Monday, August 5, 2013

strange comforts

This past weekend I drove to the farm, not to work but to attend the wedding of a school-friend's daughter. I have known her (the mother of the bride) since grade-school. There are four of us that go back...well, forty-five years in our friendships. We grew up together. Married or didn't marry directly out of high school. Went to college. Traveled the world. Lived in different countries. And ended up back here. Home.

The day after the wedding was overcast, dreary and I had purposely little to do, so drove up to Tina and Tracy's house. They live in a large, one might say, sprawling ranch house on a piece of small, neat acreage. Tracy and I sat in the living room watching back to back episodes of Duck Dynasty while Tina put together what would be their supper. They were having guests and invited me to stay, "Nah...but thanks!" I said, "Mom's expecting me back." And she was.
The rain fell steadily while we watched Duck Dynasty, making our own commentary. Periodically I would wander into the kitchen and talk with my old friend before returning to the living room to visit with her husband and play with her lap dog.
Tina is one of those women, gorgeous, always gorgeous, still gorgeous with blown out blonde hair, thin-thin, not an ounce of fat. The plus is that she is and has always been a good friend. When my father died there they were, Tina, Lila and Kathy, at the visitation, near the casket. If it had not been for them I would not have been able to walk into the visitation area. Their presence helped keep my mind off why we were there.

As the afternoon wore on, the rain ceased and so we got up and went out to the area where they keep goats. My whole reason for the visit, really, was to see the goats, to ask questions, to get some answers. The goats were separated, the mothers from the kids. The mothers were in a pen on the left, the kids were on the right, and in their own smaller fenced off area were two males. One which was to be sold and the other, well apparently, the new breeder.
We walked through a dirt floored, metal barn and stepped out under an overhang. There, on either side of us were the goats. Strewn about, under the overhang, was straw, put there for the goats to lay on, although they seemed just as comfortable on the roof of a smaller building. One goat put her front "feet" on a gait and stretched toward us as if to say, "Hello".
The goats had names. Most had names. They were breeding and selling and moving them. "Why goats?" I asked. "Because I don't have enough acreage for cows." Tracy said. "Hm"..I responded before launching into five hundred and one questions on goats.
As we talked the smells of livestock in a barn, reminders of youth, reached out to comfort me.

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