“Some people get nostalgic when they see baby booties, old movies, or photo albums. Me, I get nostalgic looking at glass milk bottles (sad, happy sigh). I miss milk bottles; I used to bring them into the fridge fresh and warm, straight from the barn. Unless you have tasted milk that’s still foaming and direct from the barn, you have not tasted real milk. What’s even better is if it is goat milk; rich and creamy, it is the ideal hot chocolate or tea milk, but also good milk for simply drinking plain. This will be the first summer in three years that the milk bucket will be dry. I lost my Nubian dairy goat this spring, and my Nigerian dairy goat isn’t even pregnant, so it will be a while till I am able to milk her. I miss those days when I would sit beside the milking stall, watching to jets of milk stream into the pail; resting my head on my goat’s enormous stomach and listening to her eat grain. Of course there were the times when, if she was not tied down and hobbled, she would kick the pail and all my hard work would spill over, other times I would finish washing the equipment and hold my hands in pain as the eczema burned in reaction to the soap and milky water. Yet I can’t forget the satisfaction of pulling a bottle of goat milk from the fridge. I hope to get the chance to feel that satisfaction again, and if I ever do, I can’t take that blessing for granted.”
That piece was written back in 2012.
I miss my milk goats all the more now, after being without them not just for a summer, but for several summers. Having to go to the store for goat milk feels unnatural. The other day I stood in the place where I would squat beside the milking stand, and even now I can almost hear the satisfying sound of milk filling the bucket. I peered into the bare stalls, now housing nothing but spiders in their dusty cobwebs.
Blessings shouldn’t be taken for granted. But at the same time I can’t pine for them so that I miss the blessings of now and the future. There is a time for everything, and this is not the season for goats. For now I will have to be satisfied with milk from the store. This current season has its own rich ‘cream’.
It probably won’t be long before I’m feeling nostalgic for that as well.