It started out like any other Friday. It was my day off, so I slept a little later. Maybe that's when the trouble started.
Sleeping a little later (6:45 am later) meant I was late with blog posts and behind on dealing with social media notifications. My page views would be down all day. I don't worry so much about blog views now, but I did back then.
I had a way-overdue lunch date with two friends scheduled for that day, and I was excited. I planned to dress up, have a fun lunch, and hang out with the girls. For dessert, I was going to the garden center for mums. I'd been praying for mums that weren't bloomed yet.
For me, this was a big treat. You'll understand why soon enough.
When I unloaded feed at the barn earlier in the week, I had overlooked a bag on the back seat. You may be thinking, "How could she miss a FIFTY pound bag of feed?!!" I don't really know. Maybe because I had already unloaded FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY pounds of feed, and I was tired.
Anyway, I needed to pick up the hopefully-not-bloomed-yet mums to decorate the town hall, so that bag of feed had to go.
Maggie the Wonder Dog was outside, but I needed her inside before I left. My bright idea was to let her ride with me to the barn (she loves to ride), trap her in the car, drive back to the house, carry her back inside, lock her in the kitchen, and be on my way. I would be right on time.
It really was a perfect plan. She jumped in the car just like I planned. We went to the barn, just like I planned, and unloaded the bag of feed. Again, just like my plan.
About that time, a cow mooed really loud. We call that bawlin' here in Mississippi. Anyway, from all that bawlin', it was obvious she wasn't happy about something. I walked over to see, and that's when the morning started unraveling. Her calf was out.
This was the calf that had accidentally imprinted on me when he was born, so usually the problem is to get him to quit following me around like a puppy. That day, however, imprint was over, I guess, because he wouldn't do anything I said and would NOT let me get near him.
I opened the gate. Nope. Not going in.
I brought a bucket of feed. Nope. Didn't want it.
I had the unfortunate idea to let Maggie the Wonder Dog herd the calf. I gave her the command. "Maggie, move the calf."
She did just that. Quick as a whistle, she had the calf back through the gate and in the pasture. Unfortunately, I was not as quick as a whistle, and all the other cows spotted their big chance. All four of my cows (I know it was not a big herd but you may be able to tell it was all I could handle) headed through the gate and into the pecan grove, along with a second calf.
Maggie had such success with the first calf that she decided to tackle the second calf without a command. Boy, could that calf run!
That was all it took. Maggie the Wonder Dog thought they were playing chase and she was off, running like the wind, chasing calves. All three were running like crazy, and I couldn't catch any of them.
It was not a pretty sight. Two calves running for their lives, yappy high maintenance Wonder Dog chasing them like the Hound of the Baskervilles, and chubby middle-aged mama running behind, yelling like a banshee.
Finally, I just stopped. I was wilted and no longer fresh as a daisy. That surprised Maggie, so she stopped too - right atop a cow paddy. Of course, she chose that time to take a quick roll in the dirt, aka cow poop.
She was covered with stinky pooh and ecstatic about her fun morning.
Since the calves had run back into the pasture by that time, I trudged back to the pecan grove to work on the cows again.
These were former show cows and they knew how to mind. My cows would take three steps back when I told them to do it. They were great cows. Usually.
That day, every one of the cows was deaf as a post. Or appeared to be. I tried using the lunge whip, yelling, begging, offering feed. I was invisible. This was becoming ridiculous. I text'd my friends that I would, at best, be late.
Heading back to the barn for yet another bucket of bribe-feed, I stuck my hand in my pocket for my keys. It was empty. All my keys, including the only key I have for my car, were missing. I had dropped them somewhere during the festivities.
That was the breaking point. I was muddy, the dog was covered in pooh, the cows were all out, the calves were terrorized, and I was exhausted.
I did what any female would do. I sat down on the ground and tried to blink back the tears, which was harder than ever when I realized I had sat down on some pooh. Now the dog and I were both muddy, stinky, and pooh covered. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.
I sent another text, this time to say that I wasn't sure the girl lunch would happen unless I got a miracle.
Chin trembling, voice quivering, eyes blinking back tears as fast as possible, I sat there and started to pray. "Lord, what in the world is this about? My animals never act like this! I can't see any point to it. I have pooh on my cute pants, mud on my cute top, and I'm sweaty and stinky. AND I HAVE LOST MY ONLY KEY!!!! If there is a point here, I sure wish you'd help me see it. I was so glad to have girl lunch, but this is surely not girl morning. Please help me."
I took a deep breath, hitched up my big girl britches, and started toward the house. I didn't know what else to do.
About that time, my neighbor drove up. "Oh, no" I thought, but headed to his car to greet him. Just as I arrived at his car, I looked down and saw something wonderful. My keys!
If I hadn't walked down the drive to greet him, he'd have driven right over them.
Those keys were covered with hope. Maybe, maybe this day was about to get better.
Maggie the Wonder Dog ran up about that time and sat down at my feet. Much to my surprise, she let me pick her up, poop and all, and carry her to the house. I locked her in the kitchen with all that pooh, hitched up the BGB's again, and headed back to the barn for one more try. I had begun to consider fresh beef for lunch.
With the fourth and final bucket of bribe-feed, I headed to the feed trough, dumped it in, and called the cows. They looked up, their hearing restored, and walked over as if they had never refused a command in their entire lives. Into the pasture they went. I locked the gate and headed to the house.
After a quick scrub-down for Maggie and another for me, I dressed and headed out. Amazingly, I was only an hour late for the original time, and early for our rescheduled time. We had a fun lunch and parted with promises to get together sooner next time.
On to the garden center for mums. I didn't want just any mums, remember. I only wanted mums that had not bloomed yet.
As I pulled in, they were just finishing up unloading a truckload of mums... that hadn't bloomed yet. Until the truck arrived, all they had were beautiful, but fully bloomed, mums.
If I had been on time for lunch, I'd have been too early for the mums I needed. Maybe, just maybe, there had been a reason for the delay after all.
When I got back to town hall, unloaded the mums, and my fellow alderman and I arranged the decorations, (the marvelously festive, cute decorations) I was really grateful I'd been delayed.
I'm still not really happy about the cow pooh on my britches, but they will wash. The best part of all was seeing that, even in adversity, there was a point.
The incredibly dirty, stinky, yucky morning wasn't a waste after all. It was really an answered prayer in disguise.
""I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'Plans for welfare and nor for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.'" Jeremiah 29:11 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Divine Redirect and the Us that Became Me
Please like and share to extend our digital reach.
If you feel led to partner with this ministry (US, Jordan, the digital world), here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841
Or you can mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.