Before I went out to milk tonight, in the dark with gale force winds that sounded like they were kicking up a tornado of sorts, I warned my boys that if I wasn’t back inside within 30 minutes to start looking for me under a house in Kansas. I gave them permission to remove my red slippers. That of course, I recalled later, makes me a wicked witch… a fact my chore-laden children might not dispute.
When milking outside under the stars in the cold wind, you first contemplate the state of your pants. While seated on the kindergarten sized milking chair and leaning forward for long periods, you begin to wish you had worn a belt. When a cold gust blows, you immediately realize your waistband has migrated south. Although you are not a plumber, you begin to feel a strange kinship with one as the icy wind travels the fleshy path deeper into your seat, all the while causing you to wish you could let go of the warm teats to cover the exposed skin, but reluctantly deciding not to in an attempt to keep goat feet out of the milk.
When you return one goat to the pen and grab the next, you have time to readjust your milking attire, only to repeat the above related process again. This time, however, you aren’t quite as concerned, because the tip of your nose has now frozen and it has begun to run such that you feel the need to catch it. You are able to keep it in check, but begin hoping the one big (dead) tree on the property, which happens to be within striking distance of you and the milking stand, does not release a large branch in your direction with its next howl.
Time to switch: Second goat in, Third goat out. Readjust clothing, sniff multiple times, glance at the waving arms of the tree, and proceed milking, only to notice that your finger tips are now numb. The only redeeming factor of this facet of your chosen profession is that the goat’s teats are warm. You gratefully keep your hands on them attempting to thaw your prints while relieving her of milk.
And, finally, the pot nearly full, it’s time for the fourth (and last) goat. The good news is, she’s like milking a fire hydrant- the milk comes fast and steady. You’ll be inside soon. Good thing, because now your ears are numb. And, with the final few squeezes comes a blasting wind that threatens to cause a milk tsunami in the now full pot. Quickly, and with fumbling fingers, you put the lid on the pot, goat in the pen and race for the house, clicking your red slippers along the way.
There’s no place like home.
- The Goat Cheese Lady
P.S. This is the unedited version of the post that ran in the IndyBlog on 11-15-2015.