It doesn’t say so on the calendar, but the temperatures and blowing snow make it perfectly clear.
Winter is here.
And because we still have some cows around, this means feeding hay and breaking ice for the animals.
When I was growing up we had cattle every winter. And every evening after my dad came home from his work in town, often after the sun had gone down, I would bundle up in my coveralls and beanie, and sit beside him in the feed pickup as he rolled out bales for the cows.
It was always one of my favorite chores for a lot of reasons. The pickup had heat, so that was one of them. I got to sit bundled up and watch the cows come in from the hills in a nice straight, black line.
When we would feed cake or grain, I got to drive the pickup while Pops shoveled it out the back. He would put it in low and release the clutch and tell me to keep it out of the trees. My nose would barely reach over the steering wheel, but I felt helpful and I liked it.
And I liked the way the hay smelled when it unrolled from the back of the pickup, like it had kept some summer underneath its layers.