecture and I would have but there was no time for that in between several strangers looking out for me.
It was just a tiny spark. That’s what it felt like. The kids looked so proud (as they should be) their mom gave them all the credit and I was inspired. We didn’t bring any cans with us, as we didn’t know that was the point. By the time my new friends had left there were already 2 cans sitting by the cars. They still had paint in them so I let my 3 year old make his mark and we took the now empty cans back with us to throw them away. It makes me wonder if I would have arrived and there was still trash everywhere if I would have left them behind? I’d like to think not, I’m a bit of a rule follower especially when it comes to litter bugs. I don’t know when and I don’t know where but I do KNOW that I will keep that spark lit and pay it forward elsewhere.
During her visit we talked about her first real job as an adult, she lived in Maywood, a suburb of Chicago and worked at a Kool Aid factory that sent cases of Kool Aid to our troops in Vietnam and earned wages of $1.69 an hour. She liked it because she had 11 kids at home and her boss let her take home the defective packets, ones that didn’t seal or had some kind of error that prevented them in stores. Six of those kids are my older siblings and the remaining five were her younger siblings who lived with her and her first husband after my grandmother passed away.
As we go forward with our herd our plan it to maintain our own herd size while we help Luke grow his. He has decided raising beef is what he wants to do and the next couple of years will be telling for sure as he becomes even more involved in the process.This year while we were still calving in March, Dirk sent Luke to the bull sale with a blank check.Bulls were discussed, a list was made with a budget in mind and off went our 17 year old son to a sale for what will be the future of our herd and his own.