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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
4 H FRETTER-ER
A BUCK GROWS UP
ADAPTING
AGAIN, THE SKY IS FALLING
ALL YOU NEED IS ... CARDBOARD
AMANNAMEDJED
AND THEN IT GOT COLD
AND THEN IT WARMED UP TO ZERO
ANGRY GOAT FARMER
ANTIQUE GOAT FARMING
ANYTHING BUT THAT
ARE BUCKS EVER BABIES
AROMA THERAPY
ARTFUL DODGERS
ARTIC FRONT
AUTUMN BOQUET
B U B - B U B - B U B
BABY BACK EXCUSE
BABY MONITORS
BACK TO NATURE
BAIT
BARKING AT GOATS
BARN SOUR TRUCK
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BE HAPPY
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BEHAVIORS
BEHIND THE GATE
BIG 10-4 GOAT FARMER
BIKINI WEDNESDAYS
BILLBOARD GOAT FARMING
BILLIES & STICKWEEDS
BLIZZARD OF 92
BLONDE GOAT FARMER
BLONDE HUMOR
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BOXING SUNBEAMS
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BRUISE OR DIRT
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BUCKETHEAD
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CALLING YOOOOU
CAN'T TOUCH THIS
CANE I DO IT?
CARPAL TUNNEL HAY
CATCHING PEARL
CHICK CHICK CHICORY
CHOCOLATE PLUM
CHRISTMAS KIDDING
CHUCK
COLD IS OUR FRIEND NOT
COUGH DROP WORMER
COUNTING
CRUMPLED
CUD CHEWING CONTENTMENT
DAYCATIONS
DEAR FAVORITE RELATIVE
DELOUSED
DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW ...
DOES ON KIDDING
DOWNSIZING
DRAMA QUEEN
DRENCHED!
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
DUCT TAPE.
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EARPUGS
EGG SHELL MASSACRE
EMMITT
EMPTY NEST SYNDROME
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FARMER C S I
FEEL LIKE A NUT
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FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE
FIRST YOU TAKE YOUR SOCK
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FORKS IN THE ROAD
FULL OF BULL
G G
GATE ATTACK !!!!
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HELP! HELP! HELP!
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HERE COMES KIDDING TIME - A CHRISTMAS TUNE
HOBBLE, HOBBLE
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HOW TO BUY GOATS
HOW YOU FEELING?
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IRON WILL
IT TOOK TWO
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LAST BUCK STANDING
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MANIPULATE WHAT?
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MAYBE THIS TIME
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NANNY BERRIES ~ DEAR FAVORITE RELATIVE
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NEW YEARíS RESOLUTIONS
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OCTOBER KIDDING
ODE TO ODOR
OH, MY
OUCH
PANIC ATTACK!
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REFEREE
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ROCK ON
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RUB DIRT ON IT
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THANK GOODNESS FOR MUD
THE $37.50 BUCK
THE 2003 DARWIN AWARDS
THE COWBOY WAY
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THE GAME'S AFOOT
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THEN THE KNEE DOCTOR SAID
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THURSDAY, THURSDAY
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UGH DAYS
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WAS THAT CHRISTMAS?
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WAY TO THE HEART
WEANING WEANERS
WEE GOAT FARMERS
WELFARE GOATS
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WHAT DAY IS IT
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WHATSTH THISTH
WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU VEGETABLES.
WHERE'S THE BRAKES
WHOOWEE
WIDE LOADS
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WOE, DISPAIR...
WRONG.TURN!
YOU CALL HIM WHAT?
YOU COME HERE, NO, YOU COME HERE, NOÖ
ZAPPED!
autumnfarmsboers.com
Lee & Connie Reynolds
Autumn Farm
Ravenswood, WV

THE BLIZZARD OF í92
by
Connie S. Reynolds

The blizzard of í92 is hard to forget. Itís not to be mistaken with the blizzard of í96 where it was a warm 36 degrees Fahrenheit and the snow started falling like wet, solid rain. That stuff stuck to everything. Thin electric fence lines collapsed under the weight of snow sticking to it. Thatís not the only thing that collapsed. Scrub pine trees were falling over from the weight of the snow and their weak root system. They just happened to be falling over in roads, on power lines, on houses. Lee was cutting a tree off of one of our electric fences and a pine silently fell behind him and landed right beside him. Missed him by inches.

Soon the power and the telephones were out all over the area from pine trees falling on the lines, people had to carry chain saws in their cars and trucks to travel the roads to clean off the pine trees. You just never knew when they were going to fall.

The snow continued until it was so deep that it reached above your knees. Iím tall and it was well above my knees. The goats refused to leave their buildings and patiently waited for us to walk a good distance to get to their barns and out buildings to haul them water and hay. I remember falling down on one of those trips to the goat barn and having to dive under snow to find the ground to push myself back upright. Talk about a weird experience.

With the electric out we didnít have a generator to run the pump for water. So we melted snow near our wood stove. You know one of those tall white bakery buckets? Fill that full with snow, pack it in, sit it by the wood stove and it would melt down to about 4 inches of water.

Our road was so deep in snow and fallen pine trees that it took a week for the state road to make it through using a bulldozer. We worked from daylight to dark just melting water, hauling in firewood to keep the stoves going, and taking care of animals. And then, it turned cold. Cold enough to completely freeze the Ohio River, and thatís a big river to freeze. People were walking on the Ohio River carrying axes to help chop out the geese and ducks whoís feet had got caught and frozen in the river. Sometime Iíll have to tell you about the blizzard of í96, but this is about the blizzard of í92.

