He is kind and merciful to his faithful servants…. ( and even us sorry sinners!)

We are all fine and well. we came thru’ a historic major spring storm that just happened to come in early fall…we had over 2 inches of rain, switching to snow and got over 2 feet of heavy wet snow out here at this place…Hope was snowed in, in Rapid from Thursday until last night (Monday) Chance and kids and CJ, Hope’s sister were here with us all the way thru’ we lost power Friday morning and when we got home this evening just at dark, we have finally gotten power back.We had been in Rapid on Thursday to be with Cindy’s Mom, Karen and stayed with her at her bed side as she passed on to her reward. She was surrounded by her children, her husband and many grandchildren and great grandchildren…services will be at Kinkades in Sturgis on Monday at 2 pm.. her ashes will be interred in the spring at Ft. Pierre, Scotty Philip’s Cemetery……

We had all of out livestock next to and behind protection, but the yearlings wouldn’t stay so we brought them in her to the house and put them in the big tree patch. We had all the pairs in the hog pasture, just to the south of them. Just before dark, the yearlings broke out and got in with the pairs so Chance and I went and chased and fought and tried our damndest to get them back in to the tree belt. After about 2 hours we succeeded…we planned to drive the fence all thru’ the storm to try and hold them, but with record snowfall and winds gusting to 60 mph at least, we couldn’t see and could barely get around, even behind the shelter of the windbreak, so I sent him to be home with his children and we went to bed in the dark, listening to the howl of the wind… I put my faith in the Good Lord and he carried us through…the next morning when we could see, the cattle had all walked over the fence of the shelter belt but stopped at the barbed wire fence at the road…that evening as the wind died down, we went out, got the tractor started and fed them as best we could… they were so tired and worn out that mostly they just wanted a dry place to lay down… we opened the gate so they could go east as by then there were already bare patches on the wind facing slopes…we have been digging out and moving cattle around ever since…we had to put down one yearling who was down on the frozen ground with a broken pelvis or some such… I think we have a dead one who was sick and we left in shelter up[ the creek but we haven’t gotten back to check on him yet…we drove in to town to get the funeral arrangements made and try to settle up Karen’s affairs,on hiway 34, it is terrible, there are piles of dead cattle out on the gumbo, too thick to count as you drive by! I’ve heard of losses of 100 head in the town of New Underwood…

What a shame… people had not even had a chance to sell calves or bring cattle home from summer pasture, which is traditionally country that has little wind breaks and so is used in the summer and fall… people who did have cattle in what would be considered good wind breaks, and rougher more protected country, still had cattle drift and losses… there is no way of knowing how many we lost in this country, but they are talking tens of thousands…my heart goes out to those who are now trying to find cattle and deal with such horrific losses…