A Cowboy’s Faith: Optimism for better days – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Optimism for better days

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Cold weather rapidly multiplies problems on the ranch.

Exactly how much is too complex to figure for one who barely passed his college algebra course. But some people say it doesn’t have anything to do with algebra, rather it’s a math equation, add, subtract, multiply, divide.

Whatever, freezing temperatures day after day add up to more and more “confuedalties.” Now that isn’t a word, according to the dictionary and knowledgeable editors, but a “made-up” term Mom said frequently. As appropriate description as one can give of the turmoil everyone across the nation faced in record winter conditions.

“The water won’t run” is typically the first alarm heard, warning that pipes are frozen because of freezing temperatures. There is not adequate insulation to keep water thawed as cold air leaks through the tiniest crack.

More hay bales around the home are the first step, while heaters blow on every visible in-house water line. When water runs, it is best to leave the faucet dripping to help prevent freezing.

Electrical power is often taken for granted until there isn’t any and then it becomes very important. Hard to do much on the ranch without electricity nowadays, and it’s often difficult to restore.

Ice in ponds and creeks can be chopped to provide livestock water supply unless it’s frozen solid in shallow areas. Pumps must start and stop frequently during the cold, causing damage so eventually that water won’t run either.

Heating systems that have not ever caused problems before typically go on the blink when the cold continues. Fortunately, there are people who know how to repair them, and they are generally congenially understanding and cooperative to help.

Snow can be called “pretty,” but is very dangerous when impossible to travel through. Dedicated highway crews work long hours and can’t keep up with the increasing intensity. Strong winds cause drifts that intensify problems sometimes such that even bulldozers can’t open the roadways.

It becomes impossible to get into pasture gates even when there is enough feed to be distributed. Then trucks and tractors go haywire won’t start, fuel line’s clogged, something, so there’s no way to get livestock fed.

At least there’s some moisture and spring is just weeks away, giving optimism for better days ahead.

Reminded of Job 37:12: “No one can escape the weather, it’s there.”

Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by WordPress