This story was brought to my mind recently through a blog conversation I had with Keri from Keri--on.blogspot.com, so thought I would tell the story for everyone. It is a funny story, at least... 20 some years later it is...funny. I really am amazed that over 20 years have gone by since that happened... but yes, my first four children are now 26, 26, 28, and 30. I think they were about the ages of 2, 2, 4, and 6 at that time.... guess that makes the story closer to 25 years ago, but let me tell it to you.
When I was a little girl, I had always dreamed of growing up, living in the country, and owning all kinds of animals. I kept that dream into my young adult life, and married a handsome cowboy from Colorado. After about 7 years of marriage, we were able to move to Colorado (or in Steve's case: back to Colorado).
Oh what delight to get to begin the dreams of having a farm/ranch and all kinds of animals. Now obviously, horses and cows go hand in hand with any ranchers idea of what ranching is all about, but chickens and goats and what ever else I could come up with were not necessarily something this particular rancher was as enthusiastic about.... but this rancher was eager and ready to please his wife, so we went to a little farm auction not far from here and got our first goat. We really didn't know anything about goats, but were willing to learn and I was excited at the prospect. I had an image of Eden in my head, where all the dear little animals would roam happily and freely around the property, coming in eagerly at milking time or bedtime, playing gently with my children, and walking companionably with us all on afternoon walks. Chickens roaming the gardens and eradicating all the unwanted bugs while not touching one plant that did not belong to them. Oh yes, such bliss. I'm sure you can get the picture.
It really was fun...no really it was... and crazy... and chaotic.... We did get to milk our goat, and learn how to make goat cheese.... She did play with the children...( did I say gently? well, never mind that)... she did go on afternoon walks with us (only a few head butting battles and minor injuries... no worries... tough kids).....but lets see in the process, we also learned about goat breeds, and goat pens (and consequences of the lack of them).... companionable goats? yes, at least to all but the Mama of the family (I was never really sure if she was trying to kill me or she was just playing).... we did learn that some goats are taken purposely to farm sales because... well, they were not necessarily ideal. We did love our chickens.... and had wonderful fresh eggs... and we did have a delightful garden... what was left of it....and we did learn not to let the goat out of the pen (which we eventually constructed) while the "addition" to our little house was under construction (especially while husband has framing hammer in hand and no more patience for goat who takes too many liberties and one too many blueprints eaten for lunch .... hubby did, however, improve his tomahawk throwing skills while practicing with framing hammer) or leave her out while changing out chocolate cookies in oven.... unless of course you didn't mind a goat coming through your ceiling.
Okay, so now I have you.... and if any of you don't believe this story, just ask my older children, they were there... happily eating cookies at their little table in the kitchen... thinking all was right with the world until..." what in the world is that noise....?!!!!?"
Now I was also thinking all was right with the world and humming happily to myself and breathing in the delightful smell of fresh baked cookies When..."Uh oh. I left the goat out while I popped back inside to change these cookies "rats", Steve told me not to do that... he reminded me how she loved getting into the "addition" and onto the roof because of her fantasies of being a mountain goat... he reminded me how he had ripped off the existing roof on that one side and there is nothing there right now except insulation and sheet rock. he told me to keep an eye on her ... is that a hoof I see coming through the ceiling? ".
Well, the rest just gets better... or is it worse.... there were no more delightful thoughts of chocolate cookies, no serene motherly blessings to such dear children... no, there was a goat on top of the stove!
The children were crying at least some of them were...(I'm sure like myself, they had no idea what was happening... earthquake perhaps... "the rapture".... I don't know it was just something loud and unbelievable. I heard Luke (the 4 year old) mutter "Daddy's gonna shoot that goat, he's gonna shoot that goat and use real bullets"... and then the goat ran bleating through the house.... apparently not a scratch on her. Steve was away at the moment... I was thinking.. "what shall I do what shall I tell him?" I did think quickly, because I knew we would be eating goat for dinner if I didn't come up with a quick plan.
"Oh yes", I thought to myself , "the neighbors have been wanting to get a goat themselves.... I will call them and tell them to come quickly and get this goat if they would like to have it for free". And so I did and so they did. My husband called before returning home. This is what I told him on the phone; "Sweetie, there's been an accident"... now I really was getting choked up as I was trying to tell him... and of course my husband thought someone has been seriously hurt, so his heart went right into his throat. "whats going on is everyone okay?" You can imagine his relief when it was nothing more than; "the goat fell through the ceiling!"
Ahhh such blissful days when we were young....ha ha. We have had quite a few goats and chickens since that day and my husband is a patient man who has blessed me with his perseverance and love. He fixed our kitchen ceiling, while at the same time finishing the floor to our upstairs, and the addition was completed. We never again had a goat in the kitchen, although, there have been many calves in there (those needing a little extra help after coming into the world on a cold wintry night). There are many more stories to tell, but another day, another blog post. In recent years Steve's career went through some changes and we come and go from the ranch more often, and don't raise the animals like we used to...so we have only 2 dogs and 2 cats to entertain us. But I was dreaming yesterday about "Alpaca's". Wool is such a delightful thing... I would really love to learn how to "Spin" and "weave".... I feel the full "Proverbs 31 Woman" coming on. Smile.
Have a blessed week everyone
|To this day, I still really love goats, and Nubians are my favorite|
|Steve brings a little Valentines Day Calf to join the party 20 something years ago. (Steve on left, Elizabeth in foreground and little friends on either side).|
|All of the "four" together with friends... about the time of "goat incident" (The Blondies are all mine). (Nathan in back on left, Elizabeth on his lap, Marie on friends lap, Luke squeezed between baby Danielle (friend) and Marie.|
|Nathan and Himilce with new baby goat.... the first time Himilce came to meet us.|