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The kids decided this would be a great year to host a sledding party with all the snow we’ve gotten in December.  So, we set the date for today and left the weather to chance.  Wouldn’t you know it, it’s raining outside!

A little rain never ruined a sledding party.  The moisture is actually making our backyard hills very slick and icy.  Perfect for going really fast in a sled.  I love watching the kids fly down the hills, laughing the whole way.  I feel it’s so important for the kids to be active and outside.

Along with fun, my kids have had their share of work responsibilities during Christmas break also.  The girls have been working in the sow unit most mornings at 6:00am.  They help with processing pig litters, breeding sows, feeding sows, farrowing sows, and doing laundry.  If they get a day to sleep in, they really appreciate it!

As many have heard, there is a historic rainfall event happening in southern Minnesota. I hesitate to make a guess as to what the impact will be for us farmers, but this is a blog, and I might just as well put something out there.

Harvest had begun for us, and while consuming more time than I wanted, progressing quite nicely. Even with my crop farming partner on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list for harvest due to spinal surgery, about 40% of our soybeans are harvested. I had run out of beans that were fit to harvest, and switched over to corn yesterday afternoon. I have a field of corn that saw too much water this past June and wanted to get it cleared off quickly. After 2 acres were done it started to rain, so we quit.

Well. this is what it looks like now. I have not seen water that far up on this field (farming it for 20 years). I don’t think corn is actually under water, but the short stuff that didn’t drown out in June has about a foot of water on it. What really surprised me when I got to the field was how much water was standing on the high ground, and also how many acres on this piece were standing in water.

The volume of water contained in this storm is stupendous. Just on our 480 acres of owned ground, we saw 84 million gallons of water fall in 24 hours. Each county in Minnesota has roughly 370,000 acres, so the 8 counties (area wise) hit hardest by the rain had over 500 billion gallons of water fall on it. The adjoining areas “only” got half as much rain, so over 1 trillion gallons of rain fell on southern Minnesota in the last 24 hours.

For my farm, I think there will be close to 2 weeks down time for harvest. I hope I have enough good corn to feed the pigs. This delay does give me time to catch up on the needed pig work and get some quality runs in, but I’d rather be able to harvest and get the crop in the bin. Stay tuned!

This past week has been a roller coaster of emotions.  We ran in a downpour (very fun) and our tears poured down at the loss of Brandon’s vibrant Aunt Katie (very sad).

Maddie came home from school last Tuesday and it was raining.  It was our day to do hill repeats, and we have the perfect hill for that not far from our house.  We didn’t think much about the rain as we left for our run.  It was a nice change to not have dust swirling around us.  About 1 1/2 miles into the run, Mike, who farms near us, pulled up alongside of us in his pickup truck and looked at us rather peculiarly.  “You gonna run in this rain?” he wondered aloud.  I smiled back at him and replied, “Mental toughness!”  He shrugged his shoulders, smiled, and headed up the road.

The hill that we were headed for happened to be within view of Mike’s house.  Once we arrived at the bottom of “the hill” we sprinted up as fast as we could go and back down again slowly.  We repeated the drill over and over again with the rain still coming down.  All I could think about was Mike probably looking out his window, shaking his head in disbelief and laughing.  Our insanity was confirmed to him at that moment. 

On Thursday we attended a funeral for Brandon’s Aunt Katie.  A fun-loving lady with a fantastic smile.  Maddie and our daughter Kendrah sang during the service.  They did a beautiful job. 

Later that afternoon I told Maddie we should fit in a run.  She had every excuse why she shouldn’t run… too much homework, too tired, too windy.  We ran anyway and I could tell Maddie was having a difficult time the whole run.  When we arrived back home, Maddie couldn’t hold the tears back any longer.  She sobbed and sobbed over the loss of Katie.  Her horrible run was explained in an instant. 

Your emotional state of mind has such a huge impact on your running.  You can’t run at your best when your mental state is compromised.  Your physical and emotional well-being are so intertwined and dependent on each other.

We don’t know what tomorrow may bring.  Don’t forget to enjoy the simple things like running in the rain 🙂