I'm not sure when I added milking a cow to my bucket list. This certainly wasn't the most daring thing on my list, but it was a challenging one since I lived in a city. Like most things on my list, getting this feat accomplished, required some kind of cooperation, probably from a stranger.
Here I am looking out from the barn belonging to that stranger who helped me achieve my goal.
79 Year Old Farmer
I was about 19 when I first met Freeman. I had stopped with friends at a tiny cafe in the Missouri Ozarks, when we struck up a conversation with a group of unemployed men who called themselves the Go Getters.
Freeman was a widower, but the other men all had wives who worked at Angelica, the uniform factory. They laughed about how they got their nickname. One claimed, "We sit around the cafe until the wife's shift is over and it's time to go get-her!"
As we chatted at the cafe, I learned Freeman had an 820-acre farm with 350 cows.
A flag in my head went off. Cow milking is on my list! When I asked Freeman if he had milking cows, he seemed almost irritated. His milking cow was clearly not high on his cow pedestal. As I learned later, it was the cattle in the pasture that he adored.
"But may I milk your cow?"
Freeman agreed and invited my friends and me to his farm at 6 pm. We toured his tiny house, with his 580- pound wood burning stove. (Freeman was all about numbers)
Then we visited his pasture where he told us some tales, filled with what he called, "Ozark Foolishness". Then finally we returned to his barn as the sun started to lower.
One Milking Cow
As I recall there was only one milking cow.
We took her inside the barn and I'm pretty sure there was a 3 legged stool involved. First Freeman demonstrated and made it look easy.
Looking the Part
The photo makes me look like I'm dressed for the occasion in my red kerchief, but that's actually how I often dressed in 1977. I do think the kerchief sort of makes me look like I knew what I was doing.
I sat down holding the metal cup and firmly pulled down on the teat, but nothing came out. It took a while before I heard that skinny stream of milk hit the metal. I grinned. And so did Freeman when he witnessed my face after sampling a bit of the fresh cow's milk. "Yuck! It's warm!!" As if I hadn't thought it through.
So, 35 years ago I crossed Cow Milking off my list. I sure wish I could remember the name of the first and only cow I ever milked!
BARBIE BUCKET LIST
I was 8 years old when I got this embarrassing Barbie diary ... about 2 years before my real DIARY YEARS. (12 years of never missing a day) I was more into Trolls than Barbie, so I stashed it in a drawer and forgot about it.
Over the years my family moved numerous times and this super mod diary ended up burried in boxes over and over. For at least 12 years, whenever I ran across it, I would grab a pencil and jot down something ridiculous on the corresponding day. It was like a never ending doodle pad, fillled with more nonsense than reflection. The penmanship and horrendous spelling makes it difficult to read today, but the best discovery is a Bucket List that began on April 27, 1974!
Click on THE BEGINNING to see the LIST and how it evolved.