"Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animals"Submitted by Miller Financial Group | Red Oak Iowa Financial Advisor on December 7th, 2018
Merry Christmas and welcome to December! As I write this today, I am looking out at about 6 inches of snow, the first of which actually fell in November! As I drive around and see the snow piled up and corn still in the field in places, it is a great reminder of how much mother nature really is in charge!
For our newsletter, this month, we wanted everyone to share a funny or unique/unusual Christmas memory. Like everyone else, I have had my share. The most “memorable” one for me, and not because it was the most fun, was when I was 16 years old. Not everyone knows about my past growing up on the farm, but back then we had a large livestock operation that included finishing out hogs for processing. We had one big building that held around 600 head and was temperature controlled by animal body heat with a large building-long curtain that raised and lowered to keep the building at ideal temps. (Sorry, just setting the stage for you!)
Well, this particular Christmas morning we woke up to a chain of events that makes for quite “The Christmas Story!” First, we woke up and had no water in the house! Not good...so we knew there was something going on. Remember, this was before the days of rural water. So, Dad checked the well - and the pump had lost it’s prime. This only happened when water had been running all night or for a prolonged time. Another bad sign!
So, up to the hog buildings to investigate. What we found was a perfect storm of connected actions that you could not script out if you tried! Here is what led to us to celebrate Christmas morning at 8:00 PM! In the big building, at the front of the curtain that regulates the building temps, were gates to keep the hogs in. The hogs had broken a couple of spindles on a gate which then allowed them to reach their heads through. Obviously, they were trying to see Santa coming!
They chewed through the cables and cords that operated the temperature curtain. This caused the curtain to fall completely open! Did I mention it was about 10º that morning? This allowed the temperature to fall to a point where about 1/2 of the overhead PVC water lines froze. The frozen pipes busted, spraying water until the pump ran the well dry and lost it’s prime! And, to top it all off, the water ran into the manure pit under the building that collects waste and filled it completely up. So now the wet, cold hogs are standing ankle deep in a mixture of water and their own waste! The Grinch would have loved this scene!
We spent the next 10 hours, or so, replacing the broken gates, repairing the cables on the temperature curtain, replacing the water pipes in the building, treating around 200 head of hogs that had gotten wet to prevent sickness, and then primed the pump in the well again so we could have water. Then, to top it all off, remember the pit that was full of you-know-what? We also had to pump out about 10 loads of manure out onto the snow in a nearby cornfield. This easily took us into the Silent Night!
Needless to say, now when I have to scoop a little snow off the driveway, or carry packages out to the car on Christmas morning, I don’t say a thing!
So, from all of us here at the firm, please remember the reason for the season, and to enjoy making your own holiday memories!