Time To Sing



After gathering and processing our Wagyu X calves with a second round of vaccinations, we shipped our first load off to Snake River Farms in Melba, Idaho yesterday. Though grateful we have work to do apart from the growing death toll of the pandemic, it’s been difficult to mentally adjust to this down market as a result of all the Covid-19 related problems in the beef distribution pipeline. Even with the generous premium offered by SRF, payment for the calves is well short of what they brought in 2018.

For the most part, Covid-19 has not changed our activities very much. With another load of Wagyu X calves to ship plus gathering, weaning and hauling our Angus calves to the auction yard yet ahead of us, we have plenty on our plate to keep our minds and bodies occupied as we face tough times in the market. Selling our calves is normally a joyous time, but it’s been hard to get excited this year.

Since mid-March, the impact of Covid-19 on everyone has evolved. We go to town less often, carry what’s left of our hand sanitizer since Elko, practice social distancing with outsiders and adjust to the shortages of basic consumer goods, the reality of which hangs like a dark cloud over everyone’s mental state in these uncertain times. Under these circumstances, it’s been difficult for me, and I suspect others, to maintain a healthy attitude.

Normally a daily exercise, I haven’t completed a poem for three weeks, even though I’ve started plenty. The words seem hackneyed, far from insightful or uplifting. But Robbin brings her guitar out to the deck in the evening and we sing covers of songs we like into the canyon as we try to capture the feelings of Merle Haggard, Gillian Welch, John Prine or Guy Clark to lift our spirits. For us, it’s time to sing.


8 responses to “Time To Sing

  1. Conrad Carlberg

    Circle the sun
    And we all go around
    It’s gonna be a lot better
    When the wind dies down

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much


  3. This post is poetic. Glad you’re doing okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Evelynne Matsumoto

    Love all your posts; happy to know you are all well, singing; I am singing too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We’re singing right along with you, my friend. Having Robbin and Terry tucked in, sheltering beside us…we’re the big door prize.

    Best always,


    – – –

    Ken McDonald San Martin, CA 408-837-6035 kjmcd48@gmail.com

    – – – – –

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Singing is good, John. Praying better times aren’t too far down the road. These days if you’re healthy, have a job, and have food, you’re good and have something to sing about.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. You said what we all feel, and that sense of almost being lost and that things are so unpredictable and uncontrollable you conveyed says so much. We are people who live with uncertainties, it is our lives as ranchers. For these times to have this much effect on us says volumes. Hang tough, we always have and I suspect always will, despite our gathering of years.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Shirley Kirkpatrick

    A professional musician relative – off from touring – said even rock and roll seems out of place now.


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