Monday, October 2, 2017

While I've been gone

 My mind has been and remains a jumbled mess since Lucy's death, 
much like this picture, taken during the middle of one of those once-in-a-hundred year storms
which happened here Friday night. I'll get to that in a minute.

First let me say:

1. Thank you, for every comment you've written and every email you've sent.
I burst into tears just thinking about them
and how you all are always here for me.

2. Our vet concluded from Lucy's necropsy report that she died of kidney failure,
which likely had been coming on for months. Nothing we could have done
in her final weeks would have altered the outcome.

3. George is doing well. His foundered front feet were pain-free for a few weeks,
then it rained and he became sore again, but now he's better again,
and I expect this will be the pattern for awhile until he's fully recovered.
He remains in his pen and is surprisingly calm and content.

As for that hundred-year storm...
It came after three days and 1.75" of rain, which is all but unheard of around here.

 In 30 minutes Friday evening, another inch of rain fell,
plus an inch or so of marble-sized hail, which came down so hard
I was convinced all the windows on the north and west sides 
of the house would break. 

The noise in the barn was too much for Alan to handle.
He chose to stand butt to the storm in the corral for most of it.

I don't know how hard the wind blew because 
the cup things broke and parted ways with the gauge.

The rain and hail overwhelmed the drainage culverts, flooding the corral,
the back porch, the front porch, and just about everything in between.
The barn sits on higher ground, so George and eventually Alan
had a safe, dry place to be.

 The hail stripped the juniper trees of their berries and a lot of their foliage.
I would love to see drone footage of the ranch about now - it would look like
every tree was standing on a bright green carpet.

The really amazing thing about the hail, though (those pock marks above are the dents it made),
 is that it broke apart every bit of donkey poop in the pasture, then the rain dissolved what was left.
I've got to think the pasture will be better for it in the long run, 
with all that fertilizer so nicely distributed.

The fence is another story. 
See those two black straps holding the connector onto the t-post? 

 The storm broke almost every stinkin' one of them.
The straps had been in place – in the relentless New Mexico sun – for 12 years,
and I suspect they were all suffering from UV fatigue. 
The wind and hail accelerated their demise in one fell swoop.
I had spare parts to fix a hundred or so and temporarily fixed 
the other 1,872 (not a typo) with baling wire until more parts arrive.
So it was a busy weekend, and busy is good.
Keeps my mind out of dark, sad places.

 My morning coffee ritual gave me a sign that maybe it was time to try to smile again.

 And then who shows up Sunday morning but Steve
(that's him in the puddle).

He's survived here for 12 years that I know of. 
I'm certain he made his only appearance of 2017 to remind me that
all bad things, bad storms and obstacles in my path can be overcome.

 It just might take a little longer than expected.