From Pitch Fork to Party Frock

December 16, 2015

I went from one extreme to another this weekend, from pitch forks to party frocks.  Okay, so I did not actually wear a ‘frock’, it just sounded so good and I did wear pearls, which is almost the same thing.

Saturday morning Our Friend the Farmer called.  The Girls (my cows) were ready to come home from the prom.

“Did I want to update their shots since they could easily be in a squeeze?”

‘Oh, yes, thank you…’

I grabbed the syringes, the inject-able wormer and vaccine.  It is a bit easier to give the shots whenever my lovely beasts are in a squeeze, because believe it or not, but telling cattle to ‘stand still and this won’t hurt a bit does not actually work’.

Our Friend the Farmer balances ‘getting the job done’ and ‘teaching his city-born neighbor’ with great insight and gentle patience.

“We’ll run the cattle in…”

‘So this is where I stand back and stay out of the way?’, which earns me a smile and a nod.

Once the three girls, Agnes, Clara and Eliza Doolittle are in the shoot, I step up to give all the shots.

“Don’t put your arm through the bars, go over the bars to give them the shots, because sometimes they jump up and can trap your arm…..  Make a fist and bump them in the neck then stick the needle in and give them the shot.”  8 shots in all and I am learning, but they do all get done and my girls returned to our farm.girls

I get cleaned up, prepared to drive over the mountain.  I have a party to go to, oh yes, and half a pig to deliver…and it was snowing.  Ut, oh…I have done my best to not have to drive anywhere in the snow, but now I must, so I load up the half a pig, my party frock (pearls) and an emergency bag of peanut-butter M&M’s and commence pretending I know what I am doing.  Mostly I drive carefully, slowly and stay back from anyone else who is driving.  In the first 20 miles I see 5 cars that slide off of the road, which is a club I do NOT want to join!  Somehow I stay cool, calm and collected until…I reach the place where the snow was really thick and my windshield is sort of filling up with snow and the review mirrors are snowed up and there is a flashing sign.

CHAINS REQUIRED!

ALL VEHICLES, PULL OVER TO THE RIGHT!

EXCEPT A.W.D.

I have chains.  I am not sure they go to this car…and I am sure I do not know how to put them on.  I call My Loving Spouse, just a tad panicky…

What’s A.W.D. and do I have it?

This is when I learn that it means…’All Wheel Drive’ and yes, I have it and all I have to do is to keep driving slowly in that darn snow.  I do get off of the mountain, only to then drive in the dark, rainy freeways of Seattle where I accidentally went in one special bus lane off ramp and one HOV lanes.  I get the half a pig dropped off at my cousin’s house where their freezer is waiting, arrive at my destination for the evening and am very happy when they offer me a glass of wine!

Growing up in Southern California 50 plus years ago, it was very common for people to not have extended family nearby.  My parents gave us all a gift.  They along with 8 or so other families formed a ‘club’…it was called “The Darn Club”, partly because they were funny and partly because sometimes the mom’s would get together and mend or darn the kids clothes.  The Darn Club became a family….a very special group…  I was joining 3 Darn Club sisters in Seattle to fly down to Southern California for the Darn Club Christmas party…just for the day.  With most of our parents gone…and most of us older than our folks when the club all started there was much reminiscing of days gone by…  Extremely special hugs…hugsThe day was tiring, up at 4:30am to catch our flight, a gift from one of the Darn Club ‘kids’, a flight attendant who’d flown us up and down for the brief day.   The day was emotional and very special.  Traveling and spending the day with the sisters was nothing short of an amazing treat!  I am so grateful to our parents who gave us all this gift of belonging to one another…and to reconnect.  Some traditions returned…like the Chocolate mice that hung on the Christmas tree…choc. mice…and I am blessed.

 

  • Miriam

    What a fun story…. cows and special party. At some point I lost track and thought you were driving the cows down to Seattle. Then I realized that would be just plain silly…. or would it? I never know with your stories!

  • Richard Godley

    Lovely story Ellen…and congrats on your driving skills!

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