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 — something my chore-laden children might not dispute.
When milking outside under the stars in the cold wind, one must first contemplate the state of one’s 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. And though you’re 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 your exposed backside, but reluctantly deciding not to in an attempt to keep goat hooves 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 process again. The next time, however, you aren't quite as concerned because the tip of your nose is now frozen and has begun to run so much that you feel the need to catch it. But you manage 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 — doesn’t release a large branch in your direction in the howling wind.
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 now you notice that your finger tips are numb. At least your chosen profession includes warm goat teats. Gratefully, you keep your hands on them to thaw your fingerprints.
Now the milk pot is nearly full — 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. And good thing because now your ears are numb. But along with the final few squeezes comes an outrageous wind blast that threatens to cause a milk tsunami in the now full pot. Quickly, and with fumbling fingers, you put the lid on the pot, get the goat in the pen and race for the house, clicking your red slippers along the way.
There’s no place like home.
Lindsey is a city girl turned urban farm girl. She and her family are the proud stewards of a few milking goats, a lot of working chickens, a growing farm and soon-to-be creamery in southern Colorado. Follow her on Twitter (@goatcheeselady) and FaceBook (The Goat Cheese Lady) or visit her website (thegoatcheeselady.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Lindsey at: firstname.lastname@example.org.