Now the blizzard of í92 started on a Saturday in late November. I had just had an episode with my heart; this was before the heart surgery that corrected that defect, with it racing over 220 times a minute for a couple of hours. It had corrected itself (back then it did, later it didnít even try) and I was lying on the couch resting. Lee had been out all morning cutting firewood.

We had only a few goats then. We kept several wethers on one side of the hill and kept a few does on the other side. About 2 p.m. it started getting dark and then a boatload of snow started falling. Big, monster flakes that blocked out the light. Lee came in to say that all the wethers had made it back to their shelter, except Sonny.

Sonny was a big gentle Nubian wether. He had the kindest disposition of any goat Iíd ever met, then or now. He tended to have seizures. We never could figure it out, but his eyes would roll back and heíd fall over with a few minutes of convulsions. He only had them once in a while, but since he didnít make it back off the hill with this bad weather happening, Lee figured he was down, somewhere up in the hills. Lee came to get two of our dogs to help him find Sonny.

Jenny and Chester had been in the backyard while Lee cut firewood. He was afraid heíd fall a tree on them and had left them behind. They were ready for a run and a good snoop through the hills. Two hours later and getting darker Lee and the dogs still hadnít shown up. I got off the couch, hunted up two flashlights, put on my coat and boots and headed out the door with our other dog, Katie.

Katie was a Doberman with a thyroid condition. She froze all the time. I had to bundle her up in one of my sweatshirts, held in place with a big diaper pen, before she could go out. She was tired of being cooped up in the house. This was going to be fun! Her thyroid pills gave her plenty of energy, didnít help too much with the freezing.

I waded through deep snow to the hill while Katie bounded ahead of me. I was bellering Leeís name as I went, using my best opera voice. I could have made it in the opera if only I could sing. When I want my voice to be heard, itís heard! Lee shouted back farther up the hill. Traveling up to him was treacherous because the snow hid a lot of deep narrow ravines. One minute you are on solid ground, the next you disappear down a hole.

Lee still hadnít found Sonny. I handed him a flashlight and he took a dog and I took a dog and Katie sort of flopped and floundered in the snow, having a wonderful time. Jenny was the one who found Sonny. He was lying on his side with his head up, but unable to move. We cleaned the snow off him because he was almost drowning in the deep snow and discussed how to get him down the hill over really rough terrain. No way we could get the tractor and wagon up this steep hill. We didnít have a sled to put him on and slide him down. Lee came up with the idea that since the snow was so deep, rocks wouldnít hurt and he could get hold of the big wetherís collar and slide him along the top of the snow on his side.

I went ahead with my flashlight because it was completely dark now and picked the path. Leeís flashlight went out first. We had come to a deep ravine with a narrow strip of a path across it at its mouth that deer used as a trail. I pointed it out to Lee and suggested we go higher and find a better place to cross. He studied it and looked down at the wether he had been sliding along behind him. Sonny was shivering from being wet and in the cold so long.

Lee told me to go first and then turn the flashlight on the path for him and Sonny. I scrabbled across the steep hillside, holding onto small trees to keep from sliding down into the ravine. It was difficult to cross while using both hands, I didnít see how Lee could do it while sliding a goat behind him and only having one free hand to snatch at small trees.

The snow was coming down so heavy the flashlightís beam only went a few feet. Lee insisted on still trying it to get Sonny in out of the storm quicker. I said, "Let me think about it. Okay."

Lee started cautiously across, but Sonny slid at an angle knocking Lee off balance and down Lee slid into the deep ravine. He had turned loose of Sonnyís collar and Sonny was quickly sliding down behind Lee. I grabbed hold of a small tree, leaned out over the ravine and made a quick decision. I snagged the goatís collar as he slid quickly past me and held on.

I figured Lee would have a nice little slide down the hill since everything was deeply covered in snow and just have a sudden stop below with the help of a friendly tree. He would fair better then the paralyze goat.

With one arm I grunted and tugged and the little tree held that I was holding to, and got that goat up to my side and just held my place there. The dogs thought Lee was onto a bit of fun and had gone racing after him down the ravine, having a wonderful time. Later I heard puffing and grunting as he dragged himself back up the steep hill, using small trees as hand holds. He congratulated me on my quick thinking.

My flashlight went out and it took another half-hour to finish sliding the big wether down off that hill and to sloping ground the tractor could handle. I stayed with the goat and Lee went to get the tractor and wagon. He was back in twenty minutes and we carefully loaded Sonny in the wagon, all of us soaking wet from the snow. We put Sonny in a stall with a heat lamp.

Later Lee rigged up a sling to stand Sonny in. The goat was paralyzed but had a good appetite. We figured he had a seizure and fell down the steep hill, hurting himself. After a couple of weeks Sonny was okay. He had a funny little twist to his neck and we never let him go on the steep hills again. He became our kid setter when we were weaning kids. He took care of his kids, never hitting them, sharing his food, always the leader and taking them to shelter when it rained. He took good care of his kids.

A couple of years later his seizures became so frequent we had to put him down. No wether was ever missed as much by us and the kids he took such good care of, and the blizzard of í92 is permanently etched into our brains because of saving a brave and gentle wether.

THE END

 

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