Our friends and all our cousins grew up living country-style. We lived on farms. We all had chores, stayed busy most the while.
But the chore we shared in common, more than tractors pulling plows, was spending night and morning in our barns to milk the cows.
It didn’t matter if you only milked a cow or two. Or if you milked two hundred, milking time was alway due.
Every night at 5:00 p.m. or morning 5:00 a.m. you’d find yourself next to a cow and milking once again.
We’d wear those coveralls that came two sizes extra big. You were always readjusting like Miss Johnson’s curly wig.
When finished with the milking you would take a long hot shower. ‘Cuz if you didn’t you would smell like pungent cow manure.
Some of the boys, who milked the cows, were on the wrestling team. The wrestling room smelled of manure bursting at the seams.
The coach called all the boys together. Said, “We’ve got a smell. So when you’re done with milking, would you take a shower as well?”
The farm boys must have listened to their coach’s word, and yet. Still a hint of cow manure. I swear it ekes out of your sweat.
The cows were so annoying like your daughter’s new boyfriend. A milk cow won’t stay milked. There never is an end.
Vacations only happened when another milked your cows. But no one liked the smelly job. Good help was hard to rouse.
An older man once told me that milking cows, to him, was fun. He must have left his hat off, baked his brain while in the sun.
Milking cows was not so fun, more tedious to me. But it’s where I learned to work and farm life was the life to be.
I’d just got home from school one night, and talk about good luck. When my father drove up in his empty Chevy two-ton truck.
He said, “There are no milk cows. I up and sold ‘em all today.” My mind was all a whirl and I was speechless, you could say.
I’ve never been in jail except to see a friend or two. But no more milking cows felt like jail time served and through.
I must admit I’m thankful for the milk that we can buy. ‘Cuz if it weren’t for milk my Oreos would go down dry.
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