Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Morning Chores

Today was a beautiful day here in SW Montana. It was a bit on the chilly side, but very invigorating. I was having a face book discussion with some friends about milking goats and I said, "Call me crazy, but my favorite time to milk my goats is when it's cold out." Yes, one did call me crazy, but I will tell you why. Having my goats forces me to get up in the morning and go outside. For me it would be very easy to "hermit" myself away in this house all winter and not go out much. My animals and especially the goats force me out to get started with my day, every day, cold or hot, wind or rain, sun or snow....it matters not to the animals. Just imagine a frosty cold morning. Let's say it's Christmas Day and all of the world is quiet and still, with a coating of fresh snow covering the ground. My animals all look at me and watch me approach the barn, the goats vying for attention first. They want to be fed and let you know it. The sheep lay quietly waiting. One goat in the stanchion, I pull off my gloves and expose my hands to the frosty air. I plunge them into the bucket of hot water and wash the goat's udder. Then I begin milking, her body giving warmth to mine as I sit beside her. From her udder flows fresh, warm milk and on this morning it will be shared with the chickens. The ones that sleep in the rafters of the barn already have this figured out and soon they will show up for a tasty treat, walking around me and the goat with one eye cocked up. On this particular morning I decide to talk to them. Not in my language, but in theirs. I find myself sitting on my milk stool, milking my goat and clucking like a hen. If anyone were to walk into my barn just then, they'd surely suggest I be committed, but for me to talk to the animals is a life-long dream and I am living the dream. Every day is Christmas.