In It

Beings as; the youngest daughter’s asleep on the couch, I have a let sleeping dogs lie policy, and it’s to hot & humid to do a whole lot of physical activity I think I’ll post a blog. Or at least write one.

We used to Milk. Twice a day for most of the year for me. Us younger boys would do three cows. They didn’t all have their calves simultaneously so there was always one to milk. The older boys had at least eight to milk. The spring flush of milk (most of them calved close to the same time back then) went to fatten newly weaned feeder pigs after it was run through a cream separator. The cream was sold to a cream truck that came around a couple times a week to collect the cream and eggs.

When I was too young to do any other chores but throw sixty ears of corn over the fence to the sows I also had to run the milk cows out to the stock cow herd in the pastures. The girls would go out for daily grazing in the mornings after they’d been milked. In the evening’s I’d go out and sort the girls out of the herd and lead them back to the milk barn, proud of my young cattle sorting skills.

One winter when it was too damned cold to even be outside my next older brother who was doing the milking at the time asked me if I wanted to trade chores. I hayed the fat cattle, fed them their ground ear corn and did hog chores while he milked then we’d both go hay the stock cows if they weren’t out to pasture. He was standing there holding a warm bucket of water that he’d use to thaw out and wash up the teats before milking. Milking that warm cow in a warm barn. “Hell yes, I thought you’d never ask!”

That next summer one hot and humid day in the middle of a heat wave I was in that hot windless barn leaning next to The Little Black Cow, having already milked The Big Black Cow and The Cow With The Star On It’s Head. I was sweating profusely to the point I couldn’t hardly keep her little teats in my hand and she (the youngest and orneriest) was getting nervous, threatening to kick me and the milk all over. Big brother walks casually by and says,”Don’t you know you got to milk her first?”

Be careful what you ask for, hope for, wish for, pray for. When it comes it may look different in your hands.

Have a great, safe, holiday.