August 29, 2011

The Meaning of Cows

This is how I feel today. Like a hefty old farmer pulling an extra-heavy load when the damn cow oughta be walking by herself. Crimenies. Some cows are too lazy for words.

Not sure what cows mean to me subconsciously and I should give contemplative thought to the meaning of cows since my last post featured a Heifer spry enough to jump over the moon. I have files of cows on Photobucket because cows make me feel good and maybe that’s because I won a cow-milking contest once. Dad told me last week that his mother could out milk the farm boys with her left hand while baking whole wheat bread with the other.

No, you didn’t really want to eat my grandmother’s bread. Anything that wasn’t breathing went into the dough. “Gave it substance”, or so she said. Grand kids used to whisper around the table about which leftovers we could spy in Grandmother’s bread and ya honestly don’t want me to explain further. Let’s just say it was strange eating toasted spaghetti.

To be honest, I didn’t ‘win’ the cow-milking contest. Cow-milking was only part of the contest. The main challenge was proving your worth in the kitchen where my deliciously perfect cherry pie outdid my competitors. I hear tell judges were flabbergasted by my sour yet sweet filling with cherries so plump they made a grown man’s eyes water. My secret ingredient was Western Family-in-a-can which wasn’t against the rules ‘cuz I checked before buying two. They didn’t ask, I didn’t tell, and that evening I was crowned the FFA Queen (Future Farmers of America). It was a heady night for a farm girl, feeling my oats and all. And I figured once the word got out that my pie was to die for and my milking skills good enough, I’d never lack for weekend dates or proms. My future was secure.

Well now, that took fifteen minutes to write. My good friend Louise prioritizes thirty minutes and writes on her blog every single morning (unless her Internet service is down). I can’t imagine it.

I think there are real writers in this world as in naturally born-to-write; and there are writers who are writers by nurture as in learn-to-write. And there are some of us who are imbued with a little bit of both. So when a horrible, absolutely traumatic thing happened, my silent inner ‘writer’ gene was turned on like psychologists say happens with bipolar disorder. You’ve got it but you don’t know you’ve got it until something terrible happens and you do.

Many of my fellow bloggers say they never realized they could write until they felt so silenced by the narcissistic experience that writing saved their sanity. We’re compelled to express ourselves that much I know for sure. And since friends and family don’t wanna hear about our trauma more than three times or five if they’re generous, writing connects us to others and to ourselves. It’s therapeutic. In fact, what you write doesn’t even have to make sense when you write it. Those are the best ‘journalings’ because at some point, maybe that afternoon when your hands are immersed in pastry dough and Western Family pie filling is sitting on the counter, you’ll figure out why you were writing about cows and the sudden realization will make you smile.



  1. Reading what you write always makes me smile! And that is absolutely the best thing to do in the whole dang world! Smile with a friend

    I've always even a writer, even when I didn't have anything to angst over:)

  2. Hi Louise,

    I'm more of a hands-on potter as you know. Writing has fulfilled a need to 'create' though my first love is covering my hands in mud and spinning pots. I also love sculpture which doesn't require a large vocabulary. Just an intuitive imagination.

    Thank you for stopping by!I hope your Internet problems have been repaired. Nothing leaves a person feeling more ill-at-ease than being cut off from the Internet. There's a million things to do but all you can think of is twiddling your thumbs and staring at the monitor! Crush my frig. Smash my stove. But please don't break my Internet!


  3. Thanks CZ,
    Your eloquence on cows brought a smile and a lovely piece of happiness. Glad you one that contest. No need to share your secret with the judges. :)
    I agree the internet is one of my highlights of my day because my friends are out there. Enjoyed dropping by for a delightful moment with your cows.

  4. Dear Ruth,

    What a kind comment to read before retiring to my bed far later than I had planned.

    Every morning I plan on logging off my computer before midnight. And every night AFTER midnight, I say, "Well, tomorrow is another day!" Call me Scarlett O'Internet. I may need some serious intervention.

    It's just that everyone in my household goes to bed by 10:00 or 11:00pm which means I can sit at my computer completely undisturbed and "do the google" all night long if I wanna.

    Which is fun to do occasionally.

    It's not so fun at 7:00am, though. ha!

    Hugs to you,

  5. Hehehehehe! I needed to read this this morning...a day that is to be tooooo hot and the cicadas are buzzing already. Not waiting for the heat of the day, just anticipating it.

    You got that right! Writing, blogging is a marvelous form of therapy...and even if your thoughts put down aren't really clear upon later are sure to find some connection in another's reading. Problem is, most keep their "ah-hah!" moment to themselves and you don't realize that you have struck a chord!

    But sometimes what you write just impacts, makes that connection so deeply the reader can't help themselves and makes that contact. Your day is changed for so many reasons: We don't live on islands, though it sure seems like it.

    Your blog is so good and connecting, I had to write! LOL! Be of good cheer! I have never made a cherry pie worth the crust, or a crust worth the cherries...LOL! It remains beyond me...though I did buy an antique cherry pitter that pits TWO cherries at a time....that's a long time pitting cherries for a canned cherries is the way to sanity.

    I like cows too. I look in those liquid brown eyes, and I see the Peace of the Bhudda. They are substancial beings, and not so tippable. Perhaps if we just didn't eat them, we would have more respect???

    Lady Nyo (Jane)

  6. CZ, I was after my close encounter with a narcissist that I decided to start blogging. Other topics at first until I worked up the courage to tackle that elephant in the room. I haven't quite writing since, and for that I am grateful. As a lover of pies, I have to tell you that back in the day, that when my mother made a cherry pie she poured a spoonful of Red Dye #2 into the can of cherries for just the right effect. Yikes!

  7. FYI - My post verification (those squiggly words) was GRAVE. Hope that's not a sign of what's in store.

  8. Hi Lady Nyo,

    You see "The Peace of the Buddha" in cows? I'll bet you're a poet! Their eyes though, it's hard to look in their eyes after feeding them for months and know you're sending them to the slaughter. Farm life is tough.

    Over the years, my ol' hard-hearted Dad has finally given up raising his own meat. It took decades for him to 'attach' to his cows as if they were pets and he almost suffered post traumatic stress when the traveling butcher was scheduled to arrive.

    That change of heart in my dear old Dad was shocking and proof positive that 'age' is (not always) an anti-dote for narcissism.

    I'm so glad my blog is warm and welcoming and "connecting!" You could not have given me sweeter compliment!


  9. Dear Jan,

    Red Dye #2 must be the foundation to developing a sense of humor 'cuz you are one funny woman!

    I don't know about you but my funny bone gets tickled whenever something seriously horrid is going on. Like trauma.

    So if the verifying code spelled out GRAVE and that is a measure of what's to come, look for some funny posts! The Gravity of any situation triggers my badly-timed humor and then I spend the next few months apologizing to people for having such a ridiculous 'defense mechanism.'




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