It always seems to me that most guys are all about fast cars, professional sports and toys – you know, boats, four wheelers, snowmobiles, that kind of thing. Frankly, I dislike cars for the rotten money pits that they are (I’ve more than once said that I was going to switch to using horses, and in the heat of the moment I’m not sure I was kidding.) Though I have enjoyed recreational activities like boating I’d rather spend the time paddling a kayak or a canoe. As for sports… well, a good game here and there will hold my attention, but not much more often than that..
I’ll tell you what I DO like: goats.
What’s not to like? Sure, they cost money, but they give you milk and cheese in return. They’re quiet and tame, and I have no qualms of letting my three kids in and out of the goat pen whenever they please.
I like the reward that comes with caring for an animal well. The dairy is just part of that. Having them follow us around, bleat for our company and trust us is reward in and of itself.
Speaking of the milk, it is GOOD. I don’t think that I will ever be satisfied with milk from the store again. It’s like maple syrup; once you’ve had the real deal, you just can’t do Mrs. Butterworth’s flavored corn syrup.
The best thing? They’ve given our family a past time. Every morning at 6, Gabe and I spend time together in the barn while I milk and he replenishes everyone’s food and water. Sometimes we talk (usually it’s about dinosaurs), sometimes he talks while I listen (usually it’s about dinosaurs), and other times, we just enjoy being together in silence. The 6-7 o’clock hour every morning is easily my favorite time of day.
If I did go out and get myself a nice, sporty car or find a basketball team I had to follow, I don’t know that I’d be able to use that as an opportunity to spend time with my kids. I wouldn’t spend any more time driving my car with them than I already do, and I’m sure that if I did follow ESPN I’d wind up being absorbed by the tube rather than being involved with the kids. With the goats, we have a common hobby that is productive and requires us to spend time together. How awesome is that?
Rachel would love to get a cow. I must admit, I do see the benefits of dairy cows too. Every once in awhile, I see things that might tempt me. The Prairie Homestead recently put up pictures of their Brown Swiss cow and her newborn twins. Seeing the two beautiful calves nestled up to their mother was almost enough to convince me that cows are in our future. But then I remember the cows in the dairy barn at the State Fair with their manure laden tails and chowing down on whole bales of hay to feed their 1,200 pound selves.
Nope. I’m good. I’ve got my goats.