This may be lengthy, it is a story for sure. About 24 years ago, my husband, my two young daughters and I made a radical move and went to live with a sister of mine that is my junior by 2 years, her husband and her children, up on the side of a mountain. Our water was fed from a stream that ran down the side of this mountain, and now and then, after heavy rain, we would have to trudge way up the creek, up the side of the mountain to unplug the leaves and debris that would plug up the filter in the creek. We would know that it was plugged up because our water pressure would drop. Holy smokes!!! Thinking back, this was such a strange thing to have to do to get water. But man was this water good, mountain fresh and oh so cold. This was a very rural area and we farmed a little, raising calves, and some sheep, (I never did learn to like veal) and had a Jersey milker by the name of "Candy." Lovely, sweet, sweet cow, such beautiful, big brown eyes. (oh ya, I loved her cow breath too). That summer we learned how to milk a cow. Now learning how to milk a cow is something that certainly does not come in any way naturally. It is an art form. If you have ever milked a cow by hand, you will know what I mean. Talk about the muscles being built up in the forearms!!!! Wow...that summer was spent having fun, both my husband and I were not employed at that time, taking the summer off, to relax and enjoy the country life. Then came the early fall and we both sought employment and went to work. We worked a very long ways from the farm, really far. We lived about 70 km from our places of work and it was a long haul. We would leave about 5:00 AM to get to our respective places of work, it would take about 1-1/2 hours to get to the place I worked, my husband would leave me the car, and he would take the bus another 1/2 hour to go his workplace. When I got off work, I would drive my car to his work, wait until he was off work and then home we would head. In looking back, it was an adventure of all adventures. thank goodness my sister loved my daughters and took good care of them. We had a little tiny orange Mercury Bobcat car. I thought it was a beauty, it was the second car that I had ever owned, and I felt like I was a lucky woman driving a Cadillac!!!.
We all shared our tasks at the farm, our biggest task was to milk the cow before we left for work, so we got up very, very early. Don't ask me how we did that, but we did. That was just simply life, and we were young, and probably not very wise.
Anyways poor old Candy. What a strange thing happened to her. Her udder started to get terrible small sores on it, it was very painful for her to be milked, but she had to be milked. There was no way out of that. We had the vet come to see what on earth was wrong with this poor old girl. She had cow pox. Now I know that there are many dairy farmers out there. Has anyone ever encountered this? Maybe it is very rare, I have no idea, maybe its common. Maybe there are vacinnes for this disease now. Anyways, we would try to be as gentle to her as we could, lathering her with bag balm all the time, trying to get her over this obnoxious malade. She did eventually get better, and thank goodness she did. Cause it was a horror show. I cannot count the times that she would kick the old milk pail and milk flyin' everywhere. As an aside, I understand that cows can actually kick sideways, horses cannot. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that is a remarkable ability of these creatures. What a time, they can actually do a stomp pretty hard too.
We moved away from my sister's home a few months later, to move much much closer to work. Upon moving into our new home, it was such a wonderful thing to wake up and know that both my husband and myself had not much more than 1/2 hour to go to get to our workplace. I've mentioned before, one cannot appreciate something fully, until one has experienced the opposite side of the coin.
We loved our milk from our Candy girl, and we made many many delicious products from the cream. She lived with my sister for many many years, and as humans are with the chickenpox, never contracted this cow pox again. Great day. Cindi