So, in Buttercup's honor today, a little cow eulogy:
Buttercup was our second cow, arriving to our farm 10 years ago, 2 weeks after we got Daisy (whom she outlived by six years). She had spent the first 4 years of her life on a dairy farm, treated like, well, a cow. She came home to us banging at the trailer all the way down the driveway, and jumping out with a "who do I kill first?" look on her face. That first year, she was more bull-like than milking heifer-like, and we all thought the pretty little heart on her face was a bit misleading, as she would chase us out of her pastures and drag 13yr. Andrew (her poor milker) skiing along behind her, futilely clutching her lead rope as she trotted about whither she pleased.
Years later, new cows coming and going, Buttercup became the patron of the pasture, teaching the new girls how to milk by day and how to escape the pasture by night, always leading them home again after their short vacations around the neighborhood. Her character tamed to earn the sweetness of the heart on her forehead; the new milkers learning the art of milk extraction on her saggy udder and the youngest kids riding and lounging on her bony back as she sunbathed out in the pasture.
This farm housed its first bull on her behalf; since she wasn't taking to an AI, she earned herself a real live bull-friend. ;) She had several babies, most recently gifting us with Violet, Michael's little girlfriend in the pasture, to carry on her legacy of wonderful milk before she died.
The barnyard seemed somber today, as I stopped in to visit the animals after my walk. Of course, it may have been the cold, but I prefer to think that they were quiet in respect of dear ol' "ButtaTuppy" (as the milkers affectionately called her). Despite these kinds of cow-passing sad days (that I don't suppose every teenage boy has), I still find this lifestyle to make up for them in its simple joys, like doing farm chores.
Buttercup, we hope you are heartily welcomed into warmer pastures today! Thank you for sharing your life and your wonderful milk with us all these years--your presence will be missed on this farm!
In addition to Buttercup's passing today, our pump randomly decided to pick this day (mid. Jan., mid. blizzard) to poop out, leaving animals thirsty and dishes dirty. We have a new one coming tomorrow, and with a bit of hard old-fashioned work, we managed to water all the animals and wash the dishes this evening anyway.
For all that today, I still found it to be a wonderful day. With the kids coming in like snow covered eskimos, I was scraping ice off the bases of the windows and mopping up snow puddles, finding the urge in me to sing heartily with the other girls in the room. Even when the snow was whipping up to bite my cheeks on my walk with Cady today, I still felt like giggling at the frigidity of it all.
The realization that happiness is not something that can always be found in life, but something that we can always choose at any moment, has been sitting in the front of my mind lately... maybe it's asking to be written into a song. It will have to wait until I finish my novel first. Hmm, these white-out blizzardy days are wonderfully cozy for writing, reading, knitting, singing and making music!
Stay warm and happy out there!! :-)