While we are still currently homeless with 71 animals, things ARE beginning to fall into place for us.
The sheep and cows are at an emergency evacuation place where they are safe. The woman who sold us the sheep has told us she will happily take them back at her place for as long as necessary until we can have them back at our farm. Such a blessing! At this point that has to wait until we have the ability to take them to her. The cows are still without a place to go.
The house dog is with us where we are staying. We cannot stay here long-term though and are looking for a rental.
The barn dog, barn cats, rabbits, adult chickens, and chicks are all still at our farm. The farm and property are still fine, but there is no vehicular access to them. My husband and our friends are going to be trying to hike in and bring out the animals on foot if possible today. This is a HUGE undertaking. I can’t even describe to you what a big job this will be. We have considered several times in the last two days butchering the chickens and rabbits since there is nowhere for them to go. It would be better than them being left to starve. But we couldn’t take it. I couldn’t do it. In this time of so much loss must we lose more? We have worked so hard to get the flock to where it is. I don’t want to throw that all away. And my poor son, we just can’t face killing his whole rabbit herd and making him start all over with his business later.
This morning we found a place for the adult chickens to go and stay until we can take them back to our farm. We are still not sure where the chicks or the rabbits will go. Praying that will fall into place just like the rest has. But hiking them out in crates – 24 adult chickens, 6 adult rabbits with 9 kits, and 22 chicks – is going to be so hard. My husband is going to go ahead and kill the three cockerels that were going to be killed in a few weeks anyway.
We still might have to face the decision to kill at least some of the chickens and rabbits. We just don’t have any answers at this point. Decisions are being made second by second.
The freezers full of meat…our steer from last year and the elk we got this year…I don’t know what will happen. With no electricity we will lose it all if we can’t get it out. And my garden full of carrots and beans and squash sitting there waiting to be harvested in the next few weeks – it will all just rot. It is so overwhelming. At times I feel like I can’t breathe. I almost vomited about 20 different times yesterday as we went through this. Stranded for 2 days and then yanked from our home in a flurry. Trying to keep a smile on my face for the kids. Trying to tell them it would be all right when I myself couldn’t be sure of that. Last night, when the day was finally done and I stood looking at my husband’s face, it was so pale. Ghost white. And he looked like he had aged 10 years in one day. He was so strong for us. He made huge, weighty decisions in a split second over and over again for our family. He is carrying such a huge burden right now. I am so blessed to have him. He is amazing.
We did not lose our farm, and that is such a huge blessing. We just can’t get to it except on foot and there are no utilities to it. They say they expect it to take AT LEAST 2 months to get the roads and utilities fixed.
It is very hard to swallow. I have always watched people uprooted by natural disasters on the news, I never thought I would be one of them. In fact I’m not sure if we have even had time to fully absorb the fact that this is happening to us. It feels like a dream. Last night I just bawled and bawled while my husband held me. I was hoping I would wake up this morning and find that it was just a dream. But it isn’t.
I hold tight to the fact that we still have a home to go back to at some point. When so many others don’t even have that. I hold tight to the fact that we are all alive – not true for everyone. I hold tight to the fact that we have been taken out of danger – many people are still stranded and have had no contact at all. They are watching their food and water run out and have no idea when people will be there to save them.
We are safe. We will eventually have a farm to go back to. We can make a new start.
We are blessed, even though we are walking through a very rough place right now. We will get through this and come out on the other side stronger.