Did you ever have a day when you have the simplest of tasks lined up – a day that should be simple, yet you find yourself struggling to finish the most basic of the jobs you had on your plate for that day?

Yeah, I had one of those days this past week. Nothing complicated, nothing too time consuming, and yet by Wednesday I still had yet to get Sunday afternoon’s task done.

It all started Sunday. We got home from church and Jennifer mentioned that we should mow the lawn before we got too deep into harvest. I thought it was a good idea until she suggested that I do the weed eating and she mow. I like the look of a good, trimmed up yard but my weed eater and I do not see eye to eye.

I was grudgingly tending to the weed eater when Jennifer brought it to my attention that the mower would not start. The battery was dead, which led to finding the battery charger, an extension cord and starting the charging process. That delayed the mowing and started my snowball of not getting my tasks done as I had planned.

Monday morning dawned, and I found that I needed to feed several bales of hay to the fall cows and the ewes. I also discovered that the bulls needed to be watered. No big problem, except I had a neighbor coming over to help get the combine and trucks started and the header on the combine. I was not going to have time to get to my feeding and watering before my help came. No problem, they could wait until later.

Everything went well with the combine and truck but when I got done, I looked at the clock and it was already midafternoon. Isaac and I set to feeding cows, at which point we discovered a new set of twins that needed to be tagged. By the time we got the twins tagged and determined that we would leave both on the cow, it was late afternoon and the bulls had not yet been watered. That was a task that I had planned on doing before I started on anything else.

On my way over to the bulls, a neighbor flagged me down to tell me I had cows out. With the help of a couple of other neighbors we got them back in and shut the gate that had mysteriously been left open (a mystery I still do not have an answer for).

The bulls finally got watered closer to sundown rather than sunrise like I had planned. When I got in Jennifer asked me if the mower was going. I had not even looked at it.

Tuesday dawned bright and cool and I had renewed optimism. That soon faded when I discovered the cows were again out through the same mysteriously open gate. They were easily ushered back in and I went to the fall cows. That was when I discovered that the cow from the night before was favoring one twin over the other and I was going to have a bucket calf. (More chores, just what I wanted.)

In the process of pulling the calf off, I found three more cows with calves. The bucket calf meant I needed some milk replacer and a trip to town. I did think to put the battery in the mower first and found out what I suspected – the battery was bad. While I was in town, I decided I also needed to get a padlock for the mysteriously self-opening gate.

An hour later I got back with milk replacer and a battery. Yeah, no padlock. I called Jennifer to have her get the padlock and fed the new bucket calf. He was not a fast learner, and feeding him took quite a while and a lot of my remaining patience.

Soon I was back in the fall cows attempting to tag the three new calves. Two phone calls later I had the calves tagged, but it was nearly dark and I had a church meeting that evening. Jennifer asked me if the new battery made the lawn mower start. I did not know because I had not put it in yet.

Wednesday dawned even nicer than the previous days and revealed that everything that did not need hay on Monday needed to be fed. All the water tanks needed to be topped off, and before I knew it the morning was nearly gone.

I put the battery in the mower and it fixed the problem. That left me at almost noon on Wednesday, and I was finally ready to complete the task I started on Sunday afternoon – a simple mowing of the grass.

I should be able to get that done. After all, it has taken only four days to get ready to mow the lawn. What else could go wrong?

Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation farmer in the Northern Flint Hills of Pottawatomie County in Kansas. He was a county Extension educator for 19 years before returning to farm and ranch full time. He can be reached at editorial@midwestmessenger.com.

Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation farmer in the Northern Flint Hills of Pottawatomie County in Kansas. He was a county Extension agent for 19 years before returning to farm and ranch full time. Reach him at editorial@midwestmessenger.com.