You might be a cattleman that just survived a blizzard if…

Written by Elizabeth Maude while dealing with the aftermath of the Atlas Blizzard east of Hermosa, SD.

You might be a cattleman that just survived a blizzard if:

1. Every vehicle you see you stop to see how many head they’re missing, and exchange encouraging words.

2. Ride hour after hour, day after day with hope finding ‘em all.

3. Watch, wait and worry while the storm beats on and at the first sign of stopping start digging to get to your livestock.

4. You don’t care whose animal you find alive, but are sure to keep track of those that didn’t make it through and notify their owners.

5. Become an electrician, small engine repairman, carpenter and diesel mechanic purely out of necessity.

6. You water and feed every animal you find as if it were your own, and have confidence that the same will be done for yours.

7. Drive 200 miles to come help family and bring enough food and water to stay a week and not be a burden.

8. Cook on the wood stove and eat better than normal

9. You count the dead in thousands of dollars and still have it in you to get up before dawn and do it again.

10. Start checking at dawn because the snow is hard and easier traveling.

11. You are an emotional mess inside and can pull yourself up to care about your neighbors mess just as much as your own.

12. You celebrate a blizzard because the dams are full and the grass will be green in the spring while still wondering how to overcome the loss.

13. Celebrate finding one live animal like it was a 100

14. Get a sunburn digging animals about of the snow, but are more worried about the cows sunburned tits.

15. Walk for miles on end just because the terrain is too dangerous to take your good saddle horse in.

16. You are so exhausted after a day’s work that you should collapse, but can’t get a wink of sleep thinking of all the places you haven’t made it to check.

17. Thank God for the moisture.

18. You step over the dead to take care of the alive.

19. Look forward to the green grass in every situation.

20. Are thankful that this is your occupation and wouldn’t change it if given the opportunity.

Elizabeth Maude

Hermosa, S.D.