Do you find yourself just trying to “make the most” of situations during this strange time in our country? 

I feel like I am on edge just waiting for someone to stand up and say, “all right now, this is what we’re going to do moving forward.” I have grown weary of the cancel-culture emerging around us. I am anxious because it feels like we are all in a constant state of flux. Will the change in seasons affect our current environment? The election? The holidays? I have no idea but if you have the answers, please share them with me.

In the meantime, I am carting my kids to school and activities. I love watching each of them do what they have deemed their “thing.” We have had the great privilege of watching our freshman daughter’s dance team win first in a competition. Our seventh grader has finished several cross-country races this season. Our oldest son has raced a sprint car on two different tracks out of state. Our youngest son is perfecting his baseball swing in the recreational fall season. We have enjoyed services at our church (obviously under new routines and restrictions). Things are a little bit normal around here but really, they are not. I really have a deep desire to wake up from the pandemic and see things go back to the way they were. I know many people do.

One thing that has not changed one bit is cold weather chores. Our cattle, horses and chickens are hungry. We are out feeding and watering daily. We have recently had an outbreak of pinkeye in our small cattle herd. We had to separate several of the animals affected by the disease into a separate pasture. We have a couple of heifers who are worse than others. They are penned up for treatment and a special feed regimen. They are isolated in the hopes that they recover and gain some weight to get turned out with the rest of their herd.

Our chickens have decided to molt. The hens are only laying one or two eggs a day. They are also eating a lot more. Bulking up for the winter days ahead. They are not looking very pretty at the moment. But again, this too shall pass.

Our children have made it through the first nine weeks of school in this ever-changing environment. I am proud of how they have each handled their new restrictions at school. I have watched each of them power through activities in a new way. They have embraced the technology used for learning this year. Everything is different, there is a lot missing from their routine, but they have each handled it with grace.

I realize there are many people in our community who are still isolated at home waiting for the pandemic’s passing. This breaks my heart. We are reaching out to people as best we can. As we come upon the 2020 version of the holiday season, I am thankful for my family and friends. 

As we wait out molting chickens, pinkeye-ridden cattle, and a world-wide pandemic, please know our family is praying hard, dear neighbor.

Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to and click on ‘Contact Us.’


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