The Unpredictability of It All

Posted on April 16th, 2012 by Tonia 6 Comments

There we were, innocently/naively enjoying beautiful, warm spring weather for all of March and most of April….and then we woke up this morning to big, icy snowflakes pelting the windows and coating the trees and ground.

I groaned and rolled back over in bed. This wasn’t really happening, was it? Our almost-blooming perennials and fruit trees will surely be toast.

This whole spring has been unusually warm, so I just didn’t see it coming. There was no chance to prepare.

Later, as I stood in line at the bakery for a steaming bowl of ramp and potato soup, I listened to the resigned grumblings of the other customers.

“Can you believe it?”

“The apple trees are not going to like this…”

“I remember in ’78 when we got a blizzard like this in late April…wiped the honeybees right out!”

This is what we get for perching ourselves on the edge of an enormous body of water. Our weather is unpredictable and tends towards the extreme. It’s one of those pesky things in life that we can’t control. We have to adapt and move on.

In addition to the unexpected snow storm, another event this week gave us a harsh and unsolicited lesson on unpredictability and control: One of our pigs dropped over dead. We were horrified when we found her lying there as if she were napping, but not breathing.

We called the farm she came from and they informed us that feeder pigs are known to die suddenly for no apparent reason- probably connected to the fact that they are bred to gain about a pound and a half every day {sounds like a good way to give yourself a heart-attack.} It was a sad event.

This is the gritty, real, not-always-pretty side of farming. There are things you can’t control. There is death.

But, as Aunt Eller says in the classic American musical Oklahoma, “Lots of things happen to folks. Sickness or being poor and hungry, being old and a feared to die. That’s the way it is, cradle to grave, and you can stand it. There’s just one way: you gotta be hardy. You gotta be. You can’t deserve the sweet and tender in life unless’n you’re tough.”

Needless to say, we’re babying the crap outta the remaining pig. I think she gets more attention than our dogs!

And then, amidst the frustration over the snow and the sadness over the dead pig, we got a phone call from the post office saying that a box of live baby chickens was there with our names on it and could we please come pick it up.

A very welcome, happy, fuzzy, cute, chirpy, sweet note on which to start the new week.


  1. Amanda S says:

    How sad about your little piggy. I’m sorry :(

  2. Thom, OFS says:

    You were going to eat him, no? So the loss was economic, surely?

  3. Susan says:

    Right… weren’t you going to eat her anyway? I’m glad she died warm in her bed and was spared the traumatic end you had planned.

  4. Tonia says:

    Thom- We spent $90 on the pig, $50 on food and $60 for each of the panels of pig fencing (10 panels total) and a lot of time and energy building their new little house and taking care of them. And then we didn’t get to butcher her and keep the meat (it’s unwise to eat the meat of any animal who dies from an unknown cause)…so no, her early death was not economical.

  5. Caitlyn says:

    Sorry about your pig, such a bummer
    Wow, people are getting a little heated about this whole pig thing. Kinda making me mad for you guys.

  6. […] We left off the pig saga last time with the sudden and unexplainable death of one of the hogs. […]

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