Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Why Buy the Milk when You Can Have the Cow

As I sat at my desk last night, filling out my son's milk form for school, I remembered the milk cartons when I was a kid (now they come in bags with a straw attached). But my memories of school lunches and milk cartons are only seen from the perspective of an outsider. Because everyone else but me got milk. That's because we had our own lovely cow at home -- Brownie, who was either a Jersey or a Guernsey, I can never remember which.

And Brownie faithfully gave thick yellowy milk with lovely big globules of fat every day of her life. And my dad would sit hunched over the ten-quart sterilizing machine as he poured the milk in and stuck a pitcher under for the cleansed liquid. Not that it was much different from the unclean milk. It still had globs of yellowy fat floating in it. And most of the time it was still lukewarm. I'm not sure if that was because it was so fresh it still had the warmth of the cow on it. Or if our refrigerator was not operating at top speed. Likely the latter.

I never could stand milk, until I was much older and it was much colder.

I do vaguely remember the cow as well. She was large. And brown. I also remember how frustrated my dad would get with her when she would break off her rope (probably in search of greener pastures north of the house, and into Moorelands). She'd go trotting off, and my father would bring her back, usually attached by a rope to the back of the car.

One time, as he told me many years later, he was so mad he chased her until she broke into a run, and jumped over several fences. Apparently she couldn't have calves after that.

One of my first memories was being squirted in the eye by milk from an upturned teat squeezed in my dad's big hand (I used to follow him around the farm all day).

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