Easter On The Farm

Posted: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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It’s early Tuesday morning and I’m sitting here in the dark with only the light of my computer screen offering up a soft blue glow to the room. Blue describes my feelings too because I can hear it raining outside and the wind is supposed to start howling again which means no golf with the guys today.
Had a fine Easter, though.
Most of our family..including all but one of the grandchildren were here to join in the celebration. 
Ella, Allison and Zoey in their Easter bonnetsSpringdale, our little country church, was filled to over capacity as many of the twice-a-year folks were in attendance for the single 8 AM service.
Pastor Haugrud talked about the miracle of the empty tomb and lots of songs with the words “alleluia and hallelujah”(aren’t they the same thing?) were sung with conviction and trumpet accompaniment.
After a final loud “He is risen indeed” response from the congregation, we all shuffled into the meeting hall where the youth group members served up the annual Easter morning breakfast of French toast and sausages.
After so many years of only showing up in church for weddings and funerals, it’s good to have found our way to this place for much needed forgiveness and hope.
After church and a change of clothes, we all piled into cars and headed off to Paul and Maria Hooyer’s farm near Sioux Center, Iowa..about an hour away.
Maria is Linda’s sister and, for some reason, enjoys hosting Easter and cooking for great hoards of relatives so long as we each bring a hot dish, salad or pie. The kids love it because there is always so much fun stuff for them to do on the farm.  Whether it’s tearing around the property on one of their three four-wheelers or scaling to the summit of Mount Hooyer which is a stack of round bales piled to nosebleed height. Zoey poses by one of the big bales. It doesn’t look too scary until….All those bales are necessary for the thousand or so head of cattle that Paul keeps in the immense feedlot south of the house. He buys them young, puts some meat on their bones and when they reach a certain weight, he trucks them off to market.
Once or twice a year, he’ll cut out a critter for us that goes in the back door of the Hudson  Locker and comes out the front door in the form of several packages of delicious red meat for our freezer.
On Easters past, I’ve wandered out by the barn to look at the cattle but never felt too comfortable making eye contact knowing what I know about what their future holds. I always figured Paul was the same way; not getting too attached to these brown eyed beasts who are his meal ticket in more ways than one..
So I was kind of surprised when I looked out the window of the house to see he had brought a young heifer on a leash up to the front yard for the kids to see…and pet..and even RIDE!
Paul gives Ella a ride while Allison admirers a strand of drool He said this little gal was pretty tame and seemed to enjoy contact with people. Zoey and Ella loved it.
I named her Cowbelle.
Paul then said once you name a farm animal, especially one with real long eye lashes, it can no longer be sent off to that place where they keep stun guns and knives.
Does that mean Cowbelle will be granted a pardon?
I’ll let you know after we go to the farm again next Easter.

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