Faced with a sudden shearing date, we scrambled to find help. All our usual suspects were busy, so I posted on Facebook–“Hey, anyone want to help with shearing?”
And respond they did…and they came, despite the crappy weather. It was 32 degrees. Snow. Sleet. Rain. More snow. Wind. If I hadn’t already been at the farm, I wouldn’t have come for shearing in that weather. But these brave souls did.
Cheryl came from 40 miles away. Brett, Jan, and children came from 20 miles away. Don and Betsy came from 30 miles away. Laura and daughter Mara came from 60 miles away! (Mara arrived, as teenagers do, in leggings and sneakers. “Nope,” I said. “Come with me.” I dragged her down to the house and made her don a pair of insulated coveralls and my boots...one more Rising Moon Farm helper saved from hypothermia.) And our neighbor Jaycee came (with Allan’s chocolate chip cookies) and our friend Tim came.
Everyone arrived but the shearer, Drew. Here we are waiting for him to arrive.
Black Girl isn’t happy. “I did this last year,” she complained. “And the year before that. What do you people do with all that wool anyway?”
Finally Drew arrives and our crew leapt into action. They swept the board.
They wrestled the sheep.
That’s Don in the blue coveralls—he wrestled each sheep onto the shearing board, which meant Melissa didn’t have to!
They picked up fleeces. They skirted fleeces, picking out the poopy stuff.
And people brought food. Chili and corn bread and cookies and deviled eggs. Hot cider kept our insides warm… a space heater in the feed room worked on the rest.
The only disaster was back at the house. I forgot the new dog needs to go out every 2 hours, so she peed. And she also pulled a bag of three avocados off the counter and ate everything but the pits. “LUCY! You got some ‘splaining to do!” (Gaack. Did a quick net search to determine that no one agrees if they are poisonous to dogs. She’s fine. The avocados, of course, will never fulfill their purpose of being in an avocado-zuchinni-goat cheese sandwich. Sigh.)
The best part of the day was that Melissa and I had a great time meeting new people. Everyone shared a love of sheep, and our new Facebook friends impressed us with their willingness to get in there and get the job done. I love that when a group of total strangers come to the farm, they end up talking with each other like long-lost buddies. Shearing parties bring people together.
Thanks, everyone! Now we have a small flock of naked sheep, still in the barn because it’s freakin’ cold outside.
April in Minnesota. Sheesh.