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Branding day and a special anniversary

Agriculture.com Staff 06/22/2006 @ 1:08pm

June is supposed to be haying season on the ranch, however the persisting drought again this year has kept all the haying equipment parked.

Dad has been getting radiation on pain spots that really bother him, specifically above the hip bone and on the pelvic bone. These treatments take a lot of energy from Dad, but have helped the cancer pain so they are definitely worth the effort.

So far, June has had full weekends. Our branding was on the 3rd of June and Dad and Mom's 45th wedding anniversary was on the 10th of June. For the branding, we had so many people show up to help that I really didn't earn my lunch that day. Heidi also got a lot of help prior to the actual day from her friend Denise. On branding day several neighbor ladies showed up to help feed the crew and watch kids. I believe they fed approximately 45 people in our house, so it was good she had help. Heidi even got first hand experience giving vaccination shots to the calves.

We celebrated Dad and Mom's 45th wedding anniversary the following weekend. It was a nice cool day for the anniversary and a big milestone for Dad to reach with his cancer battle. Heidi got a tooth ache early in the week and the flu one day, but managed to create a beautiful slide show for Dad and Mom. Their special priest friend, Fr. Steve Mitten, from Belize, came to perform a renewal of their vows and have mass in the afternoon. They fed approximately 75 people for dinner at Dad & Mom's and then supper at Heidi and my house.

On the 9th, Earl came over to put the seeders into the AI cattle. I had several family members there helping. I did giggle, as I had two nephews and Earl's boy pushing cattle. Between the yearlings and the teenagers, it went a lot better than it could have in the crowding pen, but did get dusty once in awhile.

Many things have fallen onto my lap on the ranch with Dad being ill and Mom being his caretaker. It has become a time for me to take what Dad has re-taught or newly taught me over the past years back and use it. This month we had to certify production acreages and decide when and if to file for disaster. While I do a majority of the leg work, I am again extremely thankful that Dad is able to guide me when I'm struggling with a decision.

Heidi and I did get an opportunity to take a couple of days to ourselves and even left our three kids at Heidi's folks. I had to travel down to Kearney, NE for work, so Heidi went along. It was a nice, relaxing time and just happened to fall on the two nights prior to our 9th wedding anniversary. I doubt Heidi will let me get by with taking her back to Kearney for our 10th anniversary, though.

It is hard to believe that only a year has passed since we did the magazine article and Joel Sartore took professional photos at our branding. Heidi and I still have a very unknown future in Plainview, SD. It is hard to say what will happen to the land with Dad's illness, however, I plan to make every effort in my ability to continue what Dad has started in Plainview, SD.

June is supposed to be haying season on the ranch, however the persisting drought again this year has kept all the haying equipment parked.

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