Like my slightly older cousins, I remember carrying a five-gallon bucket of hot milk to the calf barn, which was a converted chicken coop, and mixing it with cold water to feed the calves with. Trust me, it was a long walk.
In 1992, my father designed a calf barn that would provide a healthy environment for the calves, as well as making feeding convenient. Besides an easy drop spot in the loft for hay and straw, and the stall partitions that swing open making cleaning a breeze, the calf barn had a hot water heater. No more five-gallon bucket walk for me.
Since the fire, we’ve gone backwards in time. With some electrical power lines down, we’ve returned to carrying the bucket and feeding by flashlight. Actually, multiple flashlights.
But today is a new day!
After absently flicking the non-working light switches on for almost a month, we now have a new power line run to the calf barn.
Progress is slow, by almost any standard, but progress is progress, and there is joy to be found in the light.