Finding Calm After The Storm
This is an article I wrote for the July edition of Hi-Line Farm and Ranch which covers the Hi-Line of Montana!
This past month has been full of severe thunderstorms in our area. There have been storm chasers in our town and surrounding areas. Our phones have been heralding announcements of weather warnings, lake wind advisories, and announcements of tornadic signatures. We have spent afternoons and evenings scrambling to get everything put away and in the safest spot possible. Dinners have been pushed back to bedtime and bedtime has been pushed back even further. Feelings have been mixed with awe of the incredible beauty and power of these storms, and significant trepidation knowing the devastation that a storm like these can cause.
In the past we've had farming situations and circumstances that were pretty stressful, but this last month’s storms and the outcome of one take the cake!
We struggled with cut worms right after seeding and hoped that was our only hiccup, but Saturday night, July 18th, a storm blew through that was fast furious and leveling of the crops in its path. Depending on where you were in its path the hail was the size of peas all the way up to golf ball size. Windows broke, roofs were damaged, trees were hurt, but the biggest loss for our family, and many in the storm’s path, was our pea and wheat crop.
I define myself as a Farm Wife rather than a farmer, because although I am involved with the farming (swathing, combining, running for parts, etc.) I am not a full time partner in the actual work of farming. But, I am a full time partner in support and encouragement, especially during times of stress!
Even though, I'm trying to be strong and supportive during this stressful time, I find myself feeling distraught over lost crops and the magnitude of the money, time, and energy that was wasted in about 20 minutes. I also feel sad because of the loss of time that I would have spent combining with my girls during harvest, and the excitement and anticipation of finding out how many bushels per acre we had!
I don't fully understand all the ramifications of hail insurance, the role of insurance adjusters, claims, and what the outcome will be if we’re asked to “carry it to harvest”. This year I'm getting a "crash course" in these areas.
Not fully understanding it all leaves me feeling unsure and worried that the outcome won't be put to rest for several more months.
Will this break us?
Will the stress place strain on our marriage?
Will we be able to pay our bank note?
Yet, I feel compelled to find the positive as we move forward with a different strategy.
I know we are not alone in these struggles. Our farming neighbors lost crops to the same severe storm. I'm sure they have the same concerns. I know I'm not the only Farm Wife that holds the role of offering support and encouragement, but underneath is just as nervous and concerned as her farmer.
Here is what I'm holding onto!
I'm choosing to find reassurance and put my hope and faith in God. He created the storm. He knows all and has plans for good for us.
I'm choosing to seek fellow women in agriculture who can relate and offer encouragement and support with specific understanding of similar situations.
I’m choosing to be vulnerable with how I am feeling and express it to those who love and support me most.
I'm choosing to come together as a farm couple to move through these times of stress instead of allowing it to be a divisor.
I hope that in sharing my journey, during this tough time, that you might be encouraged as well. That you'll know that you're not alone in this crazy unpredictable ride as a woman in agriculture!
Love to you and yours! ?