And then there was light…

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.

10 thoughts on “And then there was light…

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  1. Ha! I remember that same chore. And slopping the water down my boot! One foot after another, and then, one day, you will look up and you’ll be there! Oh, and then you’ll look around and start to get ideas for other goals 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I have become reacquainted with the slopping. Too reacquainted, at that! And I am making a list of goals to work toward. Who needs New Year’s to make resolutions?


  2. We never had calves to feed, but I had to feed the horses in the winter pre-dawn before going to school. We had a couple of bulbs hanging in the barn, but no lights in the feed shed. My uncle’s banty chickens roosted on top of the barrels and flew up in my face every when disturbed. Mean little buggers!


    1. Oh, my! No need for morning coffee with them startling you. I’ve felt like I was in a suspense movie every morning as I walked in with no lights and the calves moving about and mooing.


  3. The things you learn AFTER a tragedy. After our fire my boss bought a large generator and a smaller one to run off the pto. We didn’t even have water at the house because all 4 of the wells ran off the power pole that was lost in the fire. Now we have lines buried to and from a generator that runs on LP. .Get some credit from Public Service if we run it at peak times. If the electrical power goes off in a storm the generator kicks in without a blink of power loss. Good luck with your recovery. We were a year past the fire 11/3 and still some things are catching up. You do learn how much you can cope with and you appreciate more even the little things.


    1. That’s what we’re finding out. I would LOVE to have one of those generators especially since our PTO one is no more. It is difficult to run a dairy farm without one.
      Your success and diligence are another reason for us to have hope.


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