I wanted a cow.

After I sold my house in Bangor and moved to more rural Carmel, at some point I got the idea in my head that I wanted a cow for milk! This was a surprising change of mind for me! A few years prior to wanting a milk cow, I met the man who would become my husband. In one of our introductory conversations he told me that he had a horse, a pony, a dog, 2 cats, a rabbit and a guinea pig! I still remember my response to this information, delivered with an awkward laugh. “That might be a deal breaker for me!”

When my sweet daughter was about four years old, she wanted a pet. I granted her rather typical childhood request by getting her… a hermit crab! There would be no cuddly puppies or soft bunnies in our home!

There were certainly animals in my childhood home! We nearly always had a dog. We had rabbits and cats and chickens. My grandfather was a farmer. He had a work horse, dairy cows, chickens, cats, a dog, and sometimes other farm animals too! My great uncle was also a farmer and my house was surrounded by his cows! However, I personally had no interest in animals.

I found myself more astonished than anyone else that I wanted a dairy animal! Yet, it really does make sense and as my life unfolded, I was drawn more and more to homestead activities. I had already started with chickens, the “gateway animal”!! I had greatly enjoyed picking potatoes in my childhood. I grew up surrounded by farmers and gardeners. I felt joyful and renewed when I was outside, preserving food, berry picking, and homemaking. I began to appreciate useful animals!

Years after a hermit crab joined our home, we welcomed not a cow, but a dairy goat, Clara. Clara stretched me beyond appreciating animals, and taught me to love. Our home has now had sixteen goats! We have had two dogs, a rabbit, 2 guinea pigs, a hamster, ducks, and chickens too! Who can say what will be next